In Charles Scheffield's excellent novel, THE NIMROD HUNT, micro-miniaturized man-shaped mechanoids battle live spiders and warrior ants. The human controllers become immersed in attacks on nests or anthills via telepresence. The electronic sensorium provided by the mechanoids' sophisticated sensors temporarilly replaces normal human senses.
In BUG PARK, James P. Hogan updates the same idea to create a futuristic amusement park game. People battle insects by putting their controlling 'consciousness' inside tiny bug-sized, man-shaped "mecs". When a mec is seriously damaged or rendered inoperable by an ant, the human operating that mec is unceremoniously thrown out of the game for "dying."
Hogan uses DNC, direct neural coupling, a technology yet to be invented, to pull this off. DNC shuts down our normal senses and replaces them with sensory input from the mecs. DNC allows Eric Heber, one of the teenage protagonists, to control the movements of the "Taki" mec as if its limbs were his own.
I have been an avid reader of James P. Hogan's works since his classic first novel, INHERIT THE STARS. Even though BUG PARK is a juvenile novel, the science and technology are as fully explained as anyone would ever want and most adults will also enjoy this book,
Readers will love the rapid, breath-taking pace of BUG PARK. Indeed, I can easily see how this novel could become a major blockbuster motion picture with its exciting mix of cutting-ege technology, kids in peril and corporate corruption.
(Are you listening DISNEY Corp.?)