Synopses & Reviews
Once upon a time, there were four of them. And though each was good at a number of things, all of them were very good at games...
Dagmar is a game designer trapped in Jakarta in the middle of a revolution. The city is tearing itself apart around her and she needs to get out.
Her boss Charlie has his own problems -- 4.3 billion of them, to be precise, hidden in an off-shore account.
Austin is the businessman — the VC. He's the one with the plan and the one to keep the geeks in line.
BJ was there from the start, but while Charlie's star rose, BJ sank into the depths of customer service. He pads his hours at the call-center slaying on-line orcs, stealing your loot, and selling it on the internet.
But when one of them is gunned down in a parking lot, the survivors become players in a very different kind of game. Caught between the dangerous worlds of the Russian Mafia and international finance, Dagmar must draw on all her resources — not least millions of online gamers — to track down the killer. In this near-future thriller, Walter Jon Williams weaves a pulse-pounding tale of intrigue, murder, and games where you don't get an extra life.
"Williams (The Rift) weaves intriguing questions about games, gamers and their relationships with real life into this well-paced near-future thriller. Game designer Dagmar specializes in creating 'alternate reality' games that muddle the line between fantasy and reality. Trapped in riot-torn Jakarta, she reaches out to the gamer community for help. Once back in Los Angeles, Dagmar is caught up in a web of murders and financial manipulation that she begins to blend into her latest game, using the community of players to solve clues and sift through large amounts of data. The line between real life and the game blurs as the action builds to a satisfying and thoughtful conclusion. Though the technology talk occasionally becomes intrusive, it's convincingly written; the characters are realistic and absorbing, and the story deeply compelling." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[M]oves beyond cyberpunk into an even nearer future, with all-too-real technologies and all-too-believable possibilities. Sharply drawn characters and sizzling prose make Williams's latest novel essential for all sf collections." Library Journal (starred review)
A novel built around the coolest phenomenon in the world.
That phenomenon is known as the Alternate Reality Game, or ARG. It's big, and it's getting bigger. It's immersive and massively interactive, and it's spreading through the Internet at the speed of light.
To the player, the Alternate Reality Game has no boundaries. You can be standing in a parking lot, or a shopping center. A pay phone near you will ring, and on the other end will be someone demanding information.
You'd better have the information handy.
ARGs combine video, text adventure, radio plays, audio, animation, improvisational theater, graphics, and story into an immersive experience.
Now, one of science fiction's most acclaimed writers, Walter Jon Williams, brings this extraordinary phenomenon to life in a pulse-pounding thriller. This is not a game. This is a novel that will blow your mind.
In this near-future thriller, Williams weaves a pulse-pounding tale of intrigue, murder, and games where players don't get a second chance.
IMAGINE A GAME WITH NO BOUNDARIES - WAITING IN A PARKING LOT, SITTING AT YOUR COMPUTER, WALKING DOWN THE STREET. YOU COULD BE CALLED AT ANY MOMENT - AND YOU'D BETTER BE READY.
THIS IS NOT A GAME.
THIS IS A NOVEL OF GREED, BETRAYAL, AND SOCIAL NETWORKING.
About the Author
Walter Jon Williams has been nominated repeatedly for every major SF award, including Hugo and Nebula Award nominations for his novel City on Fire. His most recent books are The Sundering, The Praxis, Destiny's Way, and The Rift. He lives near Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his wife.