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I’m looking for what I think is a reasonably modern science-fiction story that seems to be centred on a network of computers that always lies or gives a wrong answer.

I only read the first chapter, which was about an accidental broadcast that results in a man having a dream where he is a rat. He seems to figure out though that actually this rat exists somewhere and it isn’t a dream. Somehow his mind is being transferred into that of a rat which is collecting supplies.

Edit 1:

I initially thought it was a William Gibson book, but after checking all of the summaries I can find online they don’t match up. Seemed to be that sort of science-fiction though.

It appeared to have been published quite recently (last 5 years) but that may have been a rebinding/rerelease so I can’t confirm that.

Additional details: Like I said, unfortunately I only read the first chapter, but within that there is: - A network or machine that for some reason can only tell lies or give wrong information. - A broadcast goes wrong, the network looks to see what it was but it doesn’t seem important so it ignores it. - The guy who has dreams he’s a rat thinks about them while shaving in the morning.

I picked it up to flick through in a UK bookshop (WHSmith), so may well be British Sci-Fi.

  • How does the rat relate to the AI that always lies? – Valorum Dec 30 '18 at 20:34
  • Very good question, not entirely sure. I think it was to do with a broadcast from the network/AI that went wrong. I remember the network looking for a problem but not being able to find it. – Freddie R Dec 30 '18 at 20:36
  • Hi there! That's some info already but could you please take a look at these guidelines, see if they trigger any more memories you could edit in? Most importantly - when would that have been published? ("reasonably modern" varies so much depnding on who's askin' ;) ) – Jenayah Dec 30 '18 at 20:38
  • This question would be improved by going through the checklists here; How to ask a good story-ID question? – Valorum Dec 30 '18 at 20:40
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After physically returning to the bookshop, I found that this book was called "Lies, Inc.". It's a Philip K. Dick novel originally published under the name "The Unteleported Man".

The story details a man, Rachmael ben Applebaum, whose spaceship company goes bust after teleportation is invented. There exists a supposedly edenic colony by the name of "Whale's Mouth", where you can be teleported but aren't allowed to come back. Believing this to be fake, Rachmael decides to set out and find it without using the teleportation technology.

"Lies, Inc." differs from "The Unteleported Man" in that it has an additional middle section that explicitly details the result of an acid-trip after being hit with an LSD dart. This was cut from the original version but put back in when the book was republished.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unteleported_Man

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    Nice! Don't forget to self-accept your own answer, and it'd also be great if you could flesh that answer out a bit, by including a summary or quiotes. cheers :) – Jenayah Feb 8 at 20:14
  • Like I said, unfortunately I only read the beginning of the book, which seems vastly different to the rest of it (undertandable no one was able to answer then). I'm not sure how useful expanding my answer will be given my limited description of the book initially. – Freddie R Feb 8 at 20:20
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    It'd be useful for future readers/people searching for the same thing to have an explanation of what didn't match, actually. Remembering wrong happens and it's totally fine! In this case, providing more details will help people who might misremember as you did to check if that was the one they had in mind :D – Jenayah Feb 8 at 20:23

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