The Praxis (Author's Preferred Edition): Dread Empire's Fall Series 1

Walter Jon Williams
8

“Walter Jon Williams has succeeded in creating the perfect contemporary space opera, revved up and ready to take the SF genre by force with all the artistry and panache one could ask for.”

                                                                        --Enigma

“This is a hugely fun ride.  It has empires crashing, civil wars, aliens, humans, scheming clans, plucky young heroes and villains fighting battles in huge starships--- what more can you ask for?”

                                                                        --Alien Online

 “Walter Jon Williams has been compared to writers as diverse as Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen; both comparisons, bizarrely, make sense.  This is classic space opera, elegantly written and beautifully plotted.”

                                                                        --Guardian

 For millennia the alien Shaa have ruled their empire with a merciless hand.  But soon their rule will end, and their subject species are already beginning to bid for power.  Will their ruthless competition lead to bloody chaos, or a tyranny even worse than that of the Shaa?

Cadet Caroline Sula is a brilliant, beautiful, brittle officer with a deadly secret that could bring her career crashing in ruins.  Lt. Gareth Martinez is a provincial who struggles for recognition by the glittering lords of the empire.  Together they discover that one of the empire’s subject races is planning a murderous conquest that will leave humanity helpless, and soon they’re in a fight against overwhelming odds to save humanity’s last hope from extinction. 

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About the author

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 The Fourth Wall, a near-future thriller set in the world of alternate reality gaming.

 

 

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.

 

 

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Reviews

3.8
8 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Walter Jon Williams
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Published on
Nov 29, 2015
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9780990550990
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Science Fiction / Alien Contact
Fiction / Science Fiction / Hard Science Fiction
Fiction / Science Fiction / Military
Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Walter Jon Williams
“Walter Jon Williams is a visionary of tremendous power and originality . . . He kills every damn time.”

                                    --Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Dagmar Shaw is back in Hollywood, with a plan to lasso a series of emerging technologies into a revolutionary new form of entertainment.

Sean Makin is a washed-up child actor clinging to life on reality television, until Dagmar offers him the chance to be a star.

Sean’s past, however, holds the darkest of secrets, and now it looks as if that secret threatens to break loose in a new cycle of violence and murder.

Sean’s determined to succeed, even if the path to stardom is splashed with blood.  But the ultimate secret is Dagmar’s, and Sean has to decide how much to pay in order to find out what’s on the other side of the fourth wall.

“ . . . the blending of mystery-thriller, SF, and traditional Hollywood-story elements is hugely successful. It’s one of those ambitious, genre-bending books in which you keep seeing, as you read, ways the story could fall apart under its own weight—but it never does. Surely the best of the Dagmar Shaw series and one of the author’s finest novels.”  --Booklist (starred review)

“This is an ambitious novel, blending elements of science fiction, thriller and Hollywood epic into one wildly inventive narrative. It’s the kind of genre-bender that you can spend a lot of time trying to describe, or you can simply say: go read it, right now.”  --David Pitt, Winnipeg Free Press

 

Walter Jon Williams
“Walter Jon Williams is a visionary of tremendous power and originality . . . He kills every damn time.”

    --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

 

 

Walter Jon Williams
“Walter Jon Williams is a visionary of tremendous power and originality . . . He kills every damn time.”

                                    --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
 Mark Twain versus the Singularity!

Mark Twain may be the most celebrated man in the world, but his alter ego Sam Clemens is tottering through life, disillusioned by the massacres and madness of the human race and stalked by guilt over the deaths of his children, his brother, and his wife.  Sam’s friend, the brilliant scientist Nikola Tesla, creates dazzling new technologies that may transform the world--- but as Sam discovers, Tesla’s inventions may not belong to him, but might instead be the calculating creations of an malevolent  intelligence from beyond the Earth.

Mark Twain might be able to save the world, but first Sam Clemens must make up his mind whether the “damned human race” is worth saving.

In “The Boolean Gate,” Walter Jon Williams continues his brilliant series of stories about writers, and brings to life the milieu and the towering personalities of America’s Gilded Age.

“This one is 99% historical fact, although readers unfamiliar with the career of Tesla may think it’s the stuff of science fiction. Tesla was a science fiction writer’s dream made flesh, with also a bit of the mad scientist in the mix . . . but the story really belongs to Sam Clemens, who was in fact Tesla’s friend.”

                                                            Lois Tilton, Locus

‘‘Despite the Ragtime-like sense of a slice of Gilded Age life among the historically prominent, this really is SF… Once again, Williams demonstrates the range of his writerly chops.’’

Russell Letson, Locus

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