Neither a utopia nor a dystopia, it's still a world of nations at strife, as dominated by corporations as ever. Technology hasn't made humans nearly obsolete, but rather bettered us, if you will, attaching to our bodies and even brains as enhancementsfor those who can afford it.
Comics artist Shirow Masamune's vision of our coming society, animated to global acclaim and finally the basis of a major Hollywood production, branches out in five original stories by some of the most beloved SF novelists working in Japan today. A standalone collection, it requires no familiarity with the franchise to be enjoyed but is indispensable for fans for its thoughtful exploration of the series' implications.
While reality may never become virtual, it will be increasingly networked and augmented. Navigate herein age-old questions about man that will return, not so ironically, in full force: What is the self? Is there such a thing as the soul?