Sura Neelin is on the run from her creditors, from her past, and her father’s murderers. She can’t get a job, she can’t get a place to live, she can’t even walk down the street: the total surveillance society that is mid-21st century America means that every camera and every pair of smart glasses is her enemy.
But Sura might have a chance in the alternate reality of the games. People can disappear in the LARP game worlds, into the alternate economy of Notchcoin and blockchains. The people who build the games also program the surveillance networks—she just needs an introduction, and the skills to play.
Turns out, she has very valuable skills, and some very surprising friends.
On a warm night in June, Sura Neelin walks past the homes where her friends once lived, past her old high school and the corner store where she used to buy Popsicles. She turns down a gravel-surfaced alley canopied...