Stephen D Covey
Science Fiction & Thriller Writer
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What if, when you died, your brain could be RIPPED into a computer, uploading your consciousness into a lightning-fast program that lives forever?
In a techno-thriller combining the cautionary theme of Michael Crichton’s Prey with the simulated reality of The Matrix, Mary Galvin (a leading computer scientist) dies and her brain is subsequently RIPPED into a computer program. She joins a society of other deceased personalities and soon realizes that her death was not an accident – she was murdered. But by who? And why? Even her husband (RIPPED three years earlier in an accident that killed him and their children) is a suspect.
Worse, there may be unauthorized copies of her personality, existing as slaves, developing even more advanced computers.
The society she entered as a newly dead personality looks down upon breeders (biological humans) as slow and narrow-minded. Similarly, the living look down upon the simulated personalities of their dead friends and family, calling them Ghosts. They’re only computer programs, after all. And working Ghosts are resented – they’re taking jobs away from the living, working many times faster, while becoming less and less recognizably human as they operate at ever faster speeds we can’t begin to comprehend. The first generation of Ghosts experience reality at normal human speed. The second generation runs at double calendar speed, and the third operates four times as fast. Could you compete with someone four times as productive as you? Eight times? Sixteen times?
At least humans are still needed – until the day Ghosts can build robots with hands. And that day is tomorrow, when a fully-automated semiconductor fabrication facility comes on-line enabling each new and faster generation of Ghost servers to be delivered in half the calendar time of the previous generation. This is the last missing step in the path to a Technological Singularity. The clock has started ticking: in 60 calendar days everything will change, either for the infinitely better, or for the infinitely worse.
Some organizations look forward to it, including the Church of the Singularity. Others will fight it to the death, remembering lessons from Terminator and The Matrix.
Should The Singularity be stopped? Can The Singularity be stopped? Or is life as we know it simply to end as our technology accelerates into infinity?