Author of Circuit of Heaven
“Danvers’s move to SF is a welcome one.” Washington Post
THE PATH TO ETERNAL LIFE TRAVELS THROUGH CIRCUITRY
In his prophetic masterwork Circuit of Heaven, author Dennis Danvers created the "Bin," a computer-generated paradise into which the vast majority of the world's inhabitants escaped to live forever in virtual bliss. In END OF DAYS, Danvers returns us to this technological Eden—and to the ghost planet, Earth, which humanity abandoned.
Seventy years have passed since an army of religious zealots "destroyed" the Bin. Now, in the rubble of New Jerusalem—the ruined city once called Washington—a young Christian Soldier named Sam has uncovered a prototype housing a single uploaded personality. The release of renegade geneticist Walter Tillman from his hundred-year prison leads Sam to an even more astonishing discovery: the Bin, with its billions of inhabitants—including Tillman's lost lover, Stephanie, who desires the freedom of death—still exists, unbeknownst to the mad messianic leader Gabriel and his Army of the Lord.
But soon Gabriel, too, will learn of the Bin's survival. And as doubts erode Sam's religious fervor, as Tillman strives to reunite with his love, and events on Earth and in virtual Heaven move rapidly toward a violent, inescapable conclusion, the destinies of disembodied and planet-bound souls alike will converge.
And the consequences will be worlds-shattering.
"A worthy sequel to Circuit of Heaven...a thoughtful and consistently entertaining book."—
The New York Times Book Review
As detailed in Circuit of Heaven (1998), to which this novel is a sequel, more than a century ago most of Earth's population abandoned reality to upload onto the Bin, a computer-generated Nirvana of instant gratification created by Newman Rogers. Those outside the Bin were decimated by the Army of God and its fundamentalist leader, Gabriel, who prophesied the "end of days," when the righteous would be rewarded for their faith and sacrifice. When Gabriel dumped a killer virus into the Bin to destroy it, Rogers secretly saved his creation and moved its disembodied souls to a hidden site off-world. Now, despite the Bin's coziness, its inhabitants are increasingly unsatisfied. Donovan Carroll, aka "Dr. Death," links ennui and the increasing suicide rate to the fact that life inside the Bin is meaningless. Meanwhile, Sam, a disillusioned Christian Soldier, has found the hidden prototype for the Bin. Sam tries to keep it secret, if only to protect its sole inhabitant, Walter Tillman, the ugly duckling geneticist unwittingly responsible for the creation of Constructs, clone-slaves since freed. Betrayed by a fellow soldier, Sam teams up with a tough hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold named Laura, who just happens to have a communication link with the Bin, setting in motion a complex plot to reunite old lovers and destroy Gabriel. Danvers raises thoughtful questions about identity and personal responsibility, but the story suffers from overplotting and limited character growth. Attempts at religious allegory collapse under stereotypes--from the evil Gabriel and his minions, opposed by benevolent god-scientist Rogers, to a forced replay of the Nativity. But even so, Danvers is a skilled writer with a good, inventive story to tell.