[Daniel H. Wilson] ↠´ Press Start to Play [utopia PDF] Ebook Epub Download ↠´ bricksnboho.co.uk

[Daniel H. Wilson] ↠´ Press Start to Play [utopia PDF] Ebook Epub Download ↠´ Going to review this singularly because they all deserve it God Mode by Daniel H Wilson3 5 starsThis is an interesting one to start with, because it took a little critical thinking than I was expecting It doesn t really explain much of what s happening until the last few paragraphs, but it was clever and a good introduction overall into the style of stories in here Two people s world is slowly dissolving around them, as if their surroundings are no longer rendered NPC by Charles Yu4 5 starsLoved this An NPC inadvertently does something that gives him an identity Now he s not sure if he wants to be NPC or playableand the dynamics within the story are funny in an odd way It was an interesting bit about the awareness of videogame characters not just the main guys, but even the NPCs Respawn by Hiroshi Sakurazaka3 5 starsAgain, interesting, but not something I was really pushing to find out the end of It got a bit confusing in the middle when there were so many former self s being referenced Man respawns over and over into different people Desert Walk by S R Mastrantone5 5 starsGave me big fat chills all up my arms and down my back Who knew a pixelated game could be so freaking creepy Apparently this author did because fuck I got creeped out A desert game where all you do is walk, and hope to come across something cool Until you come across something that shouldn t be in the game Rat Catcher s Yellows by Charlie Jane Anders4 5 starsThis short story went a little differently than the others It wasn t so much sci fi, fantasy or horror It s about a woman whose mind is deteriorating due to a disease, and her partner finds a game that triggers the parts of the brain that still work Turns out that even if her brain broke in some ways, she s now a genius in others 1Up by Holly Black4 5 starsGamer friends who have never met in real life meet up to go to the funeral of another gamer friend they ve never met While there, they discover that this friend may have known he was going to die soon, and left them a trail of breadcrumbs to follow via text based game to uncover the truth about his death Survival Horror by Seanan McGuire1 5 starsToo confusing for me Too many specialized terms that took too long for me to puzzle out and the story wasn t riveting enough to make it worthwhile Supernatural people get locked in a computer game that won t release them until they solve all puzzles Still not sure what a cuckoo is here REAL by Django Wexler4 5 starsI had no clue where this was going, but the author did a brilliant job of creating a story that I wanted to find out the end to It begins with a translator searching for a man a man with a very interesting story He built an app that showed its users demons and secret writing and other such mysteries wherever they pointed their camera An ingenious idea really, and I rather like the idea of an app like that anyway But maybe there s going on than he programmer knows Outliers by Nicole Feldringer2 5 starsDon t hate it, but don t really like it either There s a lot of build up, and a main character that is kind of a bitch especially at her brother s wedding The end was a little too smart for me, and I had to sit and reread it about four times before I could articulate what happened, and even then I m not totally sure I got it fully Which just makes me feel dumb Meh A woman plays a game where she gets to document climate change for the government by Chris Avellone1 5 starsAnother one with a LOT of buildup and very little action I get that it s going on a text based videogame, but I don t need to reread a bunch of times about how you reset on the bed and keep trying to take pills or read a computer screen I just couldn t get into it Save Me Plz by David Barr Kirtley4 5 starsThis here looks into what it would be like to really have wish fulfillment It starts with Meg going to find Devon, her ex boyfriend She jumps in her car and throws her sword in the backseat, and battles a giant spider on the way to his dorm What follows is a quest for her to recover him And what I like about this is that it isn t necessarily what you expect it is going to be, and I loved the ending It actually made me appreciate just how magical our world can be, which is pretty impressive for a short story The Relive Box byT.
C Boyle3 5 starsThis than anything seems like a commentary on what gaming can turn into, in a very negative way I liked it, and I like its message or at least the message I m pushing into the story , but there isn t really a plot It just sort of gives you exposition about our main character and then it just ends in a bad way Rogelike by Marc Laidlaw3 5 stars2 stars all the way, until the last three paragraphs that had me cracking up laughing Multiple agents run through a simulator to try and beat it and get to the end All of the People in Your Party Have Died.
by Robin Wasserman4 5 starsI already like Robin Wasserman, but I forgot I liked Robin Wasserman until I read Robin Wasserman again She wrote The Waking Dark, which is precisely as dark as you think it is with a title like that I loved it, and forgot that she was the author So when I was reading through this and got to the little About Me blurb for the author, I was reintroduced to her And let me tell you, I like getting reacquainted with miss Wasserman This particular story is about a teacher becoming increasingly obsessed with playing a twisted version of Oregon Trail When she starts an affair with the computer teacher Rebecca, she gets sucked into playing the game night after night But weirdly, the game isn t picking deaths that can happen on the Oregon Trail It s picking dates like throat cancer, 2020 Recoil byMicky Neilson3 5 starsSolid story here Jimmy accidentally gets locked into a building overnight, on the same night some Russians break in in order to get some very secret information Queue Jimmy s desperate flee for escape and protection Anda s Game by Cory Doctorow3 5 starsMore than anything, the best part of this story is the positive message That people from different walks of life and band together through videogames I like that message The story is that Anda gets to join an elite team of female gamers who are basically the baddest bitches ever They re strong, they re smart, they re elite, but they re supportive of growth Anda then has to go against one of her Fahrenheit teammates for something she s not sure she believes in or not Coma Kings by Jessica Barber2 starsYet another short story with a message, though this one is a bit of a downer Two sisters play this game against each other, but one eventually gets so plugged in that she s essentially comatose hence the name It s depressing in ways than one, and didn t really have an ending completely, but I think that was sort of the point Stats by Marguerite K Bennett3 5 starsYeahhhhh revenge story Joey fucking Connor is a douchebag through and through Suddenly he starts changing His body changes, his voice changes, EVERYTHING changes and who is to blame He just might find out Please Continue by Chris Kluwe2 5 starsTook too long to get to the point, and I lost interest after like five pages Good idea, slow execution Even WITH the positive message Creation Screen by Rhianna Pratchett3 5 starsSort of a cute little story about creating a character, but from the character s point of view What it s like to be modified, what it s like to venture into the game world for the first time there doesn t seem to be much of a point to the story, no indication that it could be built into , but it s sweet and I liked it all the same The Fresh Prince of Gamma World by Austin Grossman2 5 starsThe name isn t too funny to me, and the story was okay Nothing to sneeze at for me, but not bad either Kid gets stuck in an alternate universe, essentially Gamer s End by Yoon Ha Lee4 5 starsGamer s End would make such an awesome action movie I could picture every one of these scenes bit by bit and it looks awesome in my head In short, it is about a man doing a simulation that turns a little too real The Clockwork Soldier by Ken Liu4 5 starsA sneaky little trick is in this short story, and I loved the way it ended I won t say much, only that the bounty hunter Alex female captures Ryder male to deliver back to his father, and they talk philosophy Killswitch by Catherynne M Valente3 5 starsIt reads like an article than a short story, which threw me off The idea is cool, and I liked how it ended, but it felt a little too try for me to get invested into it all the way Twarrior by Andy Weir4 5 starsOh, Andy You crack me up, really I ve read a few of your short stories now, and The Martian I gotta say I dig your sense of humor You have made me laugh every time it was your goal to, and I am pleasantly happy to see that this short story was no different I m glad I got to meet you if only for a second and get my book signed by you I plan on keeping it a loooooong time Select Character by Hugh Howey4 5 starsA woman plays her husband s videogame, just not in the traditional way And it leads to some very interesting reactions This is a marvelous one to end on for me, because it ended the whole book on a good tone I was already happy with how many female gamers were represented here, but this one in particular takes the cake because of what happens at the end AVERAGE RATING IS 3.
15, ROUNDED TO 3 STARS.
I love reading anthologies, its a great way to find new authors , read side stories so current favourites , and see a range of imaginations in bitesize form.
For me , in recent years I have found John Joseph Adams to be one of the best editors in the game This is a book I was quite excited to start and anticipated great things The book was inspired to some degree by Ernest Clines recent books butbthe intro reveals his story failed to make the deadline and the disapointment continued from there Its not all terrible I enjoyed a reasonable amount of the stories Andy Weirs humour shines through, Hugh Howey s was a strong one to finish on, Rhianna Pratchetts was a decent story, Ken Liu s was very good Of the lesser knowns I quite enjoyed Jessica Barber But so much of the rest ranged from ok to bad Many barely fit the guidelines for the collection.
To be honest I think about 200 pages could have been cut and it would have vastly improve the book It felt like digging through a pile of muck to find anything of quality and frankly an anthology shouldn t be that much effort Maybe they were a bit soft on the submissions or only got a vert small amount buy it really could have done with a harder hand.
Iys a bit of a shame , the idea did bring out some good imaginative stories but I won t be recomending this too much.
IT S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE TAKE THIS You Are Standing In A Room Filled With books, Faced With A Difficult Decision Suddenly, One With A Distinctive Cover Catches Your Eye It Is A Groundbreaking Anthology Of Short Stories From Award Winning Writers And Game Industry Titans Who Have Embarked On A Quest To Explore What Happens When Video Games And Science Fiction CollideFrom Text Based Adventures To First Person Shooters, Dungeon Crawlers To Horror Games, These Twenty Six Stories Play With Our Notion Of What Video Games Can Be And What They Can Become In Smart And Singular Ways With A Foreword From Ernest Cline, Bestselling Author Of Ready Player One, Press Start to Play Includes Work From Daniel H Wilson, Charles Yu, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, SR Mastrantone, Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Black, Seanan McGuire, Django Wexler, Nicole Feldringer, Chris Avellone, David Barr Kirtley,TC Boyle, Marc Laidlaw, Robin Wasserman, Micky Neilson, Cory Doctorow, Jessica Barber, Chris Kluwe, Marguerite K Bennett, Rhianna Pratchett, Austin Grossman, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Catherynne M Valente, Andy Weir, And Hugh Howey Your Inventory Includes Keys, A Cell Phone, And A Wallet What Would You Like To Do From The Trade Paperback Edition A diverse panorama of a medium that is about to grow influential than books and films, in terms of narratives and morals alike.
Here re the stories that pressed me to think feel the most I m boldfacing my special favorites I really enjoyed the narrator s i.
e my voice in Charles Yu s NPC Like here All of which is to sort of make it a little understandable that when Oona Bantu comes to your quarters wearing just her under skin armor, you don t turn her away She comes to sit on your bunk, and things get a little kissy for a hot and sweaty five minutes, and you feel really terrible the whole time and confused but also you are kissing Oona Bantu, so you don t stop right away but then Carla s sad little smile face keeps inserting itself into your head and you break off the kissing and Oona can t believe it Wearing just her under skin armor, hehe Oh, Japan.
Beside the sliding glass doors of the entrance, a multicolored strip of tape was marked 160 cm, 170 cm, 180 cm, and 190 cm The sticker had been put there so that the entryway s security camera could measure the height of anyone who passed through These cameras took particularly crisp images brazen robbers drawn in by desire for a little bit of scratch would eventually leave a clear capture of their likenesses, and their careers would end with an arrest Japanese police were good enough at that sort of thing.
In that case, I considered, we should put a button beside the door for robbers, so that when they pushed it, a machine would dispense a few ten thousand yen bills, take a picture of their face, then automatically report it to the police Maybe then the criminals would form an orderly queue and await their turn in solemn silence.
Will the existentialist satire of Hiroshi Sakurazaka s Respawn stick in my head like that stick at the end Charlie Jane Anders s Rat Catcher s Yellows touched me like a cat s paw soft and subdued and with just a hint about the claws inside Holly Black s 1UP examines online offline friendship and what it means to really know someone through a surprisingly tense plot and sweetly authentic characters Listen to them maybe my mother is right about friendship, because I do feel differently about Decker and Toad now that we ve been together in real life Now that we ve heard the timbre of one another s laughter Now that we ve learned one another s Starbucks order and how we like our burritos at Chipotle and who can burp the loudest Now that I learned how far they were willing to go for someone they never met Hey, I say It s Cat We played the game, but now it s your turn Time to wake up He doesn t move We re risking our asses for you, I say Nice, Decker calls down How about saying we love him How about saying you love him, Cat How about If you wake up, I will give you a big, fat, sloppy kiss, Toad says Shut up, I tell him Soren, Decker says Listen, if you wake up, one of us will give you a big, fat, sloppy kiss I can t guarantee it will be Cat, but one of us will definitely do it I am ready Soren, Toad says Listen, how about this if you don t wake up, one of us will give you a big, fat, sloppy kiss and I can guarantee it won t be Cat Django Wexler s Real contains a pithy summary of the status quo of Good vs Evil Beware it s also a heavy spoiler view spoiler It s about belief, Aka sensei My kind has always fed on belief When people play your game, they believe, even if it s only for a while, and that opens the door So I created you I designed you I wrote the script In a way I am ancient, and I am newborn But that s bullshit His hand slams down on the tabletop One of the beer bottles topples over, rolls to the floor, and shatters You re not playing by the rules Oh The good guys win There are tears in his eyes Everyone knows the good guys win, they always win Mariko sends the Dark Queen back to hell I wrote the goddamn ending So if I created you He cuts off, his voice thick, and swallows If it s all my fault, then why didn t she win His voice drops to a whisper Why did Mari die No one really believes in heroes these days, Aka sensei I smile But everyone believes in monsters hide spoiler Review from my blog For those of you who don t know, I m a huge fan of gaming I ve played games all my life, and grew up with a PlayStation 2 which I have been playing Guitar Hero 2 on since age 8 Yes, it s that intense I also love playing Xbox, Wii, and PC games Any game console will do That s why the second that I saw this book, I knew I had to give it a read Plus, it had some writing by Ernest Cline, who is my favorite author of all time.
Press Start to Play did not disappoint It was filled with video game related short stories, some of them horror, some science fiction, and some fantasy Sometimes the video games would even converge with real life, and those were the ones that I ended up loving most, because they were creepy This was also my first anthology read, and I have to say that I now absolutely love short stories.
Here are some of my favorites from Press Start to Play NPC by Charles Yu 5 5 stars This short story was awesome Basically you are a worker on the moon collecting iridium every day and you have a crush on Carla One day, you level up and everything is so different, which makes you miss the days that you spent crushing on Carla, going on missions, and eating Lean Cuisines I think the coolest thing about this one was that the main character was literally you , making you feel the experience even.
Respawn by Hiroshi Sakurazaka 5 5 stars This short story contained a character who could respawn every time he died If he was murdered, he became the murdered It was the coolest concept Imagine that happening to you you basically could never die.
1Up by Holly Black 5 5 stars This is my favorite kind of video game read very Ready Player One esque Friends who knew a guy named Soren online all go to his funeral, only to find that he left behind a game to answer questions behind his death This game starts to blend into the real world in the awesomest way possible This is definitely my favorite short story so far, and now I know why everyone loves Holly Black.
Save Me Plz by David Barr Kirtley 5 5 stars A short story that involves a world where elements that weren t part of Earth suddenly are YES PLEASE Yet another short story that I loved This one also featured a huge twist towards the end Definitely worth the read The Relive Box by T.
C Boyle 5 5 Stars I loved the idea behind the relive box I feel like it s definitely something that could come about in the future It s basically a stimulation that lets you relive anything from the past that s happened, and you can relive it as many times as your heart desires, which is insane The world would never be the same and it d definitely start to take over your life, as this short story shows.
Anda s Game by Cory Doctorow 5 5 stars I read In Real Life by Cory Doctorow a few months ago and loved it, so I love how this short story was basically the same but just in writing instead of comics It touches some very unique concepts that are definitely worth talking about such as child labor I highly suggest reading this short story.
Coma Kings by Jessica Barber 5 5 stars I absolutely adored how this story had than just video games it also had a sisterly bond, though one of the sisters was in a coma The sister however was hooked up to the game so she was alive online, though just not in person It was a very cool concept, I loved it Creation Screen by Rhianna Pratchett 5 5 stars Instead of reading about the gamer, this story was actually about the character in the video game It takes the idea of role playing to a whole new level, as the gamer is literally playing as someone else It was cool to get inside the head of the character that s being forced to move around and fight things without really wanting to There was even , but I don t want to make this review any longer than it already is Long review short, if you are a video game fan or love reading books about video games, this is the book for you Press Start to Play is a new favorite that I will never stop recommending A copy of Press Start to Play was provided for the publisher Since this is an anthology, I will be writing reviews as I read each short story God Mode by Daniel H Wilson 4 5 stars The main character of this short story is going to college abroad in Australia He falls for a girl named Sarah, who is also from America When Sarah hits her head, stars in the sky start disappearing and Australia gets cut off from the rest of the world This story was extremely good because I thought it was going one way only for it to have a huge twist and it ended up being completely different.
NPC by Charles Yu 5 5 stars This short story was awesome Basically you are a worker on the moon collecting iridium every day and you have a crush on Carla One day, you level up and everything is so different, which makes you miss the days that you spent crushing on Carla, going on missions, and eating Lean Cuisines I think the coolest thing about this one was that the main character was literally you , making you feel the experience even Respawn by Hiroshi Sakurazaka 5 5 stars This short story contained a character who could respawn every time he died If he was murdered, he became the murdered It was the coolest concept Imagine that happening to you you basically could never die.
Desert Walk by S R Masantrone 3.
5 5 stars I love the idea behind this one the main character, Sam, has gotten his hands on a copy of one of the rarest video games, Desert Walk He begins playing it and interviews the author, and some creepy stuff happens I just feel like the creepy stuff that happened wasn t all that creepy, but rather I saw it coming.
Rat Catcher s Yellow by Charlie Jane Anders 3 5 stars I loved the concept for this one just like Desert Walk but I wish I found out about the video game that they were all playing It seemed to be linked to cats, but it was never said it it actually was Also, I found this disease that many people had to be very creepy.
1Up by Holly Black 5 5 stars This is my favorite kind of video game read very Ready Player One esque Friends who knew a guy named Soren online all go to his funeral, only to find that he left behind a game to answer questions behind his death This game starts to blend into the real world in the awesomest way possible This is definitely my favorite short story so far, and now I know why everyone loves Holly Black.
Survival Horror by Seanan McGuire aka Mira Grant 4.
5 5 stars This was definitely a bit of a horror video game story, which makes it stand out from the other short stories in this anthology thus far Sarah is at her cousin Artie s house reading comic books when Artie decides to download a video game which basically glues them to the floor and forces them to complete puzzles or else they d be sucked in to another dimension Like I said, pretty horrorish Also, I loved the comic books being talked about in this one It made me love the story a little because I had something in common with the characters.
Real by Django Wexler 4 5 stars I love how interesting this tale was There was also a huge twist at the end The idea was very interesting too this guy had made a game that somehow went too far and was taken over by his friend Plus, some of the characters came to life Outliers by Nicole Feldringer 3 5 I feel like the only reason I didn t love this one was because I didn t much understand what was going on It was something about earth and weather, and this person was trying to figure out why there was no way to win the game by Chris Avellone 5 5 stars This is another favorite of mine I loved how it was one of those command games, and the reader basically just reads through the commands, which was very cool It was like I was actually playing Save Me Plz by David Barr Kirtley 5 5 stars A short story that involves a world where elements that weren t part of Earth suddenly are YES PLEASE Yet another short story that I loved This one also featured a huge twist towards the end Definitely worth the read The Relive Box by T.
C Boyle 5 5 Stars I loved the idea behind the relive box I feel like it s definitely something that could come about in the future It s basically a stimulation that lets you relive anything from the past that s happened, and you can relive it as many times as your heart desires, which is insane The world would never be the same and it d definitely start to take over your life, as this short story shows.
Roguelike by Marc Laidlaw 4 5 Stars This was a funny little read I loved all the artwork it greatly added to my enjoyment of the story All of the People in Your Party Have Died by Robin Wasserman 5 5 Stars This was a very interesting short story and I like how it touched on gay marriage This book was also very creepy, because it featured a video game that was kind of bleeding into real life Things that would happen in the game would coincide with real life, which was pretty freaky RECOIL by Micky Neilson 4 5 stars Recoil took me a little bit to get into, but I definitely ended up enjoying it I was a bit confused at first, though it does start to make sense I don t want to say much because I don t want to give anything away Anda s Game by Cory Doctorow 5 5 stars I read In Real Life by Cory Doctorow a few months ago and loved it, so I love how this short story was basically the same but just in writing instead of comics It touches some very unique concepts that are definitely worth talking about such as child labor I highly suggest reading this short story.
Coma Kings by Jessica Barber 5 5 stars I absolutely adored how this story had than just video games it also had a sisterly bond, though one of the sisters was in a coma The sister however was hooked up to the game so she was alive online, though just not in person It was a very cool concept, I loved it Stats by Marguerite K Bennett 4 5 stars I ve always wanted to read some body horror, so I liked this one It was quite cool to read about, and rather creepy at the same time The main character kept changing bodies, though he didn t know why The ending was the creepy part, though I don t want to give it away Please Continue by Chris Kluwe 4 5 stars The cool thing about Please Continue is that it had a deeper message hidden within it, that was mentioned at the very end Basically, the main character has devoted his life to gaming, though time keeps passing as he s leveling up because it s taking him years to do so There is to life than video games Creation Screen by Rhianna Pratchett 5 5 stars Instead of reading about the gamer, this story was actually about the character in the video game It takes the idea of role playing to a whole new level, as the gamer is literally playing as someone else It was cool to get inside the head of the character that s being forced to move around and fight things without really wanting to The Fresh Prince of Gamma World by Austin Grossman 4 5 stars The worldbuilding in this short story was epic and amazing The entire time I was reading it I was completely engulfed in all the words because the world was just so awesome There were twists and turns too, which I liked Gamer s End by Yoon Ha Lee 5 5 stars This short story reminded me very much of a dystopian novel, which may be why I liked it so much The main character is going through training to see which job he d belong with, and at the very end the reader finds out The Clockwork Soldier by Ken Liu 4 5 stars The Clockwork Soldier featured another video game immersion technique, which is really starting to grow on me The reader is literally reading the video game at times, making him her feel as if he s actually playing, though he s reading, which I liked.
Killswitch by Catherynne M Valente 4 5 stars I loved how this short story was an in depth description of the game s past and how it affected the world It was fun to read Twarrior by Andy Weir 5 5 stars Reading this got me very excited for The Martian Twarrior was super funny, and I loved how he learned everything from the internet so he only talked in slang.
Select Character by Hugh Howey 4 5 stars This short story connected into real life again, which was pretty awesome I really liked how the video game allowed the player to do whatever they wanted it was a cool concept Final Rating 4.
56 5 stars 3.
5 stars The end wasanticlimactic Didn t feel like we learned anything at all about Antimony or Artie either.
One of my stories is in this, so I may be biased But now that I ve read the rest, I was really impressed 3.
5 stars When I started this t I was excited to see the mix of familiar favorite authors and people that were new to me, it seemed like good balance One of the reasons I like reading anthologies is to discover authors to add to my to read list, if I don t find at least one new author that I really like in a larger anthology it s quite disappointing And that is the point of anthologies too, it s not just about selling them, it s about marketing the authors and selling of their books and stories These authors have interesting backgrounds too, a lot of scientific and technical backgrounds along with their often extensive writing experience and many writing awards Plus they invited a bunch of authors who are primarily writers for video games or also write for video games, so they definitely knew their business There was also some nice international flair, both in a few of the writers backgrounds and in the stories It wasn t extensive, but was good to see Overall the stories were all good, and I enjoyed a few quite a lot Seanan McGuires s was my favorite but that was probably at least partly because I m into the series it s a part of Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Charlie Jane Anders, and Robin Wasserman were also favorites It was a fun theme and I was never bored except one time Though it became clear from reading my friend Mogsy s very good review of the book that I didn t always get some of the nuances or cool aspects of the stories because I m not a gamer, so if you are you might get even out of it than I did It was great that they included a number of authors outside of the usual pack, going for gamer insiders But I wished there were some younger or less experienced regular short story writers too There were only two or three traditional authors not primarily video game authors who weren t very well known to me, and they were still well known authors Daniel H Wilson G d Mode It wasn t about a video game, it was about view spoiler the singularity, or at least about those two in the process of being uploaded Is he saying that if versions of them live in the computer, that by definition is a video game, their lives have become a game I guess it depends who s in control of the systems hide spoiler

At first, I was hesitant about listening to an anthology in audio format, but it actually turned out working really well I really enjoyed how multiple narrators were involved in this project, and for the most part the actors and actresses were all well matched to the stories they read All the narrators delivered impressive performances, considering how not every story here was written in a conventional style, or at least in one that would easily translate to audio.
The stories themselves, though, were another matter Press Start to Play was a good anthology, but I admit I didn t like it as much as I thought I would I ve always been picky with short stories, but I really thought my interest in the topic of video games would help me with this one, but in the end this was just a very average collection, with most stories falling in the mediocre to good range More disappointing is the presence of a few stories that only had a tenuous link to the subject, and even a couple that I felt had no place in an anthology that should be a celebration of video games That said, there were a handful of exceptional ones that I felt really stood out For a in depth analysis and my feelings for each story, see below God Mode by Daniel H Wilson 2.
5 of 5 starsThe protagonist of this story is an American studying abroad in Australia He starts dating a fellow American student named Sarah, who one day suddenly fall and hits her head, and all of a sudden the stars in the sky start disappearing I think the ending was meant to be heartfelt and profound, but the delivery really fell flat Quite frankly, I was disappointed by such a mediocre opener for this anthology, and even now I can barely remember that many details from this first story NPC by Charles Yu 2 of 5 starsThe title of this story gives us all the clues we need as to what it s about What happens when an NPC experiences an epiphany and isn t sure if he wants to be something This was an interesting premise, but sadly neither the story nor the character was fleshed out nearly enough to be interesting Respawn by Hiroshi Sakurazaka 3 of 5 starsA regular guy discovers when he is killed that his consciousness has jumped into the body of his killer This story reminded me a little bit of Claire North s Touch It was a cool concept, and I would have liked to see it carried further, but whether it really belongs in a video game themed anthology is debatable Desert Walk by S R Mastrantone 4 of 5 starsThis was a nifty little ghost story, which started out one way and ended in a way I totally did not see coming When I started this anthology, I expected to get a lot of different kinds of stories, but I admit I didn t expect anything with a horror element This one was pretty awesome and creepy Rat Catcher s Yellows by Charlie Jane Anders 3 of 5 starsOne of the best things about this anthology was getting a chance to read work from authors I ve been curious about for a long time I enjoyed this story, at least in the beginning It s a quirky and interesting take on a social game and a subset of its players with a unique disease that causes dementia I was a little disappointed by the ending, though I d thought there would be and was surprised when the next story started up 1UP by Holly Black 3.
5 of 5 starsThis was another story by an author I ve wanted to check out for a while Three teens go to the funeral one of their online gaming friends, and find a text based game that he wrote on his computer It turns out to be a clue to solve his apparent murder Again, I loved the premise but this definitely would have worked better as a full length novel What a great YA mystery it would have made Survival Horror by Seanan McGuire 2 of 5 starsI suspected and later confirmed that this story is based on the world of McGuire s InCryptid series, which I confess I know absolutely nothing about No wonder I felt so confused To be honest, I hate finding these types of stories in anthologies like this, because as hard as the author tries to catch you up with the world and who s who in it, it just doesn t feel the same If you are familiar with InCryptic you might find yourself enjoying this one, but personally I felt no connection to any of these characters and couldn t make myself care what happened to them Real by Django Wexler 3.
5 of 5 starsI m a big fan of the author, so I was pretty excited to read this Our mysterious protagonist tries to track down the creator of a game that lets its players feel involved by using social media to discover demons and hidden runes The idea gave me ARG vibes A very cool story with an interesting twist ending Outliers by Nicole Feldringer 2.
5 of 5 starsI think I would have liked this one if I had understood it Unfortunately, I found it a bit too technical The main character is a woman who is obsessed with a game that tracks weather patterns for the government, and was even willing to skip her brother s wedding to play it, which really didn t help me sympathize with her End Game by Chris Avellone 3.
5 of 5 starsI thought this was fun A very interesting execution using the idea behind text based games, but unfortunately, all the suspense eventually built up to a fizzle This is one of the biggest issues I find with the stories in this anthology so few of them have real or satisfying endings Save Me PLZ by David Barr Kirtley 4 of 5 starsA sweet little story that starts with a young woman named Meg getting in to her car to find her ex boyfriend, Devon The real world and the virtual world collide as she is tasked to embark on a quest to rescue him This was one of my favorite stories in the anthology The Relive Box by T.
C.
Boyle 3.
5 of 5 starsA bittersweet story about a character obsessed with using a device called a Relive Box to keep experiencing the joys and heartbreaks of his past, meanwhile ignoring his daughter and his work in his very real present and future I like its sad message about why we might want to relive old memories instead of going out to seize the day, creating new ones It ended rather abruptly, which was my only criticism Roguelike by Marc Laidlaw 4 of 5 starsRepetitive and simple, but oh so hilarious Again, it makes use of the text based game format to tell a little tale about a very persistent resistance and the fates of all their doomed agents The story reads like an elaborate joke, but I loved the punchline I found it very enjoyable in spite of myself All of the People in Your Party Have Died by Robin Wasserman 3.
5 of 5 starsA darkly comedic tale about The Oregon Trail as a game of life lessons to prepare you for the death of all the people you know and love to tragic accidents, and just bad shit in general The character in this story discovers the game and becomes obsessed with it after the game starts doing strange things I really liked where it was going, but then everything started unraveled towards the end Definitely didn t like the second half as much as I did the first Recoil By Micky Neilson 4 of 5 starsThis was one of the complete and coherent stories in this collection, and the author created a very suspenseful atmosphere to boot Jimmy is our protagonist, staying late at the office to test a new game, and suddenly finds himself in a hostage situation This story also had a twist ending, but this one I actually liked Another of my favorites in this anthology Anda s Game by Cory Doctorow 3 of 5 starsAnda joins a band of elite girl gamers and kicks ass in the virtual world, but in real life she is an average and unassuming schoolgirl Her online teammates are everything to her, but then something happens that might jeopardize all her newfound happiness An interesting story about taking a stand for what you believe in, but not one that really stood out for me Coma Kings by Jessica Barber 3 of 5 starsA touching but depressing story about two sisters who bond in game, but one is in a coma so she has to play via an implant in her brain For the protagonist, this is the only way she can have any interaction with her sister I enjoyed the premise and thought this story showed great promise, but I wish the ending had been stronger and meaningful Stats by Marguerite K Bennett 3 of 5 starsDon t you just hate it when your stats get nerfed The character Joey in this story is not a very nice person, so I didn t feel too bad for him when his body started changing I love the attitude behind this story, and it was okay in its execution Please Continue by Chris Kluwe 1 of 5 starsMy least favorite story yet, and frankly it annoyed the hell out of me Essentially it was a warning not to let gaming take over your life, but it came across really preachy and pretentious The message is good, but why go about it in such a clich d and uninteresting way And oh, yet another unfunny application of the old arrow to the knee joke How awkward By the end, this didn t even read like a story, like a lecture from some nagging parent It didn t feel like a good fit for this anthology Creation Screen by Rhianna Pratchett 3 of 5 starsSpeaking of stories that have messages about becoming too obsessed with gaming, here s another one However, it was much creative and elegant than Please Continue , and the beginning actually amused me a great deal I happen to be one of those finicky MMO players who take an inordinate amount of time trying to get my character just right The Fresh Prince of Gamma World by Austin Grossman 3 of 5 starsA gamer gets transported to an alternate world which has experienced a nuclear apocalypse It s a pretty interesting story, though once again, it didn t fully engage me or stand out I enjoyed the premise and setting, and perhaps I felt a greater affinity for it since Gamma World takes place in a post apocalyptic Boston and I happen to be neck deep in Fallout 4 right now Gamer s End by Yoon Ha Lee 3 of 5 starsThe title of this story should tell you something about what it is about, i.
e the use of war games for training Nothing much I can say about this one, other than it was okay but didn t blow me away either, and nothing about it really stood out The Clockwork Solider by Ken Liu 4 of 5 starsAlex is a female bounty hunter who captures a runaway named Ryder to bring back to his family This is the first time in this anthology where I actually felt something than ambivalence for the characters in a story It s another one that uses text based gaming for its premise, but I found it philosophically deeper and a lot thought provoking than all the other stories in here Killswitch by Catherynne M Valente 3 of 5 starsIn this story, Killswitch is a game that starts off like any other first person adventure game But it doesn t end that way I liked what this story had to say about games versus real life, about having one shot, one chance to experience a moment before it becomes a memory I appreciated its poignant message, but for some reason I had a very hard time staying focused throughout Maybe it s just the style in which this story was written, but I found it really hard to connect to the prose Twarrior by Andy Weir 3 of 5 starsThis is a real short one, and feels like snippet or an introduction to a bigger story, but hey, it got a few laughs out of me and that counts for a lot in my books Andy Weir is one funny guy Select Character by Hugh Howey 4 of 5 starsPlay as thou wilt a message I strongly support Maybe that s why I liked this one so much It s a very enjoyable story showing how different people approach games, and reminds me a lot of the conversations I ve had with others about different gameplay styles Only one thing matters that you play the way you want and have fun doing it Also, be open to other gaming styles Sometimes when you play only one way, you might even miss things that you d never have known until you talk to someone else who has a whole other perspective What a great story to end the anthology.
Hot damn I was excited to read this I picked it up hoping to get that same video game feeling I had reading Ready Player One but missed out on reading Armada I figured there must be authors who have a handle on this element of pop culture besides Ernie Cline and there are That being said when Ernie s foreword mentions he does not have a short in the books because he missed the deadline I was very disappointed and figured they should have left him out altogether rather than have him essentially rewrite his intro from his first two books It s like having Spielberg as your executive assistant producer on the credits of a movie and the reality is the audience know he was not involved at all.
Onto the stories God Mode by Daniel H Wilson Interesting but not particularly strong opening Nothing makes much sense until the Ah ha moment at the end which means just as it get s interesting it s over Was hoping for from the Author of the Robopocalypse series.
NPC by Charles Yu Not bad A nice story about a guy who suddenly finds himself powered up after a cosmic type incident and the subsequent change, or lack of change, in the way he feels about himself, his role, and his fellow human beings.
Respawn by Hiroshi Sakurazaka The first story I really enjoyed A simple man with simple pleasures is killed and finds his personality has been teleported into the body of his killer Subtle and dealing with some really nice ideas 4 5Desert Walk by S R Mastrantone Awesome story about the most boring game ever Walk through the desert and every four hours you might see a bush if your lucky but everything is individually coded and not just repeating meaning their could be something out there Captures that concept of grinding at it s most basic but intense and then goes in a totally different direction you will not see coming 4.
5 5Rat Catcher s Yellows by Charlie Jane Anders Liked this one A disease threads through society leaving some people seriously short of sandwiches at the picnic For some reason many of these people find solace playing a game where cats rule their own kingdoms and a carer must decide between the hopes they have for their patient and the reality of the unreal situation 1UP by Holly Black The friends of a recently deceased young man find a game at his funeral that they must play in real time to unlock the mystery of his murder 4 5Survival Horror by Seanan McGuire Two kids get trapped in their bedroom another dimension while playing a newly installed game Bit wonky this one and didn t really much sense to me.
Real by Django Wexler My favourite in the book A journalist tracks down the somewhat mythological creator of a game that was never officially released and is played by those that think it is actually real A networked phone game that identifies demons who have invaded earth and glowing runes on walls that makes the player feel truly involved A truly wonderful and delicious premise delivered in just the most fantastic manner 5 5Outliers by Nicole Feldringer Didn t get this one A girl plays a game that looks at weather patterns instead of going to her brothers wedding by Chris Avellone The first of a number of text based game stories Many repeating phases over and over and some interesting bits from the POV of the character in the game but myeh.
Save Me PLZ by David Barr Kirtley What if the boundaries between game and reality were blurred and someone eventually figured out how to make them bleed together Think small men handing out quests on main streets and swords that can carve through just about anything being part of every day lilfe 4 5The Relive Box by T.
C.
Boyle This was a sad one but scarily imaginable as a very possible outcome for where we are headed A new invention gives people the ability to plug into their old memories and relive them A father and daughter who have lost their wife and mother must try and live on without her whilst the fathers obsession with figuring out what went wrong threatens to destroy the only relationship he has left 4 5Roguelike by Marc Laidlaw A somewhat repetitious text based game story that follows the actions of someone attempting something With death at every turn each action must be played out over and over again until the right combination of actions is stumbled over There were some funny moments in this one, which surprisingly can t be said for the rest of the book and it had a little kick at the end All of the people in your party have died by Robin Wasserman A teacher becomes obsessed with Oregon Trail and notices parallels between her own life and the game when she must leave those behind her to get where she needs to be.
Recoil By Micky Neilson Really dug this one A story within a story, where a young man, testing a new game, suddenly becomes involved in a real life terrorist situation I thought I new where it was going but I was pleasantly kicked in the face but the subtle and clever ending 4.
5 5Anda s Game by Cory Doctrow Very interesting look at the world of gold farmers, unions and the industrialisation of gaming A young heroin finds herself questioning the missions her clan are fighting when someone from the side of their victims manages to get some communication though Coma Kings by Jessica Barber Coma is a game you plug into that involves you building structures in a competition The winner seeks to destroy the others construct and it is a big craze The two sisters in the book are extraordinary talented players with one of them going so far as to have the game implanted directly into the brain putting them in a vegetable like state Their consciousness exists only in the game and it is here that the other sister must try and reach her Stats by Marguerite K Bennett A man finds himself in a really weird and shitty situation when someone begins messing with his real life stats.
Please Continue by Chris Kluwe A young guy rises up the ranks of players but sees the finish lose its lustre and ends up telling us to go out and get a real life.
Creation Screen by Rhianna Pratchett A character is created who seems to have the soul of a condescending and disapproving mother as she proceeds to lecture the reader on how their life is wasted in front of a screen and that the deeds achieved in game mean nothing in life The Fresh Prince of Gamma World by Austin Grossman Almost no idea what this one is about and don t feel inclined to go at it again.
Gamer s End by Yoon Ha Lee Great story about the use of war games 4 5The Clockwork Solider by Ken Liu Didn t do it for me and text based games stuff.
Killswitch by Catherynne M Valente Awesome Hard to explain why but if you are a gamer you will get it 5 5Twarrior by Andy Weir Another very strong story A kid creates a program and tells it to go learn some shit and get back to him A billion cycles later and what is talking to him infects every known system in the planet and is wicked smart 4.
5 5Select Character by Hugh Howey Top notch and explores that wonderful urban legend of doing so well in a game that the army calls you and recruits you but with a very different twist 4.
5 5Overall a very solid collection There are some that had a video game in them but did not feel like they captured the spirit and a few that felt like they were written by people who had never played a game in their life or saw them as the end of society The rest of them were fantastic and showed some real imagination and talent The highlights for me were the stories by Wrexler, Mastrantone, Howey and Valente to name a few I ve I ve been meaning to grab a copy of Django s first book The Thousand Names and have done so and now Wool by Hugh Howey is a must read too.