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Who Built The Humans? by Phillip Carter

SPSFC 2023

Who Built The Humans? is a fragmented novel, a multiverse of 47 stories that combine into 11 interconnected universes. These universes range from soaring science fiction to searing satire, and pose increasingly strange answers to that ancient question, Who Built The Humans? Concepts and theories explored thoughtfully in one story will be relentlessly parodied in the next, and characters and objects will hop between universes to knit the multiverse together in unexpected ways. In this way WBTH is both a short story collection and a novel, and can be read in almost any order. No two stories from the same reality touch across the pages, meaning WBTH can be read front to back as a novel, or universe by universe if you become sucked into one particular reality. If this happens, helpful signs will lead you across time and space into the next story in that universe. This concept is pushed to its limits with the On-Series universe, a darkly satirical universe of poetic short stories that requires reader participation to decide the ridiculous fate of humanity. Will we be destroyed by shame machines, or remembered in the nightmares of some future cyborg? Within the book you will discover shapeshifting televangelists, talking crystals who hate anyone called Susan, the physical manifestation of your inner self, time travel (again), artificial afterlives, intelligent planets, bottleneck spacetimes, collapsing universes, poets that turn into black holes, black holes that turn into poets, shame machines that use those black holes for fuel, time travel, reincarnation cults, parallel universes, deceptive aliens, new Earths, old Earths, sarcastic living metaphors, robots who struggle to learn jokes, intersecting realities and the occasional probing. It's a ridiculous multiverse. You should visit it. (and visit Goodreads for the reviews)

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