“Fans of stories centered on the conflict between the virtual and the real will find plenty to enjoy.” — Publishers Weekly
No one goes out anymore.
Society is sheltered indoors. The economy is in ruins. People spend their lives addicted to a breakthrough virtual reality technology, desperate for escapism in a troubled world. The Nirvana Effect has taken over.
Aaron and Clarissa are members of a subculture of realists who resist the lure of a fake utopia. They watch in horror as the technology spreads across the country with willing participants who easily forgo their freedoms for false pleasures. When the young couple discovers a plot to enforce compliance for mind control, the battle for free will begins. What started as a playful diversion turns deadly. The future of the human race is at stake.
FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.
Millions tune into a virtual reality program while society collapses around them in this thoughtful cyberpunk novel from Pinkerton (The Gemini Experiment). Tech company Dynamica has created an implant that allows users to channel hyperrealistic VR programs directly into the brain. Marc is an early employee of Dynamica and helped to make its product famous, but he's horrified when the company announces a partnership with the government that will make implantation mandatory. He goes on the run with a secret weapon, a device that allows him to hack into other people's virtual realities. Newly met friends Aaron and Clarissa, who refuse implantation, likewise go into hiding upon hearing the news. Pinkerton chronicles the increasing despotism of the next two years in a series of episodes that are at times too loosely knit and show a predictable path of societal deterioration. Still, he does a good job drawing readers into the characters' anguish and fear, and builds to a clever, desperate climax. Fans of stories centered on the conflict between the virtual and the real will find plenty to enjoy.