Plots that make sense as you’re reading them?  “Ha!” author Ryan Boudinot seems to be saying. The concept of brain hacking, or DJing, your everyday actions via your Internet-connected neurons is likely the most straightforward part of Blueprints of the Afterlife (it’s kinda like the Sims). While that concept questions consciousness, other characters in the book confront ethics, reality, and a full scale, nearly-authentic replica of Manhattan created from a backup before humanity went crazy killing each other.

“We’ve been trying to wire the frontal lobes into the Internet so everyone can eventually become their own Wikipedia or, rather, share Wikipedia with others who are logged in.”

page 115

It’s a weird novel whose narrative shifts along the timeline and the axis of reality. It examines how quantum computing and the Internet may become our reality, and our reality becomes our playground.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Blueprints of the Afterlife grittily examines our contextual reality as a part of a possibly dystopian future’s entertainment. It’s also a 2012 Philip K. Dick Award nominee. Finally, Ryan Boudinot is a Northwest writer, living in Seattle.

Rating (2 stars)

I was totally lost during this book. Generally, after reading a book, I’ll give it a few days or a week for its message to settle in. I read this book several weeks ago and still have no idea what was really happening. Perhaps I read it too quick, or missed a critical piece of prose. Perhaps I shouldn’t be writing this review at all.

To be sure, there were cool plot devices and elements; this is most definitely science fiction. But I was nearly always confused by what was happening and that feeling never ended. For this reason, I’m giving it two stars, but I would love to hear your counter-rating– sound off in the comments