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The Cybernetic Walrus: The Wonderland Gambit: Book One Paperback – Nov 14 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (Nov. 14 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345386906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345386908
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 367 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #234,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on April 18 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are naturally curious, like interesting plot twists and rich environments, then you are going to love this book.

I tend to agree with other reviewers that this work is the inspiration for the movie "The Matrix" and in many ways is a superior work. The ideas in Chalker's work are much more developed than in The Matrix and does a much better job of keeping it's integrity throughout.
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Format: Paperback
Jack L. Chalker's theory of existence was spelled out in Book I, P. 223: "... Sometime, somebody, in a world we otherwise know nothing about but which has to be far more advanced than the one we now knew, built a vast computer for some reason and put tremendous knowledge and capability into it. Something went wrong, or so it seemed. A group, a small group, of people from that original place, that true universe, had come into the system and gotten lost, then trapped, in an ever-increasing series of exquisitely detailed virtual universes.. [Brand] was the only hope of getting everybody together again and back to reality. ..."
Chalker wrote, "All reality is programming. We cannot know the real: we are trapped in an endless series of simulations, all of us, and some, like myself, in simulations within simulations. ...." He uses an IT, a thing, a faceless one or a gray ancient to speak these lines, rather than a flesh and blood character. This device implied a para-programmer, one outside the mind of man. This invented God is in control not only of the author outside the story's pages but in control of all the characters within the pages of the book.
Reality now has a counterpart, virtual reality. The characters, en mass, stare into the mirror of their own minds and realize that they had no measuring rod with which to gauge their own realities. The mind is self reflective. The mind has no outer objective way to measure either its input or output. The characters reveal the dead end of human thought. The fact that the tactile nerves register solidity reveals little regarding production or projection of such solidity. There is no way to distinguish whether the neurons fire due to sensory input rather than from say drugs or computer generated inputs.
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Format: Paperback
I know! Thirteenth Floor wasn't based on this novel (or the series, either), but that movie kept coming to mind as I read the first part of Cybernetic Walrus. Chalker is original and creative in this book, though, and it's much more satisfying than the "What Is Real?" movies out there. A thoroughly enjoyable book, stands as an adventure in its own right, but also beckons the reader on to the rest of the trilogy.
The protagonist, Cory Maddox undergoes plenty of transformation in this story, running through several life "phases" while trying to sort out who to trust. One of the enjoyable features of this series is that the reader is never quite certain who he should trust, either. Often, I found myself wanting to urge Cory & Riki to trust the wrong (in hindsight) characters.
Plenty here for either the SF or fantasy fan. Thoroughly enjoyable--Chalker knows how to entertain while stretching the mind and imagination. Perhaps the worst feature of this book is that the 3rd book of the trilogy is so difficult to obtain.
A solid four-star rating: great fun, but not absolute genius.
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By A Customer on Dec 19 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack Chalker continues his tradition of unique ideas and perspectives in the Wonderland series. What starts out as a classic cyberspace story quickly turns in unexpected directions. This book will definitely get you thinking about the true nature of reality. If you liked the movie, "The Matrix," get this book! The movie stole Chalker's ideas without giving credit, and the book explores the ideas to a greater depth. Too bad Del Rey is so short-sighted and has not reprinted the 3rd book in this series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mr Chalker takes an ongoing presence in the works of the great Phillip K. Dick, and spins the begginigs of a series that will not let any fans down. the nature of reality, in question for the protagonist, as he shuffles from life to life offers a challenging mystery, as to the mystery of our existence, and its ultimate nature. A must read for fans, and worthy of comparisson to the infamous Well World series of books.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chalker takes a great premise (and acknowledges Philip Dick for the inspiration) and makes a terrific story from it. Along the way, the thoughtful reader finds him/herself questioning their perceived reality and considering things in new and different ways. A fascinating side-door introduction into many mystical principles. I've no idea if Chalker intended it so, but that is how it seemed to me. Easy reading considering the non-normal concepts.
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By A Customer on April 15 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chalker always amazes me with his imagination. Much of fantasy/science fiction literature follows familiar established themes with some originality thrown in from time to time. For all of that, it is very entertaining for the most part. It is very hard for a writer to surprise his readers today. To be able to take familiar ideas, put subtle twists on them using current technology, and create something so completely new and entertaining is a true gift and Jack Chalker has it. I can't begin to express the enjoyment his works have given me. This series has to one of his best yet
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