But, I'm still hanging in there.
So, speaking of never knowing what to expect, I've been reading Tad Williams "Otherland Volume 1: City of Golden Shadow". I picked up this one, together with Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land", while swapping books with a friend. I expected the latter to be great, with it's epic title and cool cover-art, while I didn't have high hopes for "Otherland" with it's over-long title and being by an author I had never read nor had recommended to me. So, of course, I'm loving "Otherland" after I finally gave up on "Stranger" 100 pages in.
A Story Within A Story
Otherland starts out jumping back and forth between a number of apparently unrelated Cyberpunk and Fantasy stories, each of them quite compelling. But, halfway through, it's clear from a number of hints that some(and presumably all) of the stories are somehow related, though it's still largely a mystery how.
One of the narratives I found particularly compelling is that of Thargor the Barbarian. Thargor is fairly standard Swords & Sorcery Barbarian, off adventuring with his buddy Pithlit the Thief. Not quite Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, but still pretty good stuff. They end up encountering something truly weird and we soon find out that the two are actually young kids playing an MMORPG in virtual reality. The Fantasy adventure quickly becomes a Cyberpunk tale as the kids are sucked into a high-stakes game of intrigue.
The story really plays in with the book's general theme of the strange mixing of realities created by the proliferation of VR and the Net. The youths' RL(Real-Life) personas reflect, but at the same time contrast with, their bad-ass PCs. This is particularly pronounced in "The Deadly Tower of Senbar Flay" where Thargor's bravado and Orlando's cocky confidence as his online avatar, clash so starkly in the following scene where he lies awake in bed, worried his parents will ground him and aware just how vulnerable a child like him would be if the mysterious criminals should come after him in RL.
A Game I'd Like to Run
|Typical Gen Y'ers as seen by an aging DM?|