Rim: A Novel of Virtual Reality Paperback – Sep 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Journalist/editor Besher's first novel, falling somewhere among cyberpunk, Douglas Adams and "Buckaroo Banzai," has all the normal faults of amateurism and invents some of its own. Frank Gobi, professor of "transcultural corporate anthropology and organizational shamanism," a former "consciousness detective," is called in when Satori City, or "Virtualopolis," an online burg the size of Manhattan, crashes, stranding thousands of users, including Gobi's teenage son, Trevor. Behind the crash are the shenanigans of two Japanese megacorporations struggling over a Tibetan program, "Tantrix," that could make all of reality virtual. Gobi enters into virtuality to triumph over a virus that takes the form of Tibetan zombies and make the world safe for unreality. Along the way are irritating shifts in point of view, seemingly important characters who vanish, characters-including Gobi-who remain blanks, forced exposition, stilted dialogue, cliches, addled construction, and adolescent sexism. Frequent jokey uses of religious/mystical concepts, while sometimes adroit, are more often sheer gibberish. Besher has not given us a world in which mystical powers and high-tech/cyberscience can co-exist, never mind interact, and there is no internal logic here; Gobi does one impossible thing after another. Besher is clever, but this garbled, maladroit fiction remains a virtual novel at best.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
A savage corporate war results in the crash of the world's largest recreational virtual reality environment, stranding thousands of users in neural limbo. Dr. Frank Gobi, an experimenter on the fringe of psychic downloading, races against time to track down a rogue CEO and restore the system before the minds of those trapped inside are lost beyond recall. The author of The Pacific Rim Almanac (LJ 6/1/91) has envisioned a 21st century that will be born from the pairing of technological advances with Eastern mysticism. Sparkling prose, inventive plotting, and an engagingly self-deprecatory hero combine to produce a compelling sf thriller of the next century. A strong addition to sf collections.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
However, the writing is absolutely, Bulwer-Lytton contest awful.
Some examples: "His hands caressed the globes of her derriere," "Their feet touched, and they smiled," "His finger traced the slippery third rail of her shaven..." well, you get the idea.
Besher has no ear for dialog, and the prose is what you would expect from a senior high school student in the first week of creative writing.
Mr. Besher, you have a lot of promise. Please, take a year to practice writing with a good teacher. Your stories will benefit greatly, and your readers will be able to experience your ideas more clearly and pleasantly.
For readers who would like similar stories, but with better writing, check out Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson or almost anything from William Gibson.
This is not a great example. The plot-idea is that part of the VR world is in danger of crashing and taking a lot of people with it (including the main character's son). But the book seems to start off slowly, some parts don't seem to make sense or click into place till you're halfway thru and tons of the novel seems to be tencho-babble. In fact, some parts seem to be just plain made up on the spot. I know reviewers sometimes say that, but in this case I mean it. It has sci-fi stuff and, yes, Japanese businessmen and gangsters and VR and drugs and space stations - I'm sure William Gibson would be very proud. But I happen to NOT like Mr. Gibson's style (and his work at least had some logic to it).
Add Chi and zombies and a main character who can do anything (and get the girls) and it seems more like the wishful thinking of a 90's geek high on Jolt or no-doze.
What scares me is he wrote a series of this books!
being extremely disappointed by it at the time.
As cyber-fiction goes it was average, but the
most lasting impression (on me anyway) was the
poor quality of the writing. I seem to remember having to put it down several times as a result of
some extremely prosaic or downright cliched
Now, if I had to say something positive to conclude, it would have to be "Read Excession by
Iain M. Banks"; That is genuinely original.