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Everyone in Silico Paperback – November 22, 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Jim Munroe's near-future novel Everyone in Silico, San Francisco has been destroyed by an earthquake and replaced by the virtual city of Frisco. Nearly everyone on earth wants to move to this fashionable cyberworld. This is no surprise. The physical world has become a sort of virtual reality: no one has privacy, and everyone is monitored by the corporations. Everyone is both consumer and salesperson, earning money by shilling cigarettes or software to strangers and friends. Why not abandon the flesh for the everlasting cyberspace of Frisco?

Still, not everyone seeks to leave the "meat" world. A genetic-engineering artist known as Nicky creates rat-dog splices to sell to naive tourists and resists her mother's pleas to live in Frisco. Professional adman Doug Patterson watches his city, job, and marriage start to crumble as his coworkers and neighbors move online. When she loses her 12-year-old grandson to Frisco, Eileen Ellis dons her old military bodysuit and becomes, once again, a deadly supersoldier--but this time, she serves no corporate master. And Paul, mysterious soul in the cybermachine, seeks to orchestrate a new destiny for the human race.

Everyone in Silico is the third novel by Jim Munroe, the former managing editor of radical anti-advertising magazine Adbusters. As a book, Everyone in Silico is rather wobbly. The pace is unvarying, the dialogue is sometimes slack, and the climax is diffuse. But like Steve Aylett and Paul Di Filippo, his fellow science-fiction satirists at publisher Four Walls Eight Windows, Monroe is unorthodox, off-kilter, and interesting. --Cynthia Ward

From Publishers Weekly

Canadian author Munroe's third novel (after Flyboy Action Figure Comes with Gas Mask and Angry Young Spaceman), set in Vancouver, offers a fresh and amusing take on how technology can be used or misused in a consumption-obsessed society. In 2036, a new technology called Self is available to download individual consciousnesses into a shared digital existence where anything is possible for a price. As most people abandon this polluted, intractable world, a few holdouts try to help recreate nature. Those who resist the allure also try to find out what's happening to the "meat" bodies of the multitude who've opted for Self. The narrative switches focus among a small cast of more or less wary holdouts, and Munroe exuberantly studs the action with grotesque extrapolations of politics and advertising that most people accept unthinkingly. Stolen clothing doesn't just set off an alarm, for example; it bursts into flame and kills the shoplifter. Such images prompt a chuckle but also make us wince because they're so close to what we accept. At the same time, the novel allows that Self could be a place to begin escaping familiar, strangling limitations. Munroe balances the danger and the hope waiting in our future. His characters are so stuck in their preconceptions that they have trouble seeing new choices; maybe readers can do better. Those who value deft, witty SF should be well pleased.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press (November 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568582404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568582405
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,920,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roy Janik on July 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I discovered Jim Munroe randomly, because I had read all the James Morrow books in the science fiction section of my local bookstore, and he was literally the next author over. But I'm glad I did. I started with Angry Young Spaceman, worked my way through Flyboy Action Figure Comes with Gasmask, and finally read Everyone in Silico. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them.

In some ways, the novels lack polish, but they're refreshing, and interesting in that way. They're not finally crafted masterpieces... they're accessible works of joy and inspiration.

That was years ago, and if I'm going to be honest, I don't really remember much about the characters in Everyone in Silico. What stuck with me were the ideas. The virtual world that people are moving into is only one small part of it. The more insidious part is the way that everyday people have become shills for corporations.

In particular, I remember a scene where one of the main characters is in an elevator, and the person he's sharing the elevator with is trying to sell him something through casual conversation, because she'll get points or money or something if she does. What she's doing slowly dawns on the main character as she keeps steering the conversation towards whatever she's trying to sell.

I remember at the time thinking how insidious that was. But now it happens all the time... maybe not in person, but on Facebook and Twitter. DropBox offers you 5 more gigs of storage if you refer your friends on Facebook to their service. You get a chance to win an Ipod if you tweet about something.

Whenever I see a friend doing something like this, or I'm tempted to do something like that myself, I think back to Everyone in Silico.
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Format: Paperback
It's always interesting to read someone's work after you've met them and spent some time talking about other topics. Jim's novel is very much a reflection and projection of his personality and interests. The anarchist former managing editor of Adbusters crams a lot of political, cultural, and scientific concepts into this novel, which is a good companion read to the work of Cory Doctorow. Everyone in Silico isn't hard sf -- but that doesn't mean that it's soft or easy. Jim's ideas of homegrown genetic engineering, subcultural self-organization, street-level marketing, and the economics and experience of a digital afterlife are fascinating and forward thinking. Down to details such as the tattoo that, when scanned, dials an encrypted phone number, Everyone in Silico's dystopian future is deftly and effectively outlined as the multilayered plot unfolds.
(This review originally appeared in Heath Row's Media Diet, ...)
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Format: Paperback
Being a fan of technological dystopian books, I picked this up cheap somewhere. It did not disappoint. It is refreshing to read a book that has as its main surprises the details of the daily lives of its characters.
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My favorite book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was referred this book by a friend and it has been an amazing read. I highly recommend for anyone who liked neuromancer
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