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Just in case you were wondering. The average rating would have been a 3 as well. View all 13 comments. May 04, Cathy rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction , horror , people-of-color , short-stories , read-in , anthology.
When I started this t I was excited to see the mix of familiar favorite authors and people that were new to me, it seemed like good balance.
One of the reasons I like reading anthologies is to discover authors to add to my to-read list, if I don't find at least one new author that I really like in a larger anthology it's quite disappointing.
And that is the point of anthologies too, it's not just about selling them, it's about marketing the authors and selling more of their books and 3.
And that is the point of anthologies too, it's not just about selling them, it's about marketing the authors and selling more of their books and stories.
These authors have interesting backgrounds too, a lot of scientific and technical backgrounds along with their often extensive writing experience and many writing awards.
Plus they invited a bunch of authors who are primarily writers for video games or also write for video games, so they definitely knew their business.
There was also some nice international flair, both in a few of the writers' backgrounds and in the stories. It wasn't extensive, but was good to see.
Overall the stories were all good, and I enjoyed a few quite a lot. Seanan McGuires's was my favorite but that was probably at least partly because I'm into the series it's a part of.
It was a fun theme and I was never bored except one time. Though it became clear from reading my friend Mogsy's very good review of the book that I didn't always get some of the nuances or cool aspects of the stories because I'm not a gamer, so if you are you might get even more out of it than I did.
It was great that they included a number of authors outside of the usual pack, going for gamer insiders. But I wished there were some younger or less experienced regular short story writers too.
There were only two or three traditional authors not primarily video game authors who weren't very well known to me, and they were still well known authors.
Daniel H. Wilson - G-d Mode - It wasn't about a video game, it was about view spoiler [the singularity, or at least about those two in the process of being uploaded.
Is he saying that if versions of them live in the computer, that by definition is a video game, their lives have become a game? I guess it depends who's in control of the systems.
Charles Yu - NPC - It probably says a lot about getting what we think we want and it not being what it's cracked up to be.
I like my simple life, so I get that, fame and fortune isn't on my to-do list. So it's video games as a metaphor for life and all that.
It didn't matter whether the game was real or not or what real even meant here. It was a good use of the theme, a decent story. Hiroshi Sakurazaka - Respawn - It had such a funny opening: "In the beginning G-d created the screen.
And the screen was without form, and void; and all the pixels were dark I liked the way he brought it back around to the intro at the end too, if not the action the guy took at the very end, which seemed inconsistent with his personality and experiences.
It was a great story except that very tiny end part. I tried hard to find more of his stories and books, the anthology model worked well here, one of only two authors in the book I looked up.
But I already had a couple upcoming books reserved too, most of the authors were well known to me, as I said.
There isn't a lot available in the States or in the US library system from this many, many awards-winning Japanese author, a real shame. This story had subtle but good use of theme.
Mastrantone - Desert Walk - It was a good kind of creepy, and enjoyably nostalgic, until it ended too up in the air to have any meaning.
It was a so-what ending because I didn't know what had happened and there was no question left about what might happen next to extend the horror.
Good use of theme if a bit expected. Charlie Jane Anders - Rat Catcher's Yellows - Smart use of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite concept and boy was it weird to see it twice in a week, having also seen it in M.
Hanover 's Unclean Spirits as part of his Rider theory of how demons, vampires, lycanthropes, etc. As someone who became disabled in her thirties, it was hard not to relate to this story, though I'm very grateful to be much more functional than the people with this disease.
I related to the caregiver too, having been on that side of the equation as well. It was a very good story and a very good use of theme, a touching and clever story.
Her first novel will be out soon, I've already reserved it. Holly Black - 1Up - It was very Holly Black, if you've read any of her books you'll recognize her style: good friends, kind of dark, kind of funny.
She's great at writing for kids and about kids. It was a good story and a very good use of theme. If I'd know this was in here I'd have read the book months ago!
McGuire has the most fun with Annie in anthologies, from bombs to roller derby to comic books to video games, Annie has the best interests.
The full list of InCryptid short stories , many free to download, is on the author's website. This was a very fun story that I'm sure I'd have enjoyed as much even if I wasn't familiar with the people, and it would probably have made me want to get to know them.
Ah - I may be wrong, my friend Mogsy was not a fan, see review link in my intro above because it was confusing and she felt disconnected from the characters.
Well, maybe the second one. But it was a decent story. And it was set in Japan; it was nice to read another one not set in the U.
And his books have been on my to-read list a long time, so it was good to get a taste. Nicole Feldringer - Outliers - Her opening was great, about setting up a competition for regular people to run a climate change simulation model online.
It showed in a few paragraphs that "video games" aren't or don't have to be just fun, or things that are fun can also be productive. Like Fix The Debt's interactive resources that let people try creating their own federal budgets, fix Social Security, etc.
And be fun. But the character in this story was unlikable. I can absolutely see wanting to skip a family wedding, maybe even a brother you love if your other relationships are bad enough.
But the author didn't show me enough bad to accept that this gal wasn't just shallow and selfish.
Nope, just a jerk who was forced to attend virtually and didn't even bother to prepare the toast she was supposed to give. Writing a short story about an unlikable person is tricky and she didn't manage it well, this woman came off as a brat and not as a strong, determined woman with her own agenda.
But it was a great use of theme, and it made sense since the author has a PhD in atmospheric sciences and a Master's in geological sciences. Chris Avellone - - This was written by of the tech guys mentioned in the intro.
A creative director of Obsidian Entertainment, he worked on tons of RPGs, plus plus plus, tons of experience. This experience was obvious in this interactive fiction formatted story.
It was clever and compelling. Which was life and which is the game? Does it matter? Not if you're trapped either way, I'd guess. But like many of the stories in the book, it ended with a whimper, a bit disappointing after such a strong buildup.
The way it ended was kind of a typical choice for short stories though, a lot of them go there and they're often disappointing in the same way.
It was a very obvious and strong use of theme but nicely done. Maybe JJA wanted to include it because it was as much fantasy as science fiction?
I think it's funny that stuffy people think Jane Austin books make them seem serious, they're such soap operas, that's why they're fun. Which isn't significant to the story at all, it was just a tiny thing the woman in the story mentioned that she liked that the man didn't.
I didn't like the story much though, view spoiler [Meg didn't seem like the kind of person who would let herself get manipulated like that, with a causal, "well I did it before so I'll just do it again.
I get that I was supposed to accept it and just like the impact of the ending but it irritated me too much, I didn't get how she'd have gotten to the point where we saw her.
The changes to her body were incremental but the choices happened each time. Just because she was frumpy originally meant that I was supposed to believe she was weak willed?
I don't like abusive relationship stories and the bad person winning. The story didn't take into account the pain of going from a precious past moment that can't be recaptured and re-awakening in the present.
It's hard enough when it's just a dream or a regular memory. Yes, there are some people who would get lost in the past, but I don't think it's the risk that VR could be, I didn't find it that believable.
And the story wasn't great all around. It started off good, I felt the pull of the past too for sure. And the dynamic between the father and the daughter was easy to relate to, as was the bratty but desperately hurting teenage girl.
But then it didn't hold up for me. It was up and down. Plus it wasn't about a video game, it was about technology. And it had a terrible ending.
Marc Laidlaw - Roguelike - A published author who became a writer for a video game, he knows this from both sides.
A nice little injection of humor well needed in the book. And definitely a video game theme. It important to read stories a about the past and get some perspective on the present.
And that game in this story was creepy. I sympathized with Lizzie too, because as much as I enjoy kids, which is more than most people, I was afraid that that enjoyment wouldn't survive if I decided to become a teacher.
I'm glad I didn't so they're still a treat. But why do all of these stories have lame endings? I read a lot of short stories and endings can often be a problem, but this book is worse than most, with many of the authors choosing a common solution that is getting very old.
And not always the most impactful solution, even if it might seem dramatic. I liked the imperfect main character, the way the author managed to weave together a love story, a creepy little horror story and bring in some important social issues as well.
It did make me want to check out her books. Even though the game wasn't explained at all, it was just an anomaly. The MC drove the ending all by herself, so to speak.
Micky Neilson - Recoil! This was a more traditional action story, more what I'd expect when first thinking about the theme. The word Factions originally bugged me from my perspective as a non-gamer and Insurgent fan, but apparently it was a gamer thing first, who knew?
Millions of people, probably. If this is a good example, I'd bet his adaptations and other stories are quite good as well.
Its time we girled it up a little. The gaming world can still pretty unfriendly to women all too often a decade later, it's a shame, but at least it's up and down, there can be a lot of good experiences too.
And there are more female avatars and characters and they don't all look like anatomically impossible male fantasies.
It was a good story, though not fantastic enough for me to get why they included it in this book except for it being an appropriately themed story by such a popular author.
Jessica Barber - Coma Kings - This neuroscientist, rocket ship builder, etc. We can draw a strong correlation, if not a conclusion, that video games do not rot the brain.
My review from the second included, "It was sad It wasn't totally original, I've read other stories about people plugging in and not wanting to come out.
But it's obviously going to become more and more of an issue with better technology and virtual reality, and it makes sense that authors are exploring it from different angles and perspectives.
It was a good little story about families and growing up as well. And it was a new author to me and a pretty new author on the scene as well, so I liked that too.
Bennett - Stats - Primarily a comic book writer who's worked for many of the big publishers. I'm not sure I appreciated the story though.
Forcing change in the world doesn't seem like it would work. Unless you're willing to kill the vast majority of people who don't comply to whatever your rules are, you self-appointed engineering gods.
This woman wasn't any better than any power-mad dictator in the history of the world, Chris Kluwe - Please Continue - "Chris Kluwe is a former NFL punter and a writer, onetime violin prodigy, rights advocate, and obsessive gamer.
ChrisWarcraft is his Twitter name and a significant part of his Wikipedia page is about his gaming life, also amusing. After reading about who his is and what he's done, I totally got the story and I agree with everything in it.
But it was too heavy-handed and switched from an interesting story into too much of a lecture. He did help me to understand how people can spend years involved in the games that I don't have the attention span for, even made the idea attractive.
The lecture had some good points. We need a balance, games shouldn't take over so much of our lives so that the real world suffers from lack of attention or financing.
By games he also meant big stadium sports and by real world he meant teachers and scientists. It's an awkward comparison, but the call for balance is certainly a fair one.
And now I'm feeling really guilty about my Bitmoji. This character said all of those physical changes were incredibly painful. I may never change her ever again!
The story was simple and just eh, fine. The idea of using the character's perspective was good and some of her thoughts were quite amusing.
It just didn't amount to as much as I'd hoped. But just because some parts of the story were written in interactive fiction game format, that didn't make it actually about a video game.
I didn't buy that it was anything to do with a game, it was about the kid and the multiple worlds he kept slipping between, the game was just an excuse to get it in this book.
It was eh, a little tortured, trying too hard to be deep. Certainly not the cool or even modern and fresh story the name implied.
As usual, it suffered from a not great ending. So one of my favorite short story authors also writes video games, who knew? I'm looking forward to his first novel, out soon.
But though his stories are usually creative and terrific, this was dull. Too much detail, not enough to engage me with the character.
Good story, he's the most consistent and prolific short story writer. Valente - Killswitch - Originally published in on InvisibleGames.
It was vary Valente, a fictional myth about the gaming world. A vary short, good story. Andy Weir - Twarrior - This was a humorous one.
Though if it learned everything it knew from the Internet would its spelling be awful or perfect? Of course it was funnier that it was adolescently obnoxious.
Jarvis is only cool if you can hear him. Hugh Howey - Select Character - I kind of loved this one. Of course I would, right? Not all women and men think completely differently, some women want to play shoot-'em-ups to shoot-'em-up, but a lot of women are looking for something different from games and from the world than men are, or at least see things from a different perspective.
We need to value different perspectives and approaches, in games and in life. I'd like to think that the ending was likely, that a woman's way of thinking and advancing would be valued so highly, or at least a peaceful, nurturing perspective regardless of who was playing.
Jul 12, Brenda A rated it liked it Shelves: comic-con Going to review this singularly because they all deserve it: God Mode by Daniel H.
It doesn't really explain much of what's happening until the last few paragraphs, but it was clever and a good introduction overall into the style of stories in here.
Two people's world is slowly dissolving around them, as if their surroundings are no longer rendered. An NPC inadvertently does something that gives him an identity.
Now he's not sure if he wants to be NPC or playable It was an interesting bit about the awareness of videogame characters--not just the main guys, but even the NPCs.
It got a bit confusing in the middle when there were so many former self's being referenced. Man respawns over and over into different people.
Who knew a pixelated game could be so freaking creepy? Apparently this author did because fuck I got creeped out. A desert game where all you do is walk, and hope to come across something cool.
Until you come across something that shouldn't be in the game It wasn't so much sci-fi, fantasy or horror. It's about a woman whose mind is deteriorating due to a disease, and her partner finds a game that triggers the parts of the brain that still work.
Turns out that even if her brain broke in some ways, she's now a genius in others. While there, they discover that this friend may have known he was going to die soon, and left them a trail of breadcrumbs to follow via text-based game to uncover the truth about his death.
Too many specialized terms that took too long for me to puzzle out and the story wasn't riveting enough to make it worthwhile.
Supernatural people get locked in a computer game that won't release them until they solve all puzzles. Still not sure what a cuckoo is here.
It begins with a translator searching for a man--a man with a very interesting story. He built an app that showed its users demons and secret writing and other such mysteries wherever they pointed their camera.
An ingenious idea really, and I rather like the idea of an app like that anyway. But maybe there's more going on than he programmer knows There's a lot of build up, and a main character that is kind of a bitch especially at her brother's wedding.
The end was a little too smart for me, and I had to sit and reread it about four times before I could articulate what happened, and even then I'm not totally sure I got it fully.
Which just makes me feel dumb. A woman plays a game where she gets to document climate change for the government.
I get that it's going on a text-based videogame, but I don't need to reread a bunch of times about how you reset on the bed and keep trying to take pills or read a computer screen.
I just couldn't get into it. It starts with Meg going to find Devon, her ex-boyfriend. She jumps in her car and throws her sword in the backseat, and battles a giant spider on the way to his dorm.
What follows is a quest for her to recover him. And what I like about this is that it isn't necessarily what you expect it is going to be, and I loved the ending.
It actually made me appreciate just how magical our world can be, which is pretty impressive for a short story. I liked it, and I like its message or at least the message I'm pushing into the story , but there isn't really a plot.
It just sort of gives you exposition about our main character and then it just ends in a bad way. Multiple agents run through a simulator to try and beat it and get to the end.
She wrote The Waking Dark , which is precisely as dark as you think it is with a title like that. I loved it, and forgot that she was the author.
So when I was reading through this and got to the little About Me blurb for the author, I was reintroduced to her.
And let me tell you, I like getting reacquainted with miss Wasserman. This particular story is about a teacher becoming increasingly obsessed with playing a twisted version of Oregon Trail.
When she starts an affair with the computer teacher Rebecca, she gets sucked into playing the game night after night.
But weirdly, the game isn't picking deaths that can happen on the Oregon Trail. It's picking dates like "throat cancer, ".
Jimmy accidentally gets locked into a building overnight, on the same night some Russians break in in order to get some very secret information.
Queue Jimmy's desperate flee for escape and protection. That people from different walks of life and band together through videogames.
I like that message. The story is that Anda gets to join an elite team of female gamers who are basically the baddest bitches ever.
They're strong, they're smart, they're elite, but they're supportive of growth. Anda then has to go against one of her Fahrenheit teammates for something she's not sure she believes in or not.
Coma Kings by Jessica Barber 2 stars Yet another short story with a message, though this one is a bit of a downer. Two sisters play this game against each other, but one eventually gets so plugged in that she's essentially comatose hence the name!!
It's depressing in more ways than one, and didn't really have an ending completely, but I think that was sort of the point.
Joey fucking Connor is a douchebag through and through. Suddenly he starts changing. He just might find out Good idea, slow execution. Even WITH the positive message.
What it's like to be modified, what it's like to venture into the game world for the first time Nothing to sneeze at for me, but not bad either. Kid gets stuck in an alternate universe, essentially.
I could picture every one of these scenes bit by bit and it looks awesome in my head. In short, it is about a man doing a simulation that turns a little too real.
I won't say much, only that the bounty hunter Alex female captures Ryder male to deliver back to his father, and they talk philosophy..
The idea is cool, and I liked how it ended, but it felt a little too try for me to get invested into it all the way. You crack me up, really.
I've read a few of your short stories now, and The Martian. I gotta say--I dig your sense of humor. You have made me laugh every time it was your goal to, and I am pleasantly happy to see that this short story was no different.
I'm glad I got to meet you if only for a second and get my book signed by you. I plan on keeping it a loooooong time..
And it leads to some very interesting reactions. This is a marvelous one to end on for me, because it ended the whole book on a good tone.
I was already happy with how many female gamers were represented here, but this one in particular takes the cake because of what happens at the end.
Sep 12, Kristina rated it it was amazing. I honestly enjoyed this anthology. I love playing video games and many of these stories took a unique approach on how to incorporate video games into the story.
Mastrantone has a creepy feeling to it while the main character plays the game Desert Walk. This was my favorite story. Please Continue by Chris Kluwe was phenomenal.
It had I honestly enjoyed this anthology. It had a great message to it. I would highly look at the author's life story AFTER reading the story to enhance the experience of this story.
Creation Screen by Rhianna Pratchett looks into the mind of characters created on a creation screen. It was a very interesting story.
These were my favorite stories in the collection, but overall I liked most of the stories in this book. Jan 27, Smirking rated it really liked it Shelves: anthology.
I am a gamer. I love video games. I love the escapism, the strategy, and the utter satisfaction that they bring.
The Rogue and I play together often as well. Our favorites are shooters and RPGs, but we each play a little of everything. Of course when I saw that there was an anthology all about gaming you know I was hooked.
I love anthologies. T I am a gamer. They are a great way to be introduced to a new author. They are short and sweet, but if done well hold the same impact as a longer novel.
Press Start to Play is a diverse little collection. There are fantasy and sci-fi selections as well as horror and whimsy.
As a while it was a strong anthology and one that I will return to again in the future. There he falls for a fellow student named Sarah.
When Sarah falls and hits her head the sky begins to disappear. Soon the couple finds their world slowly being derezzed around them. While I liked the story and the subtlety of it, it was not the strongest of openers.
Yet I still liked it. Whose world was it to begin with in the first place? Such is the case for one NPC who lives his life every day collecting iridium in the background, crushing on a woman, and eating Lean Cuisines.
A twist of fate levels him up one day. But is it all what it is cracked up to be? I loved this story. It was funny. It was charming.
And it made me think of all of those NPCs in our gaming lives. It goes on from there. This was a great story. Loved the intro. Nice addition.
Mastrantone : Desert Walk is a game that Sam has wanted forever. Not only was it cancelled, but the only copies that exist are the demos which happen to have the full game on it.
There are stories about the game, odd things that people have found and now Sam gets to see what all the fuss is about. The game is simple really; you walk through the desert.
Except maybe there is more to the game than he thought. Maybe there was a reason why it was cancelled. One of the first horror tinged stories of the anthology and I loved it.
When our lead finds a game that brings her partner back she is all for the therapeutic nature of it. Even if the game is a Renaissance MMP completely populated by cats.
Also there needs to be this game IRL. I like Charlie Jane Anders for many reasons and while I have not picked up her debut novel, this gave me a slight taste of what to expect.
And I am intrigued. Good story. Three friends attend the funeral of their online gaming friend. While at the reception they find a text based game on his computer.
It was supposed to give them answers about his death. It becomes all too real. I love you Holly. You rock. Such a good story.
Survive or die. Gold star for all the comic mentions. Oh Seanan, you big geek. In this game, players use various forms of social media and their own phones to discover demons and hidden runes.
A journalist is trying to uncover the truth about the game, especially since many players think its real. Is it? Great story.
I now want to go grab some ARGs. But she soon realizes that there does not seem to be a way to win. However, she is determined.
What is the game for and what is the point? The first weak outing of the anthology in my opinion. Like the homage, but the ending was a little disappointing.
Insert giant spiders and her quest not going as some had planned. Love Meg. Loved her badassness. Love how it ended. Boyle: Grief is a powerful thing as is regret and our memories.
One father is obsessed with reliving the moments he had with his wife, but in the process destroys the relationship with his daughter whom his wife left behind as well.
Convinced he can see where it all went wrong he spends more time in VR instead of making new memories with his daughter.
Could VR really rule our lives? If I had a holodeck? No probably. The Rogue and I would just spend our days adventuring in various games, movies, and books.
I wish I could pinpoint why. So perfect. The Rogue thus named because of his online moniker and his love for playing and creating roguelikes himself really enjoyed it as well.
If you have not played a rogue like before I can see why you may not enjoy it as much. If you have not played a roguelike I insist that you go play one now.
Dwarf Fortress is a great one to start with. In this story the game becomes a little creepy as the game starts bleeding into real life.
I liked it and yet I was disappointed by it. I like the horror elements, but I wanted more. I feel like it fell apart slightly at the end. Bad night to do it though, when he finds himself part of a hostage situation.
Nice twist. Thought I had it all figured out, but not quite. When she discovers some secrets about her virtual life, she has an important decision to make.
Who hoo lady gamers who kick ass. While I know better than to start an MMO Hello lack of willpower on my end…no one would ever see me again this was good.
It touched on a lot of different themes and gaming issues. There are people who farm and groups who have industrialized certain games. Loved seeing girls kick butt.
Heavier themes here, but enough humor and action to balance it out. Both are incredibly talented within the game, but one became so obsessed that she implanted the game directly into her brain.
Now her sister is just trying to find a way to reconnect. Interesting concept. Bennett: Joey is not a good man.
Maybe that is why someone is teaching him a lesson by messing with his stats in real life. A revenge story that is kind of creepy from both sides.
Joey is an asshat sure, but…. As a woman who knows a few powergamers who are obsessed with grinding, finding the loopholes and glitches, and making sure you never miss a raid night, I get it.
But everyone games differently. I like the immersion and escape. Others view the game as a problem and want to solve it more than escape into it.
To each their own unless you are trying to do multiplayer story mode with that above mentioned gamer set and want to solve things your own way and not skip the story bits.
I can see why some may not like this story, but I enjoyed it. Poor character. This story is from their point of view.
The spark of life, the painful physical transformations and modifications, the first glimpse of a new world, and having to comply with commands that may differ from their desires.
I liked this story. Sorry character. Really I am. Great world building, nice pacing, and some nice twists to boot.
A simulation turns a little too real. Another text based gaming story and yet different. I loved the android bits I am currently watching the first season of Humans on AmazonPrime.
I think this would make a great Outer Limits episode. Valente: An interesting outing, this one involves a game full of ghosts who haunt the mines and machinery.
It also parallels the real mining industry and deals with themes like gaming versus real life. There are no respawns, just one shot.
So so funny this story. A programmer creates a program to run for a billion seconds and to learn what it can.
Over 30 years later the AI returns, self-aware, intelligent, and…who speaks only in slang. This is what happens when you learn from the interwebs.
I liked it. Not the strongest ending, but one that made me smile. Buy or Borrow: Buy. If you are a fan of video games in general this a great little anthology.
Aug 10, Benjamin Valimont rated it really liked it. Overall I think the whole is greater than its parts. But, this book does have 26 short stories each from a different author.
As such the quality each story varies. FYI--These reviews may contain spoilers. Twarrior Andy Weir 5 stars My favorite book is the Martian.
I also love his short stories. This st Overall I think the whole is greater than its parts. This story is about a computer programmer who in college created a program to run for a billion seconds over 31 years.
Select Character Hugh Howey 5 stars A husband comes home to find his wife playing one of his video games. She had never been much of a gamer before, but had started playing when she got bored on maternity leave.
She then begins to discover why someone would pay for these quests. He is the only left when terrorists break into the building to steal military technology the company is working on.
While talking in his room, they discover their friend had left them a game to play which may reveal the truth about his death. Desert Walk S.
Mastrantone 5 stars A guy finally gets his hands on an extremely rare old school game that never made it to mass market.
Only a few copies were ever made. The game is not very exciting but it has a clouded history. Killswitch Catherynne M. Valente 5 stars A cryptic story of a video game about escaping from a haunted mine.
He chose the game. When finds him, she learns he has found a way to turn the real world into his game. Real Django Wexler 4 stars A game developer finds that the evil characters he developed has become real.
Outliers Nicole Feldringer 4 stars A girl gets obsessed with getting first place a game that is intended to help crowd-source climate modeling.
Their loved ones find that the only thing the can do for the ill is let them play this one game. The Relive Box T. Boyle 3 stars This is a story about a divorced father becoming obsessed with a machine that lets you relive your past experiences.
Creation Screen Rhianna Pratchett 3 stars This story is about an avatar becoming self-aware. She longs that she could explore the real world but knows she never will.
God Mode Daniel H. The Fresh Prince of Gamma World Austin Grossman 3 stars A young man finds himself going back and forth between two different realities.
Stats Marguerite K. Bennett 2 stars A douchebag wakes up to find his appearance changing throughout the day. The two sisters become obsessed with a game.
Annie got so addicted to it that she hardwired her brain to the game. It takes more money than the family has to keep Annie hooked up.
They know have to decide whether or not to pull the plug on her, which would mean her death. It was really just commands to an avatar.
Roguelike Marc Laidlaw 2 stars This was not a story. It was only tombstones. Sep 07, Shayla Gibson rated it really liked it.
God Mode—Daniel H. Wilson: Is the apocalypse here? Mastr God Mode—Daniel H. Mastrantone: This one went along as a mystery but then hooked into horror at the end.
Definite creep factor! A group of internet game friends meets up for the first time in real life to go to their mutual friend's funeral.
No pressure. I didn't really like the main character - I'd have been a lot more pissed at her if I were her sibling - but did like the story.
Sort of a where does the game cross over to real life situation? How far would you take it? Boyle reprint : Pretty depressing. Living in the past is not good for you - memories are meant to fade.
Didn't really like this story; no real empathy or sympathy for the main character, and I would have no interest at all in the technology he's destroying his life with.
It does kind of make me want to go watch Strange Daze though. No hints though - just go read it yourself. Much more of a Beck I guess, and the whole story just felt like the character I actually liked getting sidelined and hurt.
Turns out it's because the point wasn't that deep or interesting. Rat Catcher's Yellows did a lot better job of engaging me in caring about the people affected by a loved one's disappearance into a game.
Bennett: Conflicted about this one. I disliked the main character, and did not empathize with his choices in his situation Please Continue—Chris Kluwe: This ended up being more of an essay about societal issues than a story, really.
An essay that I mostly agree with, as it happens, but still, not a story. Creation Screen—Rhianna Pratchett: Why must we torture our avatars so?
Probably my shortcoming and not the author's. Good ending; I would like to read more in this universe. Valente reprint : Weird; sort of a fake history doc thing?
No real characters or action. Not really my thing, but it might be yours. I think these characters really need to work on their communication for the sake of their relationship, but I really liked where the story went.
Sep 01, Joshua Castleman rated it liked it. Some of the stories were brilliant, imaginative takes on what a game can do or be, and I wanted them to go on longer.
Then other stories I couldn't even finish, even though they were only another 10 pages or so. I feel like I need to review each story individually because they were so different.
But I won't. Valente even though I didn't fully get it TWarrior by Andy Weir Select Character by Hugh Howey This isn't to say none of the other stories were good, but these were my favorites that I would enjoy reading again later.
And therein lies one of my other gripes with this collection: a lot of the stories were rather depressing and hopeless. That's probably one of the shared attributes of the stories I listed is that they had some sort of hope in them, even if the stories themselves weren't happy or 'fun-loving.
Why are they all such downers? This should be fun! Perhaps that's why the stories I liked most are by the better authors who were able to look past that into the true potential of this theme.
Either way, I can't say it was a waste of time. Obviously, since I finished. But I learned to have a quick trigger finger when it came to skipping stories.
So that's my take on it. Sep 02, Max rated it it was amazing Shelves: science-fiction , fantasy , anthology. This is a really great anthology.
There's a nice mix of genres, both in terms of fantasy, sci-fi, and a bit of horror, and the genres of video games being commented on and used.
These stories explore why we play video games, how we make them, how they affect us and we affect them, and even look at what the world is like for the characters in the games.
There are some nice riffs on specific games, including Desert Bus. I loved most of This is a really great anthology. There were some stories that I found mediocre or too predictable, and I was especially disappointed by the plot of the Ken Liu story, even if the idea of story telling through text adventures was kinda neat.
Still, the good far outshines the bad, and proves that stories written about videogames can be just as exciting and interesting as the games themselves.
I highly recommend this to anybody who likes video games or science fiction and fantasy, and it's a must read for those who love both.
Aug 31, Ric rated it liked it Shelves: reading-challenge , own. This was a really cool collection because it was centered around video games.
Jul 22, Graham Oliver rated it liked it Shelves: reviewed , short-stories , sff. Official review will be up in a couple of weeks.
Overall the book has some really cool ideas but needed a heavier editing hand, lots of little stylistic things that should've been fixed and bloated paragraphs that should've been trimmed.
Could have been a really strong page anthology instead of a very uneven page one. Boyle's was amazing, of course, but didn't feel like it fit with the rest of them.
That said, the wide varie Official review will be up in a couple of weeks. That said, the wide variety of approaches probably helped, overall.
Sep 18, Thom rated it really liked it Shelves: anth-coll. Great anthology; glad I could renew it at the library. All the stories have something to do with video games, and quite a few are connected to female gamers.
Many of the other stories were also darn good. Overall result - collection recommended! Jun 29, Autumn rated it it was amazing. Really enjoyed this, review to come.
If you are a gamer and a reader, you will want to delve into this anthology. Book will be released on August 18th, go pre-order! Oct 11, Joseph rated it it was ok.
One excellent story: "Respawn" by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Some very good ones by Charlie Jane Anders, T. The book feels smart and has a sensitivity about it.
Highly recommended. Mar 18, Trisha rated it liked it. This was a well done, dark YA story. It's about the draw to sports and the feeling of connection and popularity that can come with it.
But it's more about the dark side of it - when the push to be 1 becomes mandatory and the training becomes abuse. This story is also about high school and acceptance - climbing the social ladder and friendship.
Greg is a bigger kid and is frustrating by the name calling and the teasing. He's tired of being bullied and pushed around. He is working on getting in s This was a well done, dark YA story.
He is working on getting in shape - with the help of a friend - and he stumbles on the Lacrosse team practicing. Only, the practicing looks a lot like bullying.
It was a dark but very well done story - the characters were believable and flawed. I loved that they were all working through something and were really struggling to be good to themselves and others.
I'm glad I gave it a try. Well, I would like to know where my original mini-review and rating went for this book. It is still on my Read shelf.
This book is in my top ten YA for and I was stopping here for the link to that review. I will figure this out!!
Was this book perfect? But does that bother me? It felt really real and endearing to me and I was rooting for those we Was this book perfect?
It felt really real and endearing to me and I was rooting for those weight goals more than the documentary they were making! The bullying aspect of this book also felt very genuine and I could feel the hurt inside the characters words to one another.
Sep 05, Karen Ball rated it really liked it Shelves: challenge. Inside the gym, Kyle and Stephen are lying facedown on the ground.
An upperclassman sits on top of each one. Gilbey stands before them holding a bag with a spoon There's something brown inside Of course you are a part of this team, because we will never let you go," Alva says.
The spoon? When I first read the book, it seemed like an over Inside the gym, Kyle and Stephen are lying facedown on the ground. When I first read the book, it seemed like an over-the-top version of team hazing and bullying, designed to get people talking.
After watching the Sayreville superintendent's press conference on his decision to completely cancel their football team's entire season, I realized that there is much more reality to this than I ever wanted to believe.
Greg Dunsmore, aka "Dun the Ton", is an overweight outcast at his high school. His interests lie in video and filmmaking, and his goal is to get into a top film school when he graduates and escapes high school.
To do that, he will have to create and submit a film project - and it will have to be incredibly good. His initial idea is to create a documentary of his own weight-loss journey, from his workouts with his friend Quinn as his coach to his experiences being bullied and humiliated about his weight in the hallways, and his home life where Mom's answer to any painful experience is food.
He connects with fellow film student Ella, who's dealing with her own bullying issues, and fellow overweight loner Ollie. While he's creating the workout videos in the school weight room with Quinn and Ollie, they overhear the lacrosse team in the gym, and it doesn't sound like practice.
Hidden beneath the bleachers, they discover the lacrosse upperclassmen verbally and physically abusing the younger players. Greg decides to film those incidents of hazing - after all, these are the same players who have been tormenting him for years.
Upon his attempt to make the superintendent aware of the issues, he realizes that the principal and other adults have been in on everything, and if he's going to make it out of this, he's going to have to do something different He's going to have to join the team for Hell Week training and convince them that he's making a positive film about the winning team that everyone loves.
Getting the story told truthfully on film in a challenge, but getting the truth to the people who will actually do something about it is the real challenge.
Greg doesn't make the right decisions at every turn, which makes this even more realistic. This is well-written, gripping, and I recommend this for 8th grade and up.
I really want my EMS graduates in high school to read this. But I also want my 8th graders to read this.
There is a lot of swearing, and the bullying scenes should literally make your blood run cold. The reason I want my 8th graders to read this is that I want them to think carefully about what kind of person they want to be when they get to the high school.
What do you want yourself to do when the lights go out and you hear the wolf howl signal? Will you step up and say something, and will you keep saying something until someone listens?
Will you hide in the back and say nothing while you watch? Or will you be laughing and egging someone on? What kind of character does it take to do the right thing in the face of certain ostracism, and possible violence?
My point of view in recommending books like Press Play to my students is that if they take a walk in these shoes, through these fictional events, then they have the chance to consider what they would WANT themselves to do if they are ever confronted with a situation like this.
We don't throw our soldiers into battle without training, nor do we allow doctors to operate without training. Giving students books like this one arms them with scenarios and possible choices to think through when they are not facing them under pressure.
That may possibly be the best training we can give them. Jan 30, Britney rated it really liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. I don't usually read Eric Devine books cause they are not the types of books I like to read but this one way actually really good and interesting.
So quinn is helping him record his weight lose for a movie project too. And the theme of his project quickly changes after see what the lacrosse team was doing to new members if they tr I don't usually read Eric Devine books cause they are not the types of books I like to read but this one way actually really good and interesting.
And the theme of his project quickly changes after see what the lacrosse team was doing to new members if they tried out for the team.
And what made them go to the gym was chanting. And they filmed all the stuff they saw. But they pretty much can't show the film to anyone because the whole town relies on the team and the coach is the principal and frankly doesn't like Greg.
And he can't go to the wrong person because they will make his future disappear if he does. So Greg and quinn team up with a pretty girl named Ella and another kid named Ollie who teams up to lose weight too.
For springbreak Greg and Ollie go with the lacrosse team so the train and act like they are there to lose weight. But something happened and Ollie refused to come back so Greg had to go back by himself the next day.
He ends up in the hospital he could have died but coach Mallory stopped them before the could do anything else to Greg. Mallory is nice unlike Philmont.
But Greg has all the evidence to expose the lacrosse team. And quinn finally tells his father that deep dark secret. And Greg does fantastic on losing weight View 1 comment.
Apr 03, Hannah rated it really liked it. Press Play by Eric Devine is about a guy named Greg aka Dun the Tun who needs a documentary for a school project, and decides to make a documentary of himself losing weight because he is majorly overweight.
This novel shows you that no matter what obstacles get in your way, if you try hard enough, and put enough effort into something you can achieve your goal.
I really liked this book because it was aimed towards teenagers. It is based on a teenagers life who struggles with difficult topics suc Press Play by Eric Devine is about a guy named Greg aka Dun the Tun who needs a documentary for a school project, and decides to make a documentary of himself losing weight because he is majorly overweight.
It is based on a teenagers life who struggles with difficult topics such as getting bullied, and being overweight. Greg also goes through similar difficulties that teenagers go through today such as parents fighting and fights between your friends.
This novel has vulgar language which teenagers are definitely used to today. There was one conflict that could probably relate to some schools, but doesn't to our school.
The lacrosse team had senior captains and new younger players who wanted to join the team. While Greg was recording his documentary in the weight room, he heard people yelling and loud noises coming from the gym, which was the players that were on the team the previous year playing the pain game.
This game was exactly how it sounds, painful and even if someone missed a practice they would punish them. I could imagine another school having this sort of team and i feel really bad if this kind of behavior does exist because it is cruel.
In all honestly, I really liked this book, and the author, I like his writing style. Jan 24, Hunter rated it really liked it.
Press Play by Eric Devine is an emotional roller coaster of a book and has a very compelling message. The protagonist, or Greg Dunsmore, is a little over thought in a way by how much happens to him in the book.
He goes through a series of challenges, like weight issues, and extreme bulling, some creating very deep emotional feelings inside of me from what he deals with.
The book was rather good although it could remove some sections as it attempts to drag on the plot in a way that does not creat Press Play by Eric Devine is an emotional roller coaster of a book and has a very compelling message.
The book was rather good although it could remove some sections as it attempts to drag on the plot in a way that does not create suspense but a boredom in the reader.
It also became a little unrealistic, the main character was bullied very much and having to have other problems like his weight and filming of a hazing process by a lacrosse team on his school.
Overall the book is a good read but I would not recommend it to anyone but only to those who look for a more emotional book.
Jun 08, Liezl Ruiz rated it really liked it Shelves: middle-grade , juvenile-fiction , social-issues. So I discovered netgalley.
After reading 4 fantasy books, I was burned out with all the world-building It was hard choosing what book to read next that I decided to read a chapter for each copy before proceeding to finish one.
Press Play was the third book I skimmed. Well, supposedly because I was not able to put it down before I'm done with it. I had no idea this book was middle grade.
For my first impression, the cover was quite intriguing: a group o So I discovered netgalley. For my first impression, the cover was quite intriguing: a group of guys couldn't tell their age then with blurred faces in a line facing far off the distance with silhouette of others behind them.
And then the title, Press Play. The cover and the title offer a wise marketing strategy for those who are into mystery and disturbingly provocative reads.
The story revolves around Gregory Francis Dunsmore's struggle in being an obese on his way to trim down. He is trained by his close-but-not-that-really-close friend Quinn whose father is a fitness gym owner.
Greg is just really fat, the school's favorite laughingstock and it is a question to him why his handsome friend would hang out with him and even do his training.
One day in Greg's workout at the gym, they were roused by this weird noise of suffering at the adjoining room. Through some secret passage, they were able to discover that something bad happens during training of the members of the lacrosse team.
The Warriors upperclass players beat up the lowerclass ones. I'm not really much into school issues like bullying and hazing. For one, bullying isn't that rampant in my country.
Caucasians yes, I get to be racist now just take bullying into such an extreme level. Hazing on the other hand mostly happens either to fraternity initiation in the top universities or skirmishes of gangs or fraternities of lowlife wannabes out-of-school-youth.
Yes, now I get to be judgmental. We will dominate at whatever cost to our opponent or to ourselves. Instead of a school fraternity, you get a lacrosse team.
A sports team. Shit like that isn't supposed to happen in sports. Alva the captain and Gilbey the vice are these sick bastards.
Not only do they do extreme things during training with their subordinates but they also beat others outside who get to be in their way.
After days of sneaking into the lacrosse team's training, shit hits the fan upon the discovery that their very own principal, Callaghan is involved in this sickly training, shaping the members to become the evil that they are.
And whatever Greg will do will have a huge impact not just in the school but the whole town which gets its money from the Warrior's State success.
Then, and only then, will you ever succeed. Hazing is not supposed to be like that. You don't inflict pain to others just because you're a sick psycho enjoying others' suffering.
You're supposed to inflict pain to make them learn and to toughen them up. It fell into Greg 'Dun the Ton' to protect the future members of the lacrosse team and to expose those who are really responsible for what really goes on behind the success of the town.
With the help of his friend 'Quinn the Queer' and newly acquired friends, 'double-stuffed' Ollie and 'slutty' Ella, he's going to make the best documentary that will make you press the play button in your gadget all over again.
While the story tends to be repetitive as what you can expect from a day-to-day school life, I find Eric Devine's narration really engaging.
He keeps me wanting to know more. Press Play to me is a light and easy read. More on: Zirev May 18, Nicole rated it really liked it Shelves: ya , realistic-fiction.
A powerful book about bullying, hazing, negative inner dialogue, self-worth, friendship, finding positive self-talk, courage, and doing the right thing.
Jul 18, Lynanne Carroll rated it it was amazing Shelves: hardcore. Truth, at whatever cost. Press Play is also gripping, provocative, and authentic, and there's loads to digest during and after reading it.
The depiction of bullying might be considered dramatic by some, but I felt it was as accurate as it was chilling. As such, some of the content is difficult to swallow Abuse--whether in comes in the form of h Truth, at whatever cost.
It shouldn't be excused or permitted. Yet it does happen, and it is excused or permitted in many contexts--particularly in schools.
Sometimes, we choose to stand on the sidelines and do nothing even though we know someone is suffering from some form of abuse--whether it's because we're afraid of the abusers, or afraid of the perceptions our peers will have about us.
We all have our reasons. Press Play delves into those reasons and presents a solid case for doing what's right no matter the consequences, showcasing virtues like compassion, courage, determination, and honor.
Devine really engages us and challenges us to consider our choices and perspectives. The style, setting, and characters have an authenticity about them that's difficult to come by.
I'll admit the swearing was a bit much, but it did capture the high school setting well. Still, I was overwhelmed at times.
But I loved how each character--no matter how "together" they seemed--struggled with something on a soul-deep level Press Play offers comfort and hope to all of us because we all keep secrets, and we all struggle.
And that plot! It was riveting. I had so much fun reading this book! The cliff-hanger chapter endings were tough to resist. Not-spoiler: I couldn't resist!
One of my favorite parts about Greg's arc: his changing perspective and reaction to Alva when he begins to see Alva as more than just a bully Finally, I loved how the title connected back to and emphasized the theme s.
Jul 16, Henna rated it it was amazing Shelves: young-adult , contemporary. Press Play is honest. That's the theme of the book and Devine's style: being so honest it hurts.
Devine isn't afraid of saying things like they are or avoiding any subjects, and yes, at times it hurt. The shameless honesty hurt but it made the whole reading experience even better because it got me thinking.
There was parts of the story when you just had to stop reading, think about what happened and what was said before continuing.
Honesty is the thing in this book but it's not the only thing th Press Play is honest. Honesty is the thing in this book but it's not the only thing that made me love the story and it's characters.
There was solid plot but it was written so sneaky way that there was times when I wondered: where is this going?
Is this relevant? And then, something happened and I understood the whole point. What makes a good contemporary story is a plot like this one had: there's a solid plot but it's not clear and obvious.
The story flows like a real life: there was normal things, little things and then there was the whole picture. Also, I praise Devine not forcing any romance on the story.
Devine let the story live it's own life and all romantic feelings were these little gestures and it was perfect that way.
Press Play had strong characters with flaws. Even when Greg or his friends didn't seem strong, they were. And oh, the character developement!
Greg had such an amazing character developement, as did Quinn, Ollie and even Ella. There was also so many intriguing supporting characters, even the "bad guys" were well developed and I loved how Devine made it like real life: no one's simply bad without reasons, no one acts like they do without something being there in the past or present.
Press Play had complex subject but Devine handed it perfectly. I highly recommend Press Play for everyone. It's one of those books you just should read like S.
Hinton's Outsiders. It's stunning story about growing up, accepting who you are, about honesty, how life's not easy and probably never will be but you have to keep trying - and friend's makes things a little bit better.
Press Play is intriguing, captivating and brutally honest. A copy of this ebook was provided in return for an honest review. May 11, audrey rated it it was amazing Shelves: read , netgalley , young-adult , dark , high-school , dramatic , 5-stars , sports.
Greg Dunsmore wants to escape the small town whose main source of pride and revenue is the high school's sports team that has made his life hell.
Now in his junior year, Greg focuses on putting together a portfolio that will ensure he gets accepted to film school.
While documenting his weight loss story he inadvertently captures the violent hazing and abuse the lacrosse team endures during practice but what shocks Greg even more is everyone who's involved.
Press Play is a young adult story that d Greg Dunsmore wants to escape the small town whose main source of pride and revenue is the high school's sports team that has made his life hell.
Press Play is a young adult story that delves into hazing and bullying with a dark intensity and unflinching honesty. It presents an interesting social commentary on high school life, family dynamics and society.
I liked that it had a deeper message about honesty, integrity, courage and change. The narration is engaging with a cadence and distinct voice that makes the main character feel genuine and relatable.
The characterization was great and I enjoyed reading the interactions between the characters as their relationships strengthened.
I liked that each of the characters had their own issues and that they supported one another as they worked through them.
The story explored the different variations of bullying and their effects. It was interesting that it also showed how these issues aren't isolated to just high school but can also bleed into adulthood.
The story presented a variety of moral dilemmas and I liked that the main character struggled with them before choosing a course of action.
I enjoyed reading about the interests the main character had. It helped offset the intensity and was fun to read.
I liked that technology factored into the story while also showcasing the culture and effort put into filmmaking.
The main character's weight loss story felt authentic and honest. I was surprised at the depth it held and how it further strengthened the impact of the story.
Oct 07, Savannah Books With Bite rated it really liked it. He never down plays the story but really tells it how it is. Because folks, we live in a real world with cruel people.
Kids being hazed in the most ugly, crazy, and de-humanzing way. Kids being bullied and pressured to fit in.
This story captures what teens go through today. Plot: This is about a young boy who loves to video tape. He tries to captures what goes on in his high school halls ways and has stumbled upon some harsh hazing.
He decided to investigate further going onto much trouble he never seen before. He also battles with his weight which kids constantly make fun of him and him just learning to survive.
Really this story is gritty. At times I cringed but could not look away. This kids are so harsh and so mean. The plot is good.
It captures the reader right away. They never believed him. How could they sit there and brushed him as nothing. This kid has evidence yet the schools used it against him saying it was against school polices.
The nerve of these people.