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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Rim

Copyright 1994 by Alexander Besher

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (3/5)

I first read this in February 1996.

In just a few more years, there'll be a quite revolution as Japanese technology finally realises "real" virtual reality leading to a new world order based on a blendo of Japanese culture, Buddhism and Californian New Age mysticism.

Dr Frank Gobi teaches a course on "transcultural corporate anthropology and organizational shamanism".

At this point you really wonder just how bad this book is going to be. But it's not absolute garbage: in this new world, new-wave pseudo-science matters and works, and Besher makes you believe it.

Our Dr Gobi is not an absolute airhead, in fact he is a skilled and elevated individual.

Now Dr Gobi is called upon to save thousands of lives in a crashed and virus-infected virtual world. Throughout the real world, adults and children lay comatose, their consciousnesses disconnected and lost in virtual reality. And, as the VR simulation slowly runs down, they will die in the real world. His son is one of the comatose victims.

A cross between thriller and fable, Besher has succeeded in creating a unique novel that's both hugely entertaining and thought-provoking. The Japanese ambience is captured perfectly in the politeness and the sexism. There's a nice sprinkling of Japanese words to remember and use in dinner conversation. There's quite a few women who seem to find Frank Gobi irresistible, so there's some sex, which makes a pleasant change from all the mysticism, and there's "interactive sushi", and stuff like this:
"Now he was in a working altered state. His consciousness preceded him like an Indian scout on an astral plane."

It's great.

Loaded on the 10th December 2001.
    
Cover of Rim
Cover by Bob Warner

Reviews of other work by Alexander Besher
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