EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW IS WRONG....
That was the strange message left on Cory Maddox's e-mail - just at the moment when years of work on a revolutionary subspace computer system was about to pay off. Nothing would be the same for Cory again. Suddenly his life was thrown into chaos when the company that controlled his patent was sold out from under him, and instead of imminent wealth, Cory was facing immediate poverty. Then along came Alan Stark, who wanted to recruit Cory for a special research project on virtual reality.
Stark was reviving the secret NSA work of the legendary Matthew Brand, who had disappeared under mysterious circumstances years before. Cory had always idolized Brand, so he was initially thrilled to be involved. But he quickly discovered that there was nothing virtual about the realities he was working on. Instead, he found that Stark was on the verge of controlling the very fabric of reality itself.
Cory was unsure of Stark's ultimate goal, until he began to recall pieces of another life and found himself in the middle of a battle between two groups of people who could use "rabbit holes" in space and time to jump between different realities, personalities, and lives. Whoever had control of the power to shape reality would have the power to become a god--or a devil. But before Cory could combat Stark and his minions, he first had to remember which side he was on....
©1995 Jack L. Chalker (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
The narration is SLOW - I found that by speeding it up 1.5x it was tolerable.
The story is well worth putting up with the narration issues. This story wowed me when it came out more than a decade ago and holds up well even with all the advances in technology since.
Despite their claims to the contrary, you can see exactly where the Wachowskis got most of the concepts and imagery for the Matrix movies. Please note those movies came out several years AFTER these books were published.
It's a pity they didn't adopt more of the themes of the story for those films because questioning reality is fun.
This has long been one of my favorite authors, and one of my favorite books from him. It's great to finally have his books on audio.
People should be aware that it's not a trilogy - it's a three volume novel, and while each part is great, they really don't stand alone in any way.
This first volume is a pretty good ride, but it's really just a setup for the rollercoaster of the following two volumes. You get a good taste of what's to come, a good solid plot, some great adventure, and the conceptual groundwork - but buckle your seat belts before you start the second and third volumes.
One thing I love about Chalker is his recurring theme about what makes people who they are - what if your body changed? Your personal history? Your world? Your memories? How much of who you are would you still be? What makes someone even human?
Are you sure the world around you works the way you think it does?
People today will see thematic similarities to movies like Inception and The Thirteenth Floor.
Having a computer programmer and a graphic artist who thought they'd been kidnapped by the government meet the hookah-smoking Caterpillar from Alice In Wonderland was pretty impressive.
Cynthia's transformation was pretty cool, too.
Everything you think you know is wrong….
The narrator really isn't very good at voices. In this case, though, it really doesn't detract much from the book, because the story is told in first person, and he does that character's voice well.
If you are the sort of science fiction reader who doesn't care for technical details and "hard science" - especially not when the book is old enough that we're talking "hard science" like telephone modems and FORTRAN programming - don't worry. There's a bit of it at the start, but pretty soon, it all drops off and even the characters admit they don't know how anything works. Not even reality….
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