In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted "death of print" has become a reality. Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language, where he is hard at work on the last edition that will ever be printed. Doug is a staunchly anti-meme, anti-tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used e-mail to communicate - or even actually spoke to one another. One evening, Doug disappears, leaving a single written clue: ALICE - a code word he and Anana devised to signal if one of them ever fell into harm's way.
"Never got into it."
In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted 'death of print' has become a reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers, and magazines are a thing of the past, as we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but have become so intuitive as to hail us taxis before we leave our offices, order takeout at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange.