Myth of the Maker by Bruce R Cordell. Book Review
While programming inside virtual reality (VR), Carter Morrison is put in the impossible situation of having to kill his friends in order to save their own world.
This would appear to have been successful, until three years later private investigator Katherine Manners finds a melting man in a computer room, with a message from another world.
Unless, Carter gets reconnected with who he once was, things will never be the same again
You have to give this book time to get into its groove. Last time I felt this way reading a book was Donnerjack, which also delved into a complex virtual reality world. Readers need to get their heads around the possibilities true quantum computing might offer, as well as the implications of being able to programme in VR. There is also a strong role playing game (RPG) element.
It’s always interesting reading a book written by a RPG designer who is deeply immersed in his creation. Sometimes the lack of distance between the two makes for a very stilted plot with clichéd situations and characters, because the author’s head and heart are too tightly bound to the concept and rules of the game.
Bruce R Cordell manages to offset this through shifting between the real world and using Katherine Manners, preventing it from disappearing into a ‘The Strange’ RPG lovefest. There is also a great deal of grounding with humour, particularly where Carter Morrison is concerned, because his psyche is more in the real world than the alien VR environment, which he is trying to survive and make sense of. Now he must strive to become the character he once was in that domain and complete the objective which will save the real world from a terminal invasion, while dealing with the characters created within the VR, who are as bemused by Carter and his behaviour as he is by theirs.
Jason Cole (once Carter’s best friend) is also trapped in the alternate world but is far more connected with it, while at the same time desperately trying to get back into the real world.
There is also some interesting history which has occurred with other friends of Carter which has developed over a period of time. That there are different worlds existing side by side adds another layer to the complexity of the story.
On the whole this is an entertaining read and the reader is rewarded by an interesting ending which keeps options open for a further outing into the world of ‘The Strange’.
Myth of the Maker was courtesy of Angry Robot.