This story is definitely sci-fi and will capture the imagination of anyone who plays virtual games. The ethical questions are brought to light……should man blend with computer and become a virtual being? And, addictions like becoming addicted to virtual worlds are common place. The world that is described sounds possible and perhaps on our own future. Divided into two parts, you will follow Raymond’s life and the choices he makes. Each builds on the previous one until he feels he’s out of choices. While I enjoyed the first section better than the second, each provides a unique perspective and while entertaining also gives the reader things to think about. How far is too far? And, what makes a person human?

This is a debut novel and Mark McClelland nails it. He shows great promise in this realm. This story is unique and definitely interesting. He is able to make his characters real and very believable. The world that is the setting comes across as perfect. Excellent work.

Raymond has grown up in state run group homes. His mother lives in an addicts rehab center and his father left years ago. Raymond never feels as if he fits in anywhere so turns to virtual world but unlike his mother, he doesn’t become addicted to them but makes them into worlds that he can manipulate. Eventually, Raymond gets a job working for an older man and access to money for the first time. When the man dies, Raymond hides his death allowing him to continue to use his money eventually finding a position doing experimental uploading of real animals into virtual worlds. About the time Raymond finds his first girlfriend, his past catches up with him. Now, where to turn?

Book Blurb for Upload

His criminal past catching up with him, a troubled young man seeks escape into digital utopia by uploading his consciousness into a computer -- just as first love casts his life in a new light. In this thrilling near-future science-fiction novel, Mark McClelland explores the immense potential of computer-based consciousness and the philosophical perils of simulated society.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2014 4.50