Soule, Charles. “Anyone: A Novel”, Harper Perennial, 2019.
The Realistic Future
Charles Soule’s “Anyone: A Novel” takes us into a of technology in a realistic future. We meet a female scientist who creates “a technology that allows for the transfer of human consciousness between bodies, and the transformations this process wreaks upon the world.”
As she searches for a cure for Alzheimer’s, she finds herself mysteriously transported into her husband’s body and this occurrence, a mistake, changes her life forever.
We move ahead some twenty years where “flash” technology allows individuals the ability to transfer their consciousness into other bodies for specified periods, paid, registered and legal. Now one can “Be anyone with Anyone” the slogan of the company that now offers the ultimate out-of-body experience. Beyond the reach of the law and government regulators is a black market called the “darkshare”, where desperate “vessels” anonymously rent out their bodies, no questions asked for anything including sex, drugs, crime or even worse.
Soule brings together today’s story of the discovery and development of the flash and the story of one woman’s crusade to put an end to the darkness it has caused in the world twenty-five years after its creation. This is speculative fiction that takes us to a world where identity, morality, and technology collide— a vision of a future, we have never expected to see. We look at gender, power, and what it means to be human and this stays with us after we close the covers of the book. The same technology that can lets us cure the problems and woes of the world can take us into a world where selfishness and greed rule.