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A novel by Mark McClelland
Upload is a fascinating new science fiction novel by author Mark McClelland. Taking place fifty years from now, it focuses on Raymond Quan, a young hacker with a troubled past.
In what may be a prophetic view of our future, Upload focuses on a time where cyberspace and virtual reality have converged, showcasing both the promising potential and the dark underside of new technological paradigms.
Raymond is a ward of the state, whose father was a VR addict and whose mother became a state supported - and state medicated - hospital inmate. Raymond is raised by the state of Illinois where he finds solace not just in virtual reality but in the creation of VR and the hacking of the enabling technology. But in his late teens something happens that will change forever the direction of his life.
The story quickly progresses into him as a young man and secret hacker working on the Human Upload Project, a research project attempting to scan and upload the mind of a human being who could then exist in the infinite creations virtual reality can enable, co-existing and interacting with real life (via VR interfaces) as well as artificial life found within the network. A person obsessed with control, Raymond wants nothing more than to Upload and live in the world he creates in VR, and to leave the real world - Reality Prime - behind.
But he has a dark secret that he has been covering for many years and bit by bit his carefully constructed hacks and protections begin to crumble. Police, FBI and underworld hackers are closing in on him. On top of that he begins to develop feelings for a woman he works with, making everything he wants to do more complicated and problematic.
The story works on several levels, a cyberspace scifi novel, a romance, but most of all it takes a good look at what may actually be in store not just for our children's children, but for we ourselves in just a few short decades.
Well written, technically intriguing and very imaginative. Once I started I had trouble putting it down.
Upload is available at Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com (Or find an indie bookstore to purchase Upload: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781300335610)
Lou Wallace is the founder and CEO of Digital Media Online. During his career he has been publisher and Editor-in-Chief of numerious publications in the digital media market.