Copyright 1997 by
Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold
I first read this in November 1999 and most recently on the 22nd October 2001
In the near future, there are two worlds: Verite, the real,
physical world and Virtu, the world of Virtual reality.
Following a major systems crash the world of Virtu has undergone major
changes. It's become, in many areas of its near infinite reaches,
autonomous. Creatures from mythology and wild-imagining roam this
Virtual universe. Humans venture through these dangerous realms at
their own, very real, risk.
Now the gods of Virtu plan a revolution, to utilise a new technology to
permit them to cross into Verite, the real world as we know it, and use
it as they will.
Only Donnerjack and his friends, real and Virtual, can stand against the
superhuman power of these Virtual gods.
Roger Zelazny was one of my teenage heroes, a masterful writer achieving
the smooth and lyrical blend of fantasy and science fiction. Of course
that only really applies to his pre-Amber books. I was immensely
saddened by his death. Jane Lindskold, his long-time partner, took on
the task of completing this partly written novel. The result is
very disappointing, although I'm probably more pleased that someone
attempted the task than it was left undone.
The novel starts off as vintage Zelazny, all a bit old hat of course,
except for the well-conjured names of Verite and Virtu, and although
it's clearly somewhat "Amberish", one gets the impression that it'll
be OK to browse through. But then, it all just goes downhill: not
just gods, monsters and mechanical dogs, but ghosts, banshees,
intelligent steam engines and more deii-ex-machina than one would care
to cock a snout at. And all this rubbish in twice as many pages as
Zelazny would ever have permitted in a finished work.
Sadly, tragically, awful in comparison to what might have been.
Loaded on the 10th December 2001.