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A corporate takeover forces brilliant computer programmer Cory Maddox to look for another job. He accepts a government position too tempting to refuse?to continue the work of the late Matthew Brand, a virtual reality pioneer. After settling into his new environment, Maddox slowly begins to realize that what he has known as "reality" is not what it seems. Veteran sf author Chalker (Shadows of the Well of Souls, LJ 2/15/94) embarks on a new series that explores the boundaries of human identity, space, time, and the nature of reality itself. Chalker once again demonstrates his talents as one of the genre's leading raconteurs. For most sf collections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fresh from a trilogy of episodes in his Well World saga, Chalker quickly inaugurates a new series that explores the mind-bending limits of virtual reality. Cory Maddox is a brilliant programmer for a fledgling computer network company. He is promptly recruited by the National Security Agency when his company suspiciously sells out to a competitor. His new job involves reactivating an aborted virtual reality project pioneered by computer wizard Matthew Brand, whose incorporation of top secret alien technology apparently led to his demise. Checking out the agency's cyberspace realms, Maddox is soon trapped inside a perfect reproduction of base reality with no clear way out or even any certainty that base reality actually exists. Characteristically, Chalker's initially hard-sf premise gives way to increasingly bizarre and sometimes confusing plot developments, including body switching, alien intervention, and alternative universe hopping. Die-hard cyberpunks may want to pass, but Chalker stalkers should be delighted. Carl Hays
I tracked down a copy of this book after reading the comments suggesting that "The Matrix" appropriated some of Chalker's ideas. Read morePublished on May 12 2004
If you are naturally curious, like interesting plot twists and rich environments, then you are going to love this book. Read morePublished on April 18 2004
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. Read morePublished on June 24 1998 by Edna Eudave-Jones
Chalker takes a great premise (and acknowledges Philip Dick for the inspiration) and makes a terrific story from it. Read morePublished on Jan. 31 1998 by John T. Horner
If you enjoy books that make you think, this one will set your gears a-spinnin' at high speed! The premise is wonderful, the characters well-drawn and constantly changing their... Read morePublished on March 6 1997
An engrossing book laced with lunacy that starts off low-key and then slips -- Oops -- through the literary and metaphysical and scientifc (actually, I found the hard-science stuff... Read morePublished on Jan. 4 1997