--Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
Game designer Dagmar Shaw is skilled at creating vast online entertainments with millions of players. But Dagmar is haunted by her past, and by memories of a burning city, and of the friends who died as a bloody vengeance plot played to its conclusion around her.
Dagmar is an expert at manipulating the online players known as the Group Mind. But when an acquaintance appears with the plan to manipulate an entire Middle Eastern country, to stage a revolution and make the people think it was all their own idea, Dagmar is both appalled and intrigued.
Can she crash the Deep State? And can she do it without creating another bloodbath?
This is no longer a game. The bullets, the tanks, and the spies are real, and so is the danger as Dagmar plunges into the task of gaming an entire state.
When it first appeared, Deep State gained a modest amount of infamy as the novel that predicted the Arab Spring, and appeared the very week the Egyptians occupied Tahrir Square.
“And since this is an intrigue thriller, there are undercurrents and deceptions and hidden agendas and secret loyalties and unexpected betrayals, deeper states of operation and deeper games being played for higher (or lower) stakes. Dagmar faces not only the normal perils of an elaborate and delicate con, but those of the deep state of international politics, where you don’t know who has been bought or intimidated, who might be a plant, who has a history that will blow up at the worst possible moment.” --Russel Letson, Locus
“Williams has crafted a slick, intelligent techno-thriller that never allows the melodramatic storyline to swamp the cast of sympathetic characters.” --Eric Brown, the Guardian
“Both prescient and utterly of the moment, featuring an ingeniously concocted and elaborated plot and a compelling cast of characters, Deep State is a success on every level . . . if ever one of Williams’ books had crossover potential . . . this is it.
” . . . The biggest plot coupon of all . . . is really the card on which the whole hand turns, and Williams does not blow the trick. On the contrary, he weaves this bit of scientific or pseudo-scientific legerdemain very deftly into the warp and weft of his plot, giving the novel that satisfies both logically and emotionally. Like his doughty heroine, Williams is absolutely at the top of his game here.” ---Paul Witcover, Locus
Walter Jon Williams is an award-winning author who has been listed on the best-seller lists of the New York Times and the Times of London. He is the author of twenty-seven novels and three collections of short fiction.
His first novel to attract serious public attention was Hardwired (1986), described by Roger Zelazny as "a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe-light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars." In 2001 he won a Nebula Award for his novelette, “Daddy’s World,” and won again in 2005 for “The Green Leopard Plague.”
He has also written for George RR Martin's Wild Cards project.
His latest work is Quillifer, a epic fantasy.
Walter has also written for comics, the screen, and for television, and has worked in the gaming field. He was a writer for the alternate reality game Last Call Poker, and has scripted the mega-hit Spore.
--Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief, Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao
When you play one of Dagmar’s online games, you can’t just shut down the computer and walk away. The games pursue you into real life: you start getting emails and phone calls from fictional characters, perfect strangers ask you to help solve their problems, and sometimes you’re asked to volunteer for a mission to discover a vital clue.
But now something is pursuing Dagmar.
From the anarchy of a street riot in Indonesia to the brutality of a Mafia killing in Los Angeles, from the seedy glitz of Hollywood to the ruthless international currency market, Dagmar finds herself at the center of an intrigue far more desperate than those she devises for entertainment.
And somehow, she knows, the key to the puzzle lies in her own past, and the gaming group she joined in college.
Dagmar must draw on all her skill to defeat the nightmare that pursues her, not the least of which is her circle of online gamers whose well-honed puzzle-solving skills may be necessary to preserve her life.
This Is Not a Game. And there is no Second Life.
“Williams (The Rift) weaves intriguing questions about games, gamers and their relationships with real life into this well-paced near-future thriller.” --Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)
“This Is Not a Game is a compelling mystery, one that threateningly demands—like a militant nun, ruler in hand, your knuckles spread before her—for you to continue, to finish. Stopping, it’s not an option. It’s not even a thought. You turn the pages of the book not just to get answers, but to get the questions, also. And neither disappoint. There is no letdown, no clumsy resolution, no descent into lameness. Everything works, the story coming together beautifully like a well-played game of chess, Williams maneuvering the reader, skillfully. Like a pawn. A very happy pawn. –Paul Stotts
“Williams, from his own experience, knows how these games work and how the participants react, and the result is that This Is Not a Game succeeds only as a suspense novel, but as an incisive portrait of a subculture for whom reality is increasingly contingent, and increasingly mediated.” --Gary Wolfe, Locus
“Combines droll satire, cyber-fu knowingness, ingenious extrapolation, social commentary, and techno-thriller suspense.” --SciFiWire.com
“[An] eerily prophetic thriller.”--- SFX
"The Rift would be a very good beach book, if you could put it down long enough to get into the water." —— The San Diego Union Tribune
FRACTURE LINES PERMEATE THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES. Some comprise the New Madrid fault, the most dangerous earthquake zone in the world. Other fracture lines are social—— economic, religious, racial, and ethnic.
What happens when they all crack at once?
Caught in the disaster as cities burn and bridges tumble, young Jason Adams finds himself adrift on the Mississippi with African-American engineer Nick Ruford. A modern-day Huck and Jim, they spin helplessly down the river and into the widening faults in American society, encountering violence and hope, compassion and despair, and the primal wilderness that threatens to engulf not only them, but all they love...
" A breakout book that you'll swear the author lived" —— SF Age
"I don't like disaster novels. I would not have even glanced at The Rift if it weren't backed by Walter Jon Williams' reputation for excellence. And I definitely would not have kept reading if Williams hadn't demonstrated on every page that he deserves his reputation. The result? I was so engrossed in—— and engaged by ——The Rift that I forgot that I don't like disaster novels. This book is an impressive achievement.”
—— Stephen R. Donaldson, New York Times bestselling author of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
"The Rift is bloody wonderful! Williams brings an historic disaster back for an encore and metaphorically flattens it again. This is the stuff for which sleep is lost--and awards are made." —— Dean Ing
"The Rift shakes up the world like it's never been shaken before." —— Fred Saberhagen
"[For fans of the disaster novel] Williams delivers the requisite thrills and setpieces—— but he also, to paraphrase Conrad, offers a bit of that truth for which they forgot to ask." —— Locus