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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  155 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
His criminal past catching up with him, a troubled young man seeks escape into digital utopia by uploading his consciousness into a computer -- just as first love casts his life in a new light. In this thrilling near-future science-fiction novel, Mark McClelland explores the immense potential of computer-based consciousness and the philosophical perils of simulated society ...more
Paperback, First print edition, 279 pages
Published October 24th 2012 by Mark McClelland (first published September 18th 2012)
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Jim Grisham
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of Upload by Mark McClelland

By Jim Grisham; Saturday, November 10, 2012

Upload by Mark McClelland is a complex and thought-provoking, yet accessible foray into the life of a brilliant but troubled young man, Raymond Quan, and his quest to escape from a world that has done little to inspire loyalty in the orphaned engineer.

It almost troubles me to call this a story of science fiction – it begins about fifty years from today, but the subject matter seems entirely plausible and may be mirrore
R.S. Carter
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
WOW. I LOVED this book. There are so many sides to this book that I could attempt to tackle. But my brain is exhausted from this read. Upload would be a premium selection for any scifi book club.

First there is the issue of ethics. If you could upload a consciousness into virtual reality while simultaneously destroying the physical body, should it be allowed? What if the body was going to die anyhow?

The main character in this novel is a loner. An introverted genius who has joined the Upload proje
Hazen Wardle
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash and Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon, Upload is fast paced and full of action, a story-noire set in a not too distant dystopian society.
Have you ever had a problem you wish you could run away from in hopes that it would just go away? Raymond finds himself in a situation where he not only wants to run from his myriad of problems, but he has also devised a way in which he can just ‘disappear’ and leave everything—and everyone— far behind.
As a young boy, he was
Melissa Yen
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed Upload, Mark McClelland’s first novel. In fact, I think I will read it again. There was so much to absorb. Mark painted a vivid picture of life in another world. There were so many details, so many things happening, and so many layers. I could picture Nurania, I could feel the humidity, I could taste the yolos, and I could hear Scorpio whispering in my ear.
Upload is hard to pin down. Yes, it is science fiction, but it is so much more complicated than that. It is a great way
Monica Oclander
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Siamese didn't like it. This book is well written, tight, intriguing, holding one's attention to the point of letting a poor, elderly Siamese lose a night of comfortable sleep.
An inventive plot about a young loner, a not-anywhere-near-perfect protagonist with a facility for computers and a dream and method for eternity within them. Upload crosses computer, social and neurosciences, theology, science fiction and love in a way that left this reader wanting more from this writer.
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This book had me riveted from beginning to end. In Upload, Mark McClelland does what the best science fiction does. He gives the reader an intriguing world in which to consider the big questions, but doesn't try to answer them directly. Through the main character, Raymond, we explore consciousness and conscience, identity and agency, reality and virtuality. Exquisitely well written and edited, this is a book I'll come back to again.
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A satisfying blend of hard science fiction and film noir, Upload explores the ramifications of virtual existence against a backdrop of precarious relationships and impending retribution, while building toward a thrilling final act. It made me ponder whether utopia can be found, or dystopia can be avoided, when one has full control of their domain.
Richard Bunning
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Upload grabbed my attention early on and wouldn’t let go. Having teenage children, in a society where all YAs seem to live half-way towards the world of McClelland’s main character Raymond, I had no trouble in seeing this as a very near future story. This science fiction contains plenty of technology, but it is anchored firmly in speculative and metaphysical science fiction arenas.
Technology has just arrived at the point when human mental complexity, brain memory and an accurate digital physical
Katherine Coble
This is one of those books that I really enjoyed in spite of the antihero.

I'm a sucker for alternative reality stories, even more so for well-done dystopia tales.

The dystopia in _Upload_ owes a large debt to _Ready Player One_, with societies addicted to hiding from Reality by retreating into virtual spaces.

More than that, there were quite a few parts of the story which reminded me of Philip K. Dick; it's been awhile since any Sci Fi writer I've read has had that kind of skill, and it is a ra
Deanna at The Book Lover's Attic
This book reminded me of a mix between Total Recall and Tron. Our antihero, Raymond is not totally unlikeable. Naturally the crime that he committed had me scratching my head at his decisions, but I also found myself having a degree of sympathy for him.

McClelland's ability to describe not only the technical scenes, but the the many layers of the "created" worlds was exemplary. I am glad that he not only included the flowers and beautiful aspects that one would hope to see in a fantasy world, but
Eric Hamilton
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mark and I used to work on the same software-development team. I have to say, I wasn't sure what to expect when I started Upload; no idea about his writing style or ability, and whether he could pull this off. The first chapter or so I still had that bias... a quarter of the way into the book I was sold - the line between Mark the guy I worked with and the story I was immersed in were gone. Halfway in and I couldn't put it down; I spent most of yesterday finishing the book and when it was over I ...more
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without spoiling too much, I’ll keep this review as general as possible: READ THIS BOOK! It has many themes on many levels, but from an overarching perspective, the author does a magnificent job of shifting the boundary from where science fiction ends and reality begins. Much like Orwell’s vision of Big Brother’s role in society in 1984 (albeit, he was off by ~25 years), this author’s vision of what reality will be in 50+ years is incredibly believable….and frightening. While some of the charact ...more
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Upload" is, in my opinion, a great example of the best style of science fiction: the kind that uses futuristic gadgetry and other worlds to teach us something about our inner selves; to reach us in a way we generally don't appreciate when stark reality isn't couched in fascinating layers of alternate-universe story. I loved the plot and the theme, and felt the anti-hero was worth the emotional investment. I'm already looking forward to reading about the first human brain upload in a science mag ...more
Rebecca Skane

If you could be free of physical limitations and upload your consciousness into a virtual reality, becoming the god of your own domain - would you? Full review: Upload Book Review
Drew Burlingame
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My wife and I enjoyed reading this aloud to each other. The author has created an interesting world with a great blend of not-too-far-in-the-future technologies. From the start, I felt I understood Raymond's plight and motivations. Great twists at the end left me waiting for a sequel.
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting, mind-bending read. Virtual reality becomes reader reality as one is drawn in by the author's deftly spun tale of intrigue in cyberspace. Age old themes of murder, lust and love meet science fiction and leave the reader eager for a deeper look into this futuristic world.

Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Awesome sci-fi, cyberpunk, dystopian novel. This ranks up there with Ready Player One.
John L
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Upload by Mark McClelland is a great piece of science fiction.

The main thing that struck me was how smart this book was. Mr. McClelland uses his background in computer science and software deftly making the main character Raymond's prowess all the more feasible. The story made me see why there were connections being made to Ready Player One, but in the end it felt like a much more mature and serious version.

The book is cut into two parts, and they had very different feels while keeping the same
Interesting and Confusing

I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I was a little bored with the first half and although I'm pretty good with technology, some of the computer stuff was over my head. The second half, after Raymond uploaded, was more interesting and it kept my attention. The story was well imagined and well detailed. Some of the situations were chilling, as they seem plausible in the not do distant future. I was disappointed at the ending as I wanted more of a conclusion.
David Gill
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the coolest reading discoveries I have ever made. Intriguing and thought-provoking to the point that I am still thinking about it weeks later, but also hard to put down, cover to cover. McClelland's first novel feels like an inspired brainchild that must have been long in the planning and writing. I can't wait for his next one! If you like reading, do yourself a favor and get this book. It doesn't matter what genres you like, this one will please you no matter your tastes!
Ryan Price
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had such a good time reading Upload! I found the story to be immediately engaging and appreciate how clearly I was brought into the various digital landscapes. The whole story was captivating with some wonderful twists at the end. I've already passed the book along to a number of friends and hope more pick it up on my recommendation.
Matt Roberson
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-hardcopy
I got this book as a Goodreads First Reads. Which was awesome to begin with, but then I read it... Wow. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. While the story is complete, the end left me hanging and I hope there is more.
Dec 10, 2013 marked it as to-read
Gabe Waggoner
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Conceptually cool but uneven in execution

I love reading about anything relating to the Singularity or uploading of the human brain. The book's concept fascinated me, and for a while the story did, too. But the writing started to feel forced and hollow, with a lot of circuitous pathways. I was ready for it to be over before I got to the end, though I don't regret reading it. A good first try that probably could have used more developmental and substantive editing.
Sean Randall
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bending and twisting genres to suit, this was a creative, well-paced and very readable story. Things crazily intensified after virtualisation and I'm afraid I almost lost track of who was who, the ending, though well-formed in the sense of ending the story, left me a little bereft! Overall, a solid VR read. I'd come back for more.
Ponsius Odaga
Missed its true goal

There were a lot of missed opportunities in this narrative to make a tighter weave of characters and events. This could have been a great coming of age crime novel.

Also the writing of women was purely from the role of caregiver/servant/manic pixie dream girl. The rest of the cast was there to.fill their one note.
Nov 16, 2013 rated it liked it
In Upload by Mark McClelland, the main character, Raymond, is a teenager living in a group home in 2060. He has a job working for a wealthy 85 year old man, Nicholas Tate, who had made his money through insider trading tech stocks. Tate, like many people, spends most of his time in a V Chamber, living in a virtual world of his own creation. Some people, like Raymond's father, become so V addicted, that they can't live life in the real world. Most people have a virtual presence, but still live a ...more
Shawn Remfrey
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is really tricky to review. It's separated into two portions. The first portion I found dry and dull. I had to force myself to continue reading it for two full weeks before I finished it. I wasn't interested in any of the characters or what was going on with them. I'll admit a little fascination with the technical part of the world and the projects they're working on. It's easy to see their world and imagine we'll be there in a matter of years.

But, here's the tricky part. Once I reac
Mar 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping this would be an interesting transhuman singularity story however the main premise is flawed to distraction and so I couldn't finish. McClelland uses the term 'upload' where he should in fact say 'copy' or 'virtualize'. Here is an excerpt:

"Human upload may be put off until we figure out how to scan a mind without harming it. But I don't think so. What we're creating is a powerful life-saving technology, not one that kills. There are just too many people who don't want to die."

This j
Bennett Gavrish
Mar 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Grade: B

L/C Ratio: 20% Literary / 80% Commercial

Thematic Breakdown:
30% - Virtual reality
25% - Romantic love
15% - Computer science
15% - Fantasy worlds
10% - Sociology
5% - Heist adventure

Addictiveness: Medium
Movie Potential: 1 Thumb Up
Re-readability: Low

In Upload, Mark McClelland depicts a futuristic America in which technology has radially altered communication, transportation, and every other facet of human life. The novel explores one man's desire to escape from the real world into the virtual
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Mark McClelland studied Computer Science and Creative Writing at the University of Michigan's Residential College, where he won a Hopwood Award for poetry. After graduating in 1994, he promptly sold his soul to his software career, and recently entered into a contractual obligation to a Karma Faerie with the hope of winning it back. He writes in search of truths that defy simple, direct expression ...more
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