Fall; Or, Dodge in Hell

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Stephenson, Neal

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Seveneves, Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon returns with a wildly inventive and entertaining science fiction thriller—Paradise Lost by way of Philip K. Dick—that unfolds in the near future, in parallel worlds.

“A one-of-a-kind synthesis of daring and originality, unafraid to venture into wild and unmapped conceptual territory.”—New York Times Book Review

In the beginning . . .

In his youth, Richard “Dodge” Forthrast founded Corporation 9592, a gaming company that made him a multibillionaire. Now in his middle years, Dodge appreciates his comfortable, unencumbered life, managing his myriad business interests and spending time with his beloved niece, Zula, and her young daughter, Sophia.

One beautiful autumn day, while he undergoes a routine medical procedure, something goes irrevocably wrong. Dodge is pronounced brain-dead and put on life support, leaving his stunned family and close friends with difficult decisions to make. Long ago, when a much younger Dodge drew up his will, he stipulated that his body be given to a cryonics company now owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd. Legally bound to follow the directive despite their misgivings, Dodge’s family has his brain scanned and its data structures uploaded and stored in the cloud until it can eventually be revived. No one knows whether a simulated brain will be the same when it is rebooted, or if something will be lost—an ineffable spirit that cannot be re-created in computer code.