Novel by author Michael Swanwick. The earth has been swallowed up by a hive mind while the rest of humanity floats around the solar system and the Oort cloud. Technology is everywhere, but foremost prominent are the plug-in personalities available - be whoever you want. Rebel Elizabeth Mudlark, the protagonist of the story, comes into existence due to the personality suicide of another and from there must find her way.

He never sits down and explains things, so you have to just hold on for the ride. A much better guess about what the future will be like than any space opera.

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