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Publisher's Summary

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
©2017 Rob Reid (P)2017 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Richard W Fronapfel Jr on 08-01-17

All-too-real commentary on web culture

If you could sum up After On in three words, what would they be?

Irreverent, Confident, (wildly) Entertaining

What was one of the most memorable moments of After On?

Rob Reid grabs you from page 1...inviting you on a ride that's both sobering and laugh-out-loud funny

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but sadly, I couldn't do it in one sitting, but it is a remarkably engaging read

Any additional comments?

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!

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20 of 22 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Keith Cuthbert on 08-05-17

Wow!

You need to listen to this. I just finished the book. More capable people will write better reviews soon. I want to do what I can to help this story get heard. Story, production, and performances were among the best I've heard and I've listened to more than 350 audible titles. Awesome job!

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23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Andrew B. on 06-06-18

Stick around for the second half.

This isn't Interstellar or The Martian, but it's still grand speculative fiction. The author demonstrates moments of incredibly clever writing, and uses an irregular, entertaining style. However, the whole execution of this story is thrown into wildly oscillating strength and weakness by the execution of its voice actors, who seem bound by Cthulhu to hunt for the most energetic, noisy and strange ways to act out even the calmest sections of this book.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Michael L. on 04-16-18

Informative, thought provoking and entertaining

Where does After On rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Loved this book. It's a nice side step from pure Science Fiction, more of a light hearted near future semi-dystopia.

What did you like best about this story?

It's tackles some great issues like AI, online privacy and governmental intrusion. It introduces lots of really amazing tech that could be just around the corner.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

Charles Henry Higgensworth III, great reviews. They all actually exist on Amazon

Any additional comments?

Make sure to check out the "after on" podcast, also a great listen.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rod on 06-26-18

Engaging

There have been many tales told about Artificial Intelligence (AI) gone wild, the most infamous probably being the Hal-9000 from Arthur C Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the Skynet rebellion of the Terminator film franchise. It was with some hesitation therefore that I entered the world of modern day Silicon Valley for another foray into AI development.

Rob Reid has, thankfully, taken the idea of self-learning machines in a refreshingly new direction in the guise of Phluttr, a social network AI that has taken the world by storm. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and, as Phluttr’s self-awareness and power increases, she surpasses even her creators’ best hopes and begins to interfere in people’s lives with devastating consequences. Unable to predict the long-term effects of an event, nor understand the complexities of group dynamics, Phluttr’s child-like innocence begins to create havoc and threaten civilisation itself.

The stellar cast of actors comprise Sean Kenin, January LaVoy, Felicia Day, Patrick Rothfuss, John Hodgman, Tom Merritt, Jesse Cox and Leo Laporte. This is not a dramatization but a story told from a range of viewpoints, including that of the AI itself, her developers, and others in the industry.

Reid adds a lot of comedic touches to his storytelling, although I wouldn’t list it as a comedy per se. He also avoids the histrionics of action scenes so often found in these kinds of tales. He effectively builds tension when it’s needed but primarily provides a dramatic inside scoop into the machinations of Silicon Valley while almost telling a family drama. It’s an odd combination that works beautifully. After On is engaging, funny, exciting and interesting.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 06-19-18

holy crap

amazing. I don't read too many novels, but this felt real to me, like it actually was happening

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