"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

New Release From Story Merchant Books - The Cloud: A Speculative Fiction Novel by Robert Rivenbark

In twenty-second century L.A. dominated by The Cloud, every imaginable pleasure is accessible—yet the entire world can vanish in a single upload.

That choice rests in one man’s hands.

Blaise, a brilliant but tormented VR programmer, is trying to forget his violent past as a special forces commando by throwing himself into creating VR fantasies. He finds himself tempted by his megalomaniac boss, who offers him wealth, power, and eternal life in exchange for coding a new VR series that will addict and eliminate billions of “unproductives.”

Caught between joining those who want to bring down the ruling Cloud regime in Hong Kong, or accepting the offer of personal immortality, Blaise finds himself flanked by two relentless women—a psychic hacker risking overwhelming personal odds to save humanity from annihilation, and the other using her extraordinary carnal wiles to accelerate the final triumph of The Cloud. Ultimately, Blaise must reembrace his violent warrior nature in a desperate bid to destroy it.

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