Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Critgroup projects

So I haven't blogged yet about my last Critical Mass meeting. It was a good one. The upcoming book by MLN Hanover, I highly recommend it. It's a paranormal thriller that uses MLN's talents as a plotter and scene setter very well indeed. MLN is also known as Daniel Abraham, and the series is called The Black Sun. Publishing dates and details to follow.

Walter Jon William's book, spectacular. I haven't had this much fun reading in a long time. The main characters design Alternate Reality Games, for an example of what these look like, click here, you'll be redirected to a site where these games launch. Basically, these are games that make use of all kinds of real world interaction. You often start the game on a fake website, on which various clues are posted. For example, there will be a fake phone number to a game character; you call that phone number and listen to a voicemail or even sometimes interact with a live actor to get more clues. Thousands and hundreds of thousands of people play these and network together via internet forums to solve the puzzle. Once the game gets underway, players will receive phone calls, emails, and other communications from the game. Parts of the game are played out in real time, with players following clues to specific sites where hired actors play out a crucial scene.

So, okay, that's how ARGs work. This book's about a game that starts mixing with reality in ever more disturbing ways.

Sage Walker gave us an achingly gorgeous pair of novel starts, and Terry England's writing a short story that's in a very engaging, on the brink of singularity world. We only got to read part of that one; more to follow, I hope.

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