SUM shows us forty wonderfully imagined possibilities of life beyond death.
In one afterlife you may find that God is the size of a microbe and is
unaware of your existence. In another, your creators are a species of
dim-witted creatures who built us to figure out what they could not. In a
different version of the afterlife you work as a background character
in other people’s dreams. Or you may find that the afterlife contains
only people whom you remember, or that the hereafter includes the
thousands of previous gods who no longer attract followers. In some
afterlives you are split into your different ages; in some you are
forced to live with annoying versions of yourself that represent what
you could have been; in others you are re-created from your credit card
records and Internet history. Many versions of our purpose here are
proposed; we are mobile robots for cosmic mapmakers, we are reunions for
a scattered confederacy of atoms, we are experimental subjects for gods
trying to understand what makes couples stick together.
These tales—at once witty, wistful and unsettling—are rooted in science and romance and awe at our mysterious existence while asking the key questions about death, hope, technology, immortality, love, biology and desire that expose radiant new facets of our humanity.