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John Farrell is about to get "The Cure."
Imagine a near future where a cure for aging is discovered and-after much political and moral debate-made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems-including evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors. Witty, eerie, and full of humanity, The Postmortal is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a pre-apocalyptic world so real that it is completely terrifying.
A Note about the Text: From the Department of Containment, United North American Territories
FEBRUARY 6, 2093
In March 2090 a worker for the Department of Containment named Anton Vyrin was conducting a routine sweep of an abandoned collectivist compound in rural Virginia when he stumbled upon an eighth-generation wireless enabled projected screening device (WEPS. 8) that was still functional after charging. Stored inside the device’s hard drive was a digital library containing sixty years worth of text files written by a man who went by the screen name John Farrell.
The text files appear to have been written as posts for a blog or online journal. It’s impossible to know which of these files Farrell actually published in a public forum, as all mentions of his name in the cloud as it now exists lead to sites whose servers were destroyed during the Great Correction. There is also no way of corroborating that John Farrell was a licensed end specialist for the United States government for twenty years prior to the Correction. All U. S. Department of Containment servers were destroyed in June 2079.
However, considering the level of painstaking detail and the highly personal nature of the entries, combined with many of the articles and interviews Farrell saved, his writing is itself evidence supporting its veracity. As such, his collected entries must be considered one of the definitive personal records of life in the former United States during the sixty- year period that followed the discovery of the cure for aging. It must also be considered the most important first- person account yet of the end- specialization industry that thrived in America in the last part of the century.
Farrell was a remarkably fastidious record keeper. He used the LifeRecorder app to preserve and transcribe virtually every human interaction he had, and he incorporated many portions of those transcripts into his writing. In its entirety the collection contains thousands of entries and several hundred thousand words, but for the sake of brevity and general readability, they have been edited and abridged into what we believe constitutes an essential narrative, the fundamental goal being to offer incontrovertible evidence that the cure for aging must never again be legalized.
The whereabouts of Solara Beck are still unknown.
Reprinted by arrangement with Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from THE POSTMORTAL by Drew Magary
Copyright © 2011 by Drew Magary"Unnerving. . . . An absorbing picture of dawning apocalypse. . . . A disturbing portrait of a society convinced it's close to utopia when a cure for aging is invented. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't take long for that seeming utopia to dissolve into a planet-overstressed from overpopulation, food and fuel shortages, and general lawlessness-going into systemic failure. . . . The Postmortal is a suitably chilling entry into the 'it's-the-end-of-the-world' canon."
-The Austin Chronicle
"Magary's vision of future technology and science is eerily realistic. . . . By the time you finish, you'll want to hold your loved ones close and stockpile bottles of water. If all else fails, you could potentially make a living selling them a few decades from now."
-The New York Press
"An exciting page turner. . . . Drew Magary is an excellent writer. This is his first novel but he tells the story masterfully. . . . The most frightening thing about The Postmortal is that this could really happen-it's not a supernatural story, but it's even more terrifying than zombie apocalypse."
-Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing
"It's nearly impossible not to read this smart speculative novel and imagine how your own little chunk of the world might fall to pieces given the chance to live forever."
"The first novel from a popular sports blogger and humorist puts a darkly comic spin on a science fiction premise and hits the sweet spot between Margaret Atwood and Kurt Vonnegut. . . . [Magary] understands that satire is most effective when it gives the real world a gently absurd nudge, then lets its characters react much as we ourselves might under the same circumstances."
-Ron Hogan, Shelf Awareness
"Immortality has figured in a number of sf novels prior to this one, but never, to my experience, in this way. . . . A very clear-eyed picture, one I don't think has been drawn before. . . . The Postmortal surprised me in a good way."
-Michelle West, Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine
"Magary has created a smartly realized vision of a planet that's hit the skids. . . . Magary is blogger for the sports sites Deadspin and Kissing Suzy Kolber, and the blog format serves him well in the early sections of the novel: It allows him to integrate newspaper articles that set the scene, and he gives [narrator John Farrell] an engaging, quick-witted voice."
"The Postmortal is a punchy, fast-paced and endearing story. . . . As the novel progresses, it turns from a snappy morality tale, to a noir- ish revenge fable, to an action movie; complete with guns, rogue religious cults and government-sanctioned hit men. The narrative comes to us through John's blog entries and collections of news bytes and pundit commentary. Through his sixty years as a 29-year-old, he experiences all the love, pain, grief, and terror of a standard lifetime and is still in good enough shape to kick some ass at the end. Like much good dystopian fiction, The Postmortal is an at-times unflattering commentary on human beings, present, past and future, that hits the mark in many ways. . . . For anyone intrigued with Life Extension science, it's a fun examination of our fears and expectations."
-The Nervous Breakdown
"Drew Magary's haunting first novel imagines a postmodern dystopia that would seem far-fetched if it didn't seem so possible. The Postmortal will make you regret ever wondering, even secretly, what it would be like to live forever."
-Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak and A Few Seconds of Panic
"A darkly comic, totally gonzo, and effectively frightening population- bomb dystopia in the spirit of Logan's Run, Soylent Green, and the best episodes of The Twilight Zone."
-Neal Pollack, author of Alternadad and Stretch
"A startling leap forward. The Postmortal is dark, funny, and terrifying. This book draws such a vivid, convincing picture of immortality that it, quite literally, made me want to die."
-Will Leitch, author of Are We Winning? and God Save The Fan
"As insanely entertaining as it is ambitious, The Postmortal takes us into an America set in the next few years and coming apart under the onslaught of a dreadful new plague--that of human immortality. Magary possesses an explosive imagination and let loose in The Postmartal, he creates an alternate history of the near future that feels real and is probably inevitable. Read The Postmortal if you want to find out what happened to the human race in our last violent and absurd few years in New York."
-Evan Wright, author of Generation Kill
"I suppose you could wait for the inevitable Postmortal movie. But then you might miss Magary's rendering, his word play, his singular sense of humor. A book that is, at once bracingly funny and-get this, Deadspin Nation-unmistakably poignant."
-L. Jon Wertheim, co-author of Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind Sports
"As someone who is totally freaked out by the thought of dying, The Postmortal really stood on top of me and peed on my face. It's depiction of the future isn't filled with crappy robots fighting Will Smith. It's filled with eerily realistic portrayals of what the future could look like and does it all in an incredibly entertaining story."
-Justin Halpern, author of Sh*t My Dad Says
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