The definitive novel of today's Silicon Valley, After On flash-captures our cultural and technological moment with up-to-the-instant savvy. Matters of privacy and government intrusion, post-Tinder romance, nihilistic terrorism, artificial consciousness, synthetic biology, and much more are tackled with authority and brash playfulness by New York Times best-selling author Rob Reid.
Meet Phluttr - a diabolically addictive new social network and a villainess, heroine, enemy, and/or bestie to millions. Phluttr has ingested every fact and message ever sent to, from, and about her innumerable users. Her capabilities astound her makers - and they don't even know the tenth of it.
But what's the purpose of this stunning creation? Is it a front for something even darker and more powerful than the NSA? A bid to create a trillion-dollar market by becoming "The UberX of Sex"? Or a reckless experiment that could spawn the digital equivalent of a middle-school mean girl with enough charisma, dirt, and cunning to bend the entire planet to her will?
Phluttr has it in her to become the greatest gossip, flirt, or matchmaker in history. Or she could cure cancer, bring back Seinfeld, then start a nuclear war. Whatever she does, it's not up to us. But a motley band of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and engineers might be able to influence her.
After On achieves the literary singularity - fusing speculative satire and astonishing reality into a sharp-witted, ferociously believable, IMAX-wide view of our digital age.
Narrated by Sean Kenin and January LaVoy, with:
Felicia Day: NETGRRRL.COM
Patrick Rothfuss: Special Field Operative Brock Hogan
John Hodgman: Charles Henry Higgensworth III
Tom Merritt: voice of The New York Times
Jesse Cox: Whistle Blowings Blog
Leo Laporte: voice of The San Francisco Chronicle
"Enter a near-future Silicon Valley that is hilariously, creepily, mind-bogglingly fantastic, yet at the same time all too believable. It might turn out this way. No, really, it might! Along with After On's diabolically ingenious plot, there are crazy-plausible web startups, delicious parodies of social media, and a surprisingly convincing theory of human consciousness." (Chris Anderson, head of TED)
"After On is smart, hilarious, and properly cynical about our connected world. The story unfolds in surprising and fiendish ways, and while you're laughing you'll learn enough to confound a wily MBA, manipulate a board of directors, and maybe even outfox a superintelligence." (Ken Fisher, founder and editor in chief, Ars Technica)
"Rob Reid doesn't write science fiction; he writes future history. After On is the best account I've read of how superintelligence will arrive and what it will mean for all of us. Hilarious, frightening, believable, and marvelously constructed - After On has it all." (Hugh Howey, New York Times best-selling author of Wool)
"Reading After On is like attending a master class in nearly every major issue haunting not only the tech industry but society itself. Only the professor is also a stand-up comic with a perfect ear for the foibles of Silicon Valley's most sacred cows. Part AI thriller, part arch social commentary, and part rollicking farce, After On will leave you smarter about just about everything the human species needs to work on if we're going to outlive our own creations - and our obsessions with them." (John Battelle, co-founder, NewCo, Federated Media, and Wired)
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All-too-real commentary on web culture
Irreverent, Confident, (wildly) Entertaining
Rob Reid grabs you from page 1...inviting you on a ride that's both sobering and laugh-out-loud funny
Yes, but sadly, I couldn't do it in one sitting, but it is a remarkably engaging read
I was fortunate to read Mr. Reid's achingly funny and charming Year Zero last year, so I've been anxiously awaiting this one. What I found was a more confident, patient story teller who wasn't just about entertaining, but leading the reader on a journey...the irreverent humor is still there, and I laughed audibly and often, but I felt that I had witnessed an amazing maturation...I think this will thrust Mr. Reid more firmly into the national (and international) consciousness!
- Richard W Fronapfel Jr
- Keith Cuthbert