About the author
Grace Chan is a speculative fiction writer and psychiatrist. Her writing explores brains, minds, technology, relationships, and identity. Her short fiction can be found in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Going Down Swinging, Aurealis, Andromeda Spaceways, and many other places. She has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards, the Norma K Hemming Award, and Viva la Novella. Her debut novel, Every Version of You, is about staying in love after mind-uploading into virtual reality (Affirm Press, 2022).
About the book
In late twenty-first century Australia, Tao-Yi and her partner Navin spend most of their time inside a hyper-immersive, hyper-consumerist virtual reality called Gaia. They log on, go to work, socialise, and even eat in this digital utopia. Meanwhile their ageing bodies lie suspended in pods inside cramped apartments. Across the city, in the abandoned ‘real’ world, Tao-Yi’s mother remains stubbornly offline, preferring instead to indulge in memories of her life in Malaysia.
When a new technology is developed to permanently upload a human brain to Gaia, Tao-Yi must decide what is most important: a digital future, or an authentic past.
Never Let Me Go meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Murakami surrealism thrown in: this is speculative literary fiction at its best.
This speculative fiction is set in a re-imagined Australia that is culturally rich and actually reflective of real everyday Australians, rather than the generic, watered-down, Neighbours version of our country. There is a true sense of human beings grappling with issues that are universal, but complicated and enriched by their specific backgrounds.
Among a lot of high-stakes speculative fiction produced on this continent, Chan’s portrayal of everyday life in a technopolis is refreshing in its quiet ambition. She taps into issues of the metaverse, illness, and cyborgism to bring these ideas a new significance to our own lives.
“Every Version of You is generous in its propositions; if not hopeful for humankind, it speaks of the indeterminate value of the human soul.” – Megan Cheong, Meanjin
“With an intriguing blend of cli-fi, philosophy of mind and transhumanist themes, Grace Chan’s novel delivers striking science fiction steeped in absurdity and dystopian menace.” – Fiona Capp and Cameron Woodhead, The Age
“Where a lesser novel might set up an existential showdown between the devil we know and the one we don’t, Every Version of You asks us to make peace with the ambiguities within ourselves.” – Alan Vaarwerk, Kill Your Darlings
Listen to Grace Chan on ABC Radio National’s The Book Show
Read an interview with Grace Chan on Liminal
Hear Grace Chan on The Regular Podcast with Words and Nerds