Edith Forbes Exit to Reality: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781580050036

Exit to Reality: A Novel

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9781580050036: Exit to Reality: A Novel
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When Euclid (real name Lydian) ventures onto the Random Queries and Idle Speculation bulletin board she meets Proteus (real name Merle), a self-described misfit who admits to unemployment. Lydian is wary of this impossibility. After all, it is the 29th century and such oddities have been eliminated. But curiosity and a desire to jettison her culturally induced techno-stupor lead Lydian to rendezvous with Merle, igniting an unlikely meeting of the minds - and bodies. Lydian and Merle's careening love affair takes them from Paris to Jamaica, from the wrong side of the law to the far side of late-millennium family values, and ultimately, to a face-off between technology and civilization that spurs Lydian to question - and then dismantle - the very essence of human existence.

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Review:

The 29th century has arrived and such inconveniences as war, disease, poverty, and unemployment have been rendered obsolete, allowing humans to work and live easily and efficiently. They are also free to contemplate their own seemingly worthless existence and strict adherence to rigid societal norms. This existential dilemma is particularly acute for Lydian, an information analyst suffering from acute boredom. An unlikely cure arrives in the form of Merle, a mysterious stranger who somehow lives beyond the boundaries of the prescribed culture, and who is capable of altering his form and gender. This chance meeting leads to an affair that provides Lydian with the excitement she craves, as well as a means of escape from both the confines of a sterile culture and a self-imposed psychological prison. Exit to Reality examines the role of technology in a modern society, confronting the question of who is truly in control.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Far-future what-is-reality puzzler, a first venture into science fiction for the author of the mainstream Nowle's Passing (1996), etc. In the year 2874, Earth's population consists of 150 billion immortals, with all other species deliberately eliminated; every scrap of usable land (but not, for some reason, the sea) supports agriculture; and apartments are stacked inside landforms impossible to cultivate, though most folk prefer virtual reality anyway. Information Analyst Lydian meets the charming but evasive Merle through a net bulletin board, discovering that Merle not only can change his bodily form but can think himself to any previously visited location--and he can teach Lydian to do the same! After a whirlwind series of adventures--though homosexuality is prohibited, Merle prefers a female body--the pair come to the attention of robot Security Units. Lydian, moreover, who lives with her robot Mom, suspects that Mom is other than she seems. It emerges that reality isn't real at all (yawn): People are just brains in bottles being fed hallucinations from a giant computer. Bland, trite, populated by mediocre characters, and painfully unsurprising: a crushing disappointment. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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9781878067937: Exit to Reality

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ISBN 10:  1878067931 ISBN 13:  9781878067937
Publisher: Seal Pr, 1997
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