This novel sounds like a fun and fascinating romp, and comes highly recommended by two of my favorite authors (Nancy Kress and Cory Doctorow). Bonus: set in Toronto.
<quote> Afterparty is a new, excellent science fiction novel by Daryl Gregory, about drugs, God, sanity, morals, and organized crime. Its protagonist, Lyda Rose is a disgraced neuroscientist who once helped develop a drug that rewired its users' brains so that they continuously hallucinated the presence of living, embodied Godhead. Now Lyda is in a mental institution, where she is attempting to win over the therapists who oversee her -- as well as the angelic doctor that manifests only in her mind.
It's a Phil Dickian setup, but the setting is a kind of mature next-wave cyberpunk world populated by wired-in spooks (who are also just plain wired on their own tailored neuro-dope); ruthless, dope-peddling microfinance gangsters; ecstatic religious cults subsisting on home-printed tailored God-dope; and an economic backdrop of stark rich/poor divides, all-powerful states, and paranoid ex-special-forces ninjas who fight the world and their own cracked minds.
Gregory is a great plotter, and the story races along like a thriller, but mountains more substance than your typical thriller. From existentialism to theology to neuroethics, Afterparty is part philosophy exercise, part science fiction novel. </quote> - Cory Doctorow [http://boingboing.net/2014/04/22/afterparty-doped-up-technothr.html
<quote> That’s the main question the book asks: if someone invented a drug that made you technically insane, but helped you to be kinder and more connected to your fellow humans, would you take it? And what happens when other people decide they should convert you for your own good?
If you don’t want to wait for the future to get your dose of chemical evangelism, you can always take the long road. Every day, millions of people meditate, pray, sing whirl, and chant, chasing that feeling of the numinous. Whether it’s God (or some other higher power) communicating with them, or whether it’s just the brain fooling them with its own recipe of chemicals, that’s a question that each person—and his or her brain—has to work out for themselves.
As for me, I trust my brain about as far as I can throw it. (Which isn’t far, because skull.) But I think of it as living with a charming sociopath. Some of the stories it tells become more
interesting when you know they’re lies. </quote> - Daryl Gregory, [see complete author description at link below]