--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 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
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
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Neal Stephenson is continually rocking the literary world with his brazen and brilliant fictional creations—whether he’s reimagining the past (The Baroque Cycle), inventing the future (Snow Crash), or both (Cryptonomicon). With Reamde, this visionary author whose mind-stretching fiction has been enthusiastically compared to the work of Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Kurt Vonnegut, and David Foster Wallace—not to mention William Gibson and Michael Crichton—once again blazes new ground with a high-stakes thriller that will enthrall his loyal audience, science and science fiction, and espionage fiction fans equally. The breathtaking tale of a wealthy tech entrepreneur caught in the very real crossfire of his own online fantasy war game, Reamde is a new high—and a new world—for the remarkable Neal Stephenson.
--Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
Sean Makin was a washed-up child actor, until Dagmar Shaw made him a star. Now he's starring in a big-budget action thriller that offers him the chance to become a box-office titan.
Except the action and the thrills aren't just in the movie. Dangerous and destabilizing new technology is floating around behind the scenes. Police and cartel lords lurk in the shadows. An assassin is on the loose, and has already claimed his first victim.
Sean could be next in the killer's sights, unless he can find out what the bad guys want, who's hiding it, and how many people he's going to have to betray in order to save his life--- and more importantly, his celebrity.
One obsessed cop. Two master thieves. A very small island in space. And The Greatest Treasure in the Empire.
Silverside Station is a small asteroid resort catering to the rich, the famous, and the celebrated— but is it big enough for both Drake Maijstral (the devious hero of The Crown Jewels) and Geoff Fu George (rated the galaxy’s top burglar by the Imperial Sporting Commission), both of whom have set their sights on the Eltdown Shard, a fabulous jewel that captures the light of a dying sun, a jewel that dangles around the comely throat of the Duchess Roberta, a beautiful and dashing heiress who clearly has plans of her own.
Mayhem and hilarity at the only possible result. House of Shards continues the droll adventures of Drake Maijstral— thief, devout coward, and reluctant hero— as he schemes his way to the top of the ratings.
It’s been seven years since the end of the Naxid War. Sidelined for their unorthodox tactics by a rigid, tradition-bound military establishment, Captain Gareth Martinez and Captain the Lady Sula are stewing in exile, frustrated and impatient to exercise the effective and lethal skills they were born to use in fighting the enemy.
Yet after the ramshackle empire left by the Shaa conquerors is shaken by a series of hammer blows that threaten the foundations of the commonwealth, the result is a war that no one planned, no one expected, and no one knows how to end.
Now, Martinez, Sula, and their confederate Nikki Severin must escape the clutches of their enemies, rally the disorganized elements of the fleet, and somehow restore the fragile peace—or face annihilation at the hands of a vastly superior force.
"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
The first book in the completed Dread Empire's Fall trilogy, followed by The Sundering and Conventions of War.
All will must bend to the perfect truth of The Praxis
For millennia, the Shaa have subjugated the universe, forcing the myriad sentient races to bow to their joyless tyranny. But the Shaa will soon be no more. The dread empire is in its rapidly fading twilight, and with its impending fall comes the promise of a new galactic order . . . and bloody chaos.
A young Terran naval officer marked by his lowly birth, Lt. Gareth Martinez is the first to recognize the insidious plot of the Naxid -- the powerful, warlike insectoid society that was enslaved before all others -- to replace the masters’ despotic rule with their own. Barely escaping a swarming surprise attack, Martinez and Caroline Sula, a pilot whose beautiful face conceals a deadly secret, are now the last hope for freedom for every being who ever languished in Shaa chains -- as the interstellar battle begins against a merciless foe whose only perfect truth is annihilation.