The brand-new novel from the author of Lucky Bastard and Breathers—“one of today’s very best writers” (Jonathan Maberry).
Does your lifestyle not fit the person inside you? Then try someone else on for size!
Call him whatever. Call him whomever. He can be any legally authorized fictional character or dead celebrity he wants for six to eight hours, simply by injecting a DNA-laced cocktail into his brain stem. It’s called Big Egos and it’s the ultimate role-playing fantasy from Engineering Genetics Organization and Systems (aka EGOS.) And, as one of the quality controllers for EGOS, he’s the ultimate ego-tripper, taking on more artificial identities than advisable—and having a hell of a time doing it. Problem is, he’s starting to lose the ability to separate fact from fiction. His every fantasy is the new reality. And the more roles he plays, the less of him remains. Sure, it’s dangerous. Yes, he’s probably losing his mind. Okay, hundreds of others could be at risk. But sometimes who you are isn’t good enough. And the truth is, reality is so overrated. . . .
With his insightful wit, smart humor, and electrifying narrative, acclaimed author S. G. Browne takes readers on a satirical and provocative trip into the not-too-distant future, where, for some, pretending to be someone you’re not is just another day at the office.
Seductively pleasurable virtual identity-shifting morphs into a nightmare reality in this near-future SF standalone. In a technology-obsessed 2021, both wealthy dilettantes and avid black-market customers can temporarily acquire identities of dead and fictional people through a replicated DNA brew, allowing Browne (Breathers) to juxtapose pairs of unlikely personas for dark comic effect. Browne's unnamed protagonist works in the investigations department of Los Angeles-based EGOS, the bioengineering firm responsible for developing this recreational drug, and he tests newly developed alternate personalities as many as he likes. Browne shifts between his narrator's present, where he attends EGOS parties as Elvis or James Bond, and the man's unpleasant childhood with a cruel father and an ineffectual mother. As people begin to succumb to EGOS's fraudulent euphoria, Browne's narrator loses not only his friends but more and more of his own identity. This is a sobering parable of people who don't want to be themselves in a society that eschews self-examination for critical appraisal of others.