cover image Immortal Life: A Soon to Be True Story

Immortal Life: A Soon to Be True Story

Stanley Bing. Simon & Schuster, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5011-1983-5

Business writer Bing (The Curriculum: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master of Business Arts) makes his first foray into speculative fiction with a clever and sly satire of a future that feels like it’s lurking just around the corner, shot through with dry humor and stark hopes in a conflict-blasted digital world. At age 127, late-21st-century corporate titan and trillionaire Arthur Vogel can do nothing more to his body to stave off death. He decides to create Gene, a body manufactured as a fresh young home for Arthur’s consciousness. But Gene’s mostly blank brain burns with the will to escape. After Arthur is implanted into the new body, Gene and Arthur fight to control it. Complicating matters is Arthur’s plan to dominate the world by controlling the central cloud that all humanity is plugged into, while Gene falls in with those who want to destroy the cloud and free humanity from its digital bondage. Arthur’s perspective humanizes the technocrat bogeyman; Gene starts out as a bland everyman and becomes a flawed human. Bing’s optimistic nightmare will appeal to any reader wanting a glimpse down the slippery slope of technological domination. (Dec.)