In a future so distant that time is almost without meaning, death is defeated and immortality has been made reality through instantaneous cloning and synaptic transfer. But mankind, frustrated by the futility of timeless existence, chooses extinction. All but one man.
Far removed from the known universe with only one companion, an AI named Qod, Salem Ben watches the cosmos from afar. Wearied by the endlessly repeating cycle of creation and destruction but afraid to pass beyond the veil, he relives the digitally reproduced lives of countless souls archived in the Soul Consortium by means of a neuroimmersive device known as the WOOM. His hope is to discover the answer to the ultimate question: What lies beyond?
But at the birth of the next universe, billions of years before the pattern of life repeats its design, Salem’s quest takes a disturbing turn. Unexplained aberrations appear among the digital souls. To hunt down their source and to continue his search for evidence of life after death, Salem endures four very different lives: Orson Roth, a serial killer in twentieth-century Britain; Dominique Mancini, a spiritual medium from sixteenth-century Lombardy; Plantagenet Soome, a monk sent to the far distant Castor’s World; and Queen Oluvia Wade, the creator of the Soul Consortium.
As the mystery unfolds, Salem is confronted by a malevolent entity, a being of unknown origin woven into the memories of the dead. Prepared to corrupt the laws of physics themselves in order to break free, the entity threatens the future of humanity before it can begin again—and only Salem stands in its way.