A novel by Cory Doctorow
set in the future of the Bitchun Society, which has abolished conventional money (replaced by Whuffie, a complex reputation-based system), scarcity (cheap renewable energy and nano-assemblers), death (brain uploads
and subsequent downloads
to fast-grown clones), and government (entirely ad-hoc structures).
The story chronicles one of a group of adhocrats running The Haunted Mansion at Disney World, trying to solve his own murder after he is killed prior to the hostile takeover of said attraction by another ad-hoc committee.
- Cloning Blues
- Crapsaccharine World: Yes, everyone's effectively immortal and money has disappeared, but half the characters smoke crack to overcome how boring the world is, while a bunch of others have put their minds in storage until something interesting happens.
- Defictionalization: The Whuffie Bank.
- Drugs Are Bad: Averted, since addiction is easily cured and health consequences don't mean much to immortals, there are casual in-passing references to the main character's girlfriend smoking crack.
- Disney Theme Parks: Primarily set in them, particularly a future Magic Kingdom.
- Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity: No one so much as bats an eyelash at the Mayfly-December Romance anymore, since physically nearly everyone has a twenty-something body.
- Human Popsicle: "Deadheading" and Keep-A-Movin' Dan's decision to deadhead until the heat-death of the universe. A different technical implementation of the trope, since the bodies aren't actually on ice, the minds are just sitting in backup to be restored at some future date (as opposed to ASAP). The same issues apply, though. (In particular, would-be deadheaders wonder whether crowded future generations won't just decide to leave them in storage indefinitely.)
- Immortal Life Is Cheap: Taken to extremes, since people in the Bitchun society will evidently deal with a cold by backing up their minds, offing themselves, and resurrecting into a clone. Plus, the main character is murdered by someone who just wants him out of the way temporarily, since they know that killing him will just be an inconvenience.
- Mobstacle Course
- No Fame, No Wealth, No Service: The reputation economic basically behaves like this if your Whuffie is low enough. Since money has apparently disappeared, personal reputation is the only standard to determine who gets served. (You can get free stuff from the automated systems, but not being able to deal with humans is still a pain in the ass.)
- No Paper Future: When the main character's implants are offline, he mentions that he temporarily has to live like a caveman: "surrounded by dead trees and ticking clocks."
- Nothing Left To Do But Die: Keep-A-Movin' Dan
- The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Partially averted, there are some downsides to the Bitchun Revolution. Depending on your philosophical views, immortality by backup might be more Nightmare Fuel than not, but everyone in the book's society who felt that way has simply died off, out-competed by the immortals. The reputation-based currency also stifles some sorts of innovation, as going against the crowd is a sure-fire way to end up impoverished.
- The book also mentions a transitional phase in Bitchun when a group of students declared an adhocratic coup against their university professor over the way the class was run, turning the class into a nonfunctional anarchy.
- Shout Out: Chapter 6 includes the "Snow Crash Spectacular Parade" along with Sushi-K reenacting the journey of Hiro Protagonist.
- Staying Alive: Immortality by backup.
- Suicide Is Painless: And, in the book's world, often very temporary.