|In the future, one Corporation ("the Corp") will rule America. Religion, reduced to greeting card slogans for the "Godthing," will become an arm of public relations. Food, shelter, and health, will be stressed as an old elite class rises again behind a mask of "universal" opportunity. Wealth will be invested in the production of vaccos: lab-produced (human) "Corporate cadavers," raised on isolated ranches as living sources of organ and tissue transplants. Drugged on numbing "euphorics," vaccos are harvested regularly for a waiting list of patients. One extraordinary vacco, using whatever intelligence has been cloned in him, a valuable "Corp property" known as Hart256043, will escape. At an underground bar specializing in illicit sex and drugs, he meets Edgar Devereaux: successful Corp designer, adopted son of wealthy Joshua Devereaux, member of the Corp Board. But Devereaux has a secret. He was born Chris Turner, a lower-class car thief, hustler, and juvenile delinquent, and he can never shake his roots or a desire to retaste his wild youth. In an atmosphere of tension, violence, and repression, Chris and Hart will bond and discover within each other a compassion and a completeness totally outside "Corp" life. Edgar will reject Joshua's lifestyle, and join with Hart to do anything-including kill-to save the vacco's life. And Hart, one of the most appealing characters to appear in contemporary fiction, will find in Chris Turner the humanity he needs ultimately to survive.