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The Uploaded

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Life sucks and then you die...

In the near future, the elderly have moved online and now live within the computer network. But that doesn't stop them interfering in the lives of the living, whose sole real purpose now is to maintain the vast servers which support digital Heaven. For one orphan that just isn't enough - he wants more for himself and his sister than a life sl
Paperback, 448 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Angry Robot
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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It is my very great pleasure to have read this!

In fact, because I've been ravenously hungry for everything that Ferrett has written ever since Flux, I practically fell out of my chair after I got accepted by Netgalley to get an Advance Reader Copy. Woo!

That being said, let's get down to the nitty-gritty without spoiling anything, shall we?

The concept is awesome:

Uploaded minds in a VR RPG Heaven, with the dead now far outnumbering the living in this future Earth. Guess who's in charge? It's all a
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I seem to have some sort of built-in resistance to the writing of Ferrett Steinmetz, an auto-immune response that defies explanation. Authors I admire praise him; friends of mine gush about his books. Sadly, I find that I can’t tolerate his fiction for too long without needing to put it down, or disengaging to a degree that makes it hard to retain what I’ve read. There may be a physical allergy as well. I developed a weird rash on my hand while reading The Uploaded that didn’t go away until I wa ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have only myself to blame for this. As I said before, I struggle with YA-Sci Fi but this sounded too intriguing to not pick it up. Also, I have been thinking, I might actually struggle with YA in general - there are brilliant books out there that I enjoy immensely, but more often than not it falls kind of flat for me. Which is a shame because it is such a varied genre with so many brilliant-sounding premises that I do not want to stop reading it completely.

This, again, has a brilliant premise:
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, sci-fi
4.5 Stars:
*minor spoilers ahead*

Imagine if you had undeniable proof of heaven. Imagine if that heaven was tailored exactly to your needs, wants and desires. In this heaven you can spend the rest of eternity doing exactly what you want. You can take on epic quests to defeat naughty knights, slay dragons, or spend your days lounging around the pool doing nothing. Or working your dream job. Or, you know, watching reality TV?

Imagine if you could speak to God once a day. Check in with him. Say "Hey,
11/4 - I picked this up on a whim from the 'new and recently returned' shelf at the library. I had never heard of the author or any of his books. I admit, I probably should have read the blurb more attentively, if I had I may not have decided to read it. When I realised that Amichai was a teenager I was a bit surprised as I hadn't connected the descriptor 'orphan' with the fact that he was only 15. Unfortunately I felt Amichai's behaviour in the first 110 pages was totally unbelievable and it wa ...more
Megan Baxter
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've read Ferrett Steinmetz's blog for several years and follow him on twitter, and have always enjoyed his writing in those formats. Knowing that he'd published a few books, it was always in the back of my mind that I should read them, but they hadn't popped up on any of my lists, and I so rarely buy books that unless our library gets a lot better at getting science fiction beyond the big releases, it wasn't going to come up by accident.

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
The nitty-gritty: A fast-paced, frantic glimpse into the future that left me more puzzled than exhilarated, The Uploaded is one wild ride.

Little Venice’s streets were hip-deep in spillover from the Atlantic Ocean, a thick muck choked with the Bubbler’s stink and liquefied corpses and rotting seaweed--a dead town that swallowed bodies and vomited out glutinous sickness. You could see dead men’s bones fused to old shop windows, all engulfed in creeping mutant coral like yello

Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
For Amichai and the rest of his world, it isn't this life that matters, but the Upterlife. In Steinmetz' near-future portrayal, the world has been transformed by a technology that uploads the minds of the dead into an eternal afterlife of quests and games and challenges and happiness. The living--those not wiped out by epidemics, plagues, and decreased life expectancy-- do the drudgework necessary to maintain the server farms while dreaming of their deaths and their Upterlives. Amichai has grown ...more
Jeff Raymond
I’ve been keeping up with Ferrett Steinmetz for over 15 years on various internet platforms, and I’ve been jumping at the chance to read his books ever since he got an agent and was able to publish traditionally. His Flex series is a solid read across three books, and perhaps should have gotten more attention than they ended up receiving, but The Uploaded is Steinmetz’s shot at techno-dystopia. It… doesn’t always work.

Effectively, imagine if, instead of Social Security, the older folks moved th
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it

Publisher: Angry Robot

Publishing Date: September 2017

ISBN: 9780857667175

Genre: SciFi/Dystopian

Rating: 4.3/5

Publishers Description: In the near future, the elderly have moved online and now live within the computer network. But that doesn’t stop them interfering in the lives of the living, whose sole real purpose now is to maintain the vast servers which support digital Heaven. For one orphan that just isn’t enough – he wants more for himself and his sister
In a world riddled by disaster, a teen with a pony finds a way to rid the shackles of the dead to breathe life back into the living.

The Uploaded, set in a distant future, sees the surviving populace serve as little more than slaves to actual ghosts in machines. The dead don't really die in this new world, rather, their living memories and sense of self are uploaded into a vast and wondrous server which renders their death irrelevant unless they are one of the few unlucky ones who have been judg
Therin Knite
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'll be the first to admit I don't read a lot of YA these days, largely due to the gross overuse of a small handful of tropes, but this book caught my eye on NetGalley due to its cool sci-fi premise, so I thought I would give it a try.

My mistake.

Firstly, let's get what I DID like out of the way:

The setup of this story was indeed as cool as the premise suggested. In the future, the dead have their minds uploaded into a vast network known as the Upterlife, which gives you endless possibilities to
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley

*I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

The Uploaded is a science fiction thriller set in a world where the technology has been developed to upload a persons brain after they die to a program called 'The Upterlife.' There you can live out the rest of eternity in your own idea of paradise-providing you l follow the rules and spend your mortal live serving the dead and maintaining the servers. Amichai wants a better life for him and his sister, left alone on Earth after

Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I don't read dystopian, as a rule, and it's a pretty firm rule. Nor do I generally like books with a high body count. But by the time I discovered that this book is both of those things, I'd been charmed by the voice of its viewpoint character. I finished it and even enjoyed it, despite the fact that it's not the sort of thing I usually like.

It's told from the flipside of the "Rapture of the Nerds," the technological advance that enables personalities to be uploaded. The conscious dead outnumbe
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Life sucks, and then you die. And, if you've been good enough, your mind gets uploaded to the Upterlife, a virtual paradise, and all your rights go on. By the the time Amichai's parents both die from a viral outbreak, the dead vastly outnumber the living, and most people work to support them, keeping the servers they'll need for their own future afterlives up and running, and just hoping to finally graduate from a life of drudgery into centuries of paradise. But Amichai's always been a troublema ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cyberpunk fans
Anyone who says cyberpunk is dead has been living under a rock. Not only is cyberpunk alive and kicking, but this book does exactly what true cyberpunk is meant to; takes current technology and shows us what dark or insane paths it might lead us down. (Don't get me wrong, I love genre throwbacks; but in order for a genre to stay alive, someone has to keep pushing it forward.)

This book was a page-turner, start to finish. The story moved quickly, the world building was well done without infodumps,
Michael Tildsley
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I can't say enough good things about this book. Loved the premise, liked a lot of the characters, loved the pacing and the flow of action and dialogue. Nothing felt forced and everything rolled out in near cinematic fashion. I could barely put the darn thing down.

I had actually toyed with doing a similar concept myself for this year's NANOWRIMO. I might shelf my own idea for a year or two so that it doesn't morph too much into this book. I have three other novels to work on in the mean time...

Annu Marie Gu
The concept of uploading human consciousness to an "afterlife" MMORPG is what drew me to read this and I wasn't disappointed. I really sunk deep into a decaying, coral-laden New York after the bubbler took a chunk out of the population. The plot was both interesting and surprising with lots of action. The villain wasn't too surprising, but lacked depth for me. Just your typical bully. But I did appreciate the struggle to resolve the power balance between the dead and the living when no one truly ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
A really awesome techno-thriller dystopian idea, but I couldn't help but feel it was muddied be some messy boyish YA storytelling. The details are so cool and yet it all comes back to "everyone loves Amichai". Which, if you don't, makes it possible less enjoyable a read.

Imagine a world where the dead outnumber the living by uploading their consciousnesses post-death to the Upterlife and "living" whatever dream they fancy while still interfering with the living. Amichai and his sister Izzy were l
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, august-2017, arc
(Review originally appears at Speculative Chic:

The question of what happens when a person dies has been grappled with for as long as humanity has existed. Is there a heaven? A sort of paradise that waits for us after we close our eyes for the last time? Is there eternal punishment awaiting those who did not meet whatever criteria that the paradise demanded? What if there was a way to be sure that you would automatically awaken in that fabled paradise? In
S.J. Higbee
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This dystopian, YA science fiction near-future adventure explores a premise that I’ve recently come across in other books – Reaper by Janet Edwards and The Real-Town Murders by Adam Roberts – whereby people are spending more time in a virtual reality at the expense of our organic, real-time world. There are differences, of course, and Steinmetz has the dead uploaded into a virtual Heaven, which sounds a great idea.

However, the dead are still in charge of governing and over time they out-vote the
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.5 of 5

I had read Ferrett Steinmetz's 'Mancer' series and despite rave reviews by so many, I could never quite see what the fuss was all about. Reading the slug line for this book I thought the concept sounded really interesting so I thought I'd give Steinmetz another go.

The concept: In the not-too-distant future, as more and more people are connected on-line someone has created a virtual heaven so popular that people are dying
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ferrett obvously thinks that "post-young-adults" are more sophisticated than they actually are. I presume that is the demographic being aimed for, the self-identifying entitled Generation XXYY, well, the tiny minority of them that can be assed to read about four hundred pages of libertarian polemic fantasy.

Or perhaps I am an old fart with a dismissive attitude to the most recent generation to invent sex and relationship problems, and who publicly demonstrate an exaggerated concern for the conseq
Kari Rhiannon (Moon Magister Reviews)
4 stars

In the near future, the elderly have moved online and now live within the computer network. But that doesn’t stop them interfering in the lives of the living, whose sole real purpose now is to maintain the vast servers which support digital Heaven. For one orphan that just isn’t enough – he wants more for himself and his sister than a life slaving away for the dead. It turns out that he’s not the only one who wants to reset the world…

‘The Uploaded’ is a dark book. I’m going to give you
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
For such an interesting idea, I just didn't end up really liking this book at all. A dystopian tyranny of the virtual dead seems like such a good setting, but I never ended up engaging with the story being told. It's hard to nail down exactly why -- some of the dialogue was repeatedly clunky, and I'm not sure I ever believed any of the politics would actually happen as described. I think the largest part was that I never connected with the main character, though: A brilliant (supposedly?) hacker ...more
Jennifer Jamieson
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amichai Damrosch just wanted to keep his sister comfortable while they were alive, and prepare for their life after death. It's hard when the dead see all your memories once a day and vote on whether or not you can join them in the digital afterlife. Makes living that much harder.

The Upterlife was created so that people wouldn't be lost after death--their memories and consciousness could be uploaded to live on indefinitely. The problem is--the dead have more voters, so most of the resources and
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ferrett always puts so much of himself into his writing. There are plenty of cringey neologisms pointed out by other reviewers, but those are things the author would say. The love triangle is navigated the way the author might navigate it, and the deference to the religious cult comes from respect born from his own religious faith. I wondered if Evangeline's doctrine is what Steinmetz subscribes to himself.

Sometimes, those personal flourishes weaken the book, especially for readers without the
Susanna Parker
I have got to say, Ferrett Steinmetz's strongest talent has got to be his incredible world-building. His 'Mancer trilogy created an entire system of magic usage and the consequences thereof that you just wanted to immerse yourself in. I don't know that you'd want to live in the world The Uploaded introduces you to, but it certainly feels real and thoroughly fleshed out. Even as slang and jargon are thrown about, Steinmetz does it in such a way that it never feels jarring, and you don't need a gl ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
I’m not naturally a huge cyberpunk fan; I’ve gotten less and less enthralled with YA and first person POV (only a decade or so after the calendar would suggest I ought to have); and I’m kind of picky about Ferrett Steinmetz’s fiction. When I love it (Saurkraut Station, Flex, and Fix) I bolt through it; when I don’t... I can’t stop tripping over things like the manic speed of the plots, the raw edges (sometimes macabre elements; sometimes unlikeable/ugly elements of characters); the degree to whi ...more
Anthony Eichenlaub
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Uploaded packs great ideas in amongst piles of action and character. The premise that we can upload minds to a computer works out about as well as I would expect, resulting in a whole lot of dead people having a whole lot of ideas about how we should live.

It's an interesting analogy to religion, as the world turns to a strange sort of ancestor worship. I really appreciate how religion is handled in this book, and there are a lot of interesting thoughts here.

But really, the characters are wha
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After twenty years of wandering desolate as a writer, Ferrett Steinmetz attended the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop in 2008 and was rejuvenated. Since then, he's sold stories to Asimov's Science Fiction (twice!), Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, among others, and otherwise has a marvelous collection of very personalized rejection l ...more

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