Inferno is based upon the hell described in Dante's Inferno. However, it adds a modern twist to the story. The story is told in the first person by Allen Carpentier (né Carpenter), an agnostic science fiction writer who died in a failed attempt to entertain his fans at a Science fiction convention party. He is only released, after many decades, from a Djinn-bottle in the Vestibule on the outer edge to Hell when he finally calls upon God for mercy. Upon release he is met by Benito, a Virgil-like figure whose full identity is not immediately apparent. Benito offers to take him out of Hell by bringing him to the center.