Everyone in Silico - Jim Munroe

(I read about it somewhere, but I don't remember where, and then requested it at my library)
Jim Munroe was a former editor of Adbusters, and it shows: one of the main subjects of his sci-fi novel is corporations and the ubiquity of advertising. The book was a little tricky getting into at first, since every chapter was about a different character, but eventually all the separate story lines came together and fit nicely. The premise is a little Matrix-like (but not quite); people who have the money are "upgrading" themselves—getting their minds uploaded into a digital world, where you don't sleep or get sick, you can pick your own appearance, and "port" from place to place, since geography is just a concept here. It's not an entirely new concept, the digital self, but Munroe's spin on it is interesting and has some different consequences: you can get in for free or cheap, but then you have to put up with the advertising; gold or platinum members can turn it off. Some other concepts I thought were interesting were the blacksuit (of which I won't reveal much) and the Ristwatch (his version of the future cellphone/PDA/everything-else-you-can-think-of). At the end, there were still a few questions I felt hadn't been completely answered, but for the most part, it was a thought-provoking read and made me think about where corporate America is heading. Oh, and for fun, check out his website nomediakings.org, where you can look at past due invoices he sent to various companies for (unsolicited) product placement in his book.

Fed to jonathan's brain | December 16, 2002