This is the revised second edition of Gary Wolf's first novel, originally published in 2003.
Imagine a society without gender roles, and even without gender itself. This is the emerging reality in the world of the early 2040s.
Harris, a talented but despondent software engineer, spends his free time chasing the latest rage in consciousness-expansion. His mundane life takes an unexpected turn when he lands a high position at the BrainHost company, located at the pinnacle of world culture, the CityTech urban agglomeration.
Harris discovers that in CityTech, romance is being replaced by the “coital matrix,” where every stage of the process is preplanned and engineered. Meanwhile, BrainHost and others are experimenting with the implantation of male and female sexual organs inside the body of a single person, while eliminating all external traces of gender. This self-contained human, the Embracer, is seen by its creators as the panacea of humanity.
Alternately repelled and enticed by the new order, Harris is drawn into the maelstrom. He eventually becomes a leading advocate. But then he must confront a beautiful young woman who aims to sabotage the mighty CityTech…