Silicon Valley in the 2030s is not so different from today, filled with vaguely sexist CEOs, contested inequality politics, and startups that are almost a joke. After she loses her job when her startup folds and loses her home to California’s annual wildfires, Sara joins the latest thing: an unnamed tech giant’s quasi-utopian community, floating above the drowned land that was once Monterey.
Alone on the inside with a thousand mysteriously chosen strangers, Sara is insulated by an all-powerful corporation from the turmoil of crumbling governments and a changing climate. Everyone around her seems incredibly thankful, rescued from gig work and student loans and bad news, but she can’t find her own gratitude. As she learns more about her new home, she begins to see the cracks in its perfect facade. She must choose between surveillance and lies from the anonymous algorithms that protect her or face a vulnerable life outside the system to which she has signed away her next five years. Leaving, she learns, may not even be an option.