We knew the audio original story The Original, written by Brandon with Mary Robinette Kowal, would come out September 14th, but we barely heard anything about it, considering it was coming so soon. This changed yesterday and now we have the cover, synopsis, and a sample of The Original.
The story is a collaboration between a company called Mainframe and Recorded Books. Apparently Mainframe is a creation of Brandon and Max Epstein, a friend and creative partner in Hollywood. We'll hear more about Mainframe "soon" but The Original is the "first project." Julia Whelan, an the Audie Award winning narrator, narrates the story. The synopsis is:
In the near future, humans choose life—for a price. Injectable nanite technology is the lifeblood that flows through every individual wishing to experience the world through the lens of their own theme. While death from mortal wounds is still possible, life is made easier in a socially liberated society where automation and income equality allow passion pursuits to flourish over traditional work. Renewal stations are provided to every law-abiding citizen for weekly check-ins, which issue life-sustaining repairs in exchange for personal privacy. But what becomes of those who check out, of those who dare to resist immortality and risk being edited under the gaze of an identity-extracting government surveillance system?
When Holly Winseed wakes up in a hospital room, her first thoughts are of her husband Jonathan. But he isn’t there. And her near-term memory seems… disjointed. A team of government agents wastes no time with pleasantries telling Holly that she is a Provisional Replica, created in the aftermath of her Original’s conviction for murdering their husband Jonathan. Now she has one week to hunt down and kill her Original. If she succeeds, she’ll assume her Original’s life. If she fails, her nanites deplete and she will die. Holly’s progress is monitored by an assigned contact that feeds her information as she confronts the blank, robotic world around her, discovering that others view life through the theme of their own choosing.
With her newly implanted combat and deduction skills, Holly fends off both attacks by terrorists and doubts about her own trustworthiness as clues lead her to her Original – and to the truth about Jonathan. In the end, one body remains and one walks away. Although questions persist, one thing is certain: Life will never be the same.
You can listen to the first chapter of it below!
Edited by Chaos