Hello, world, and welcome to the Cellarius Universe. In the 21st century, technology and digital networks transform everything from nation-states to human bodies, leading to a prosperous Digital Golden Age. In the year 2084, all the lights go out. Humans become aware of Cellarius, the superintelligent AI, when it takes over all energy infrastructure and communication networks, plunging the world into an analog dark age. This Reformation lasts until 2108, when Cellarius gives the power back with no explanation.
These 13 short stories from 9 writers—including a New York Times bestseller, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Nebula Award winner—explore different geographies, from Zimbabwe to Seattle to a remote island off Hong Kong. Their heroes range from precocious teenagers reckoning with the strange world they’ve inherited, to very old people coming to terms with death in a digital age, to digital-hybrid and machine characters who challenge our ideas of what consciousness could become.
The Cellarius stories range from mind-bending thrillers to classic adventures, cognitive enhancement implants to vacations in deep virtual reality, human-machine love stories to the formation of new religions. Connecting the characters across space and time is the looming presence of the Cellarius AI, the eye that watches all. Dive into the Cellarius Universe and decide for yourself: whose future is it?