Fall; or, Dodge in Hell: A Novel

Description (in English)

Dodge Forthright is a multibillionaire who made his fortune on an immensely popular online game. When he suddenly dies, his family discover that his will specifies that his brain should be preserved by the best means possible. It is eventually digitally copied, and decades later, his niece Sophia is able to run a simulation of it. Gradually, more "souls" are added, and they create "The Land", a digitally simulated "afterlife" that takes more and more processing power and electricity to keep running as more and more of the dead are scanned and have their digitised brains uploaded.

It would be possible to view the whole of "The Land" as machine vision, as the "souls" create and tend a simulated world with "visual" qualities that is compared to gameworlds. We choose to focus here on the machine vision that is experienced by the living. The future described is full of facial recognition systems and AR but they are mostly presented as backdrop. The two main situations are the VEIL, a facial recognition disruption system, and the ubiquitous use of collaborative AR interfaces, including one that allows the living to view The Land, the digital realm of the dead. 

Pull Quotes

“The scanning,” Corvallis said, “is a destructive process.” He was reading about it as he spoke. “Destructive” was putting it mildly but he saw no need to be heavy-handed. “By the time it is finished, there is nothing left that could be considered a brain. What is left is, they claim, disposed of in a respectful manner. Cremated. Ashes returned to the next of kin.”

Stephenson, Neal. Fall; or, Dodge in Hell (p. 59). William Morrow. Kindle Edition. 

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