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MetaGame [Kindle Edition]

Sam Landstrom
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Speculative science fiction at its finest, MetaGame by Sam Landstrom is a ‘future gamers’ field guide and a philosophical cyberpunk adventure. In this original and disturbingly irreverent prospective world, gaming is more than a diversion—and gamers are, literally, in it for life. The OverSoul, an enigmatic, unifying force, offers winners points that add up to currency. Reigning champs are given the gift of immortality—while losers are condemned to aging and death. D_Light is one of the best players in his Family and will do anything to win, even if it means committing murder. When he’s invited to a MetaGame—an exclusive, high-stakes competition—he jumps at the chance. But after the first quest, D_Light’s overly ambitious ways brand him a renegade. With a warped sense of freewill that is needed to prevail, D_Light must either kill someone he’s grown to love—or lose everything.


Product Description

About the Author

Author Sam Landstrom studied molecular biology at the University of Washington before working at a DNA sequencing lab that helped sequence the human genome. Presently, he works in the software industry. MetaGame is his first book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 564 KB
  • Print Length: 424 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1935597167
  • Publisher: 47North (9 Nov. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003LSTK7C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,175 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch out or you'll get pwned 20 Aug. 2011
By Russell G. Pottinger VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Based in a slightly dystopian future version of earth, which could be 50-100 years away afaics, where the only thing people care about is becoming wealthy enough to become immortal. Our lead character is working his way up the gaming ladder, and gets noticed by the ruling elite who enlist him into a MetaGame (A game based in real life, so from their point of view a sort of game within a game, hence meta)

Anyway, the MetaGame is a series of quests that bring D_Light into a world he knew nothing about and forces him to re-evaluate his views somewhat.

Oh, if you want meta then ripping off Bill Bailey "Three blind mice walk into a bar, but they are unaware of their surroundings, so to derive humour from it would be exploitative."

A couple of really interesting ideas are used in this book

The first is the overlay. The world we live in is often quite often fairly dull, so wouldn't it be great if we could overlay our world with more interesting things. We've already started to do this (look up augmented reality) but this book takes it a lot farther, in fact to the point where people very often look down on the "real" world. Why be a desk junky? When you can be a mighty wizard helping your friends defend against the evil something or other - ala a suped up version of World of Warcraft.

The second is the change in the way we work. Anybody that has ever played a MMORPG will know about grinding, doing a very boring thing over and over to gain points/money, but loads of people willingly do this to power up their characters. Now the brilliant idea would be to find a way to make people treat their jobs in a similar way, become a 10th level postman, 20th level accountant, etc.

Finally I liked the idea of the death of the present family layout.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A long chase but this is no Bullitt. 17 Aug. 2011
By I. P. Gearing VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There is much to admire about this book. It is crisply written, doesn't carry much verbiage and has an interesting plot. Yet, it still serves a thin gruel which maybe, in part, the nature of the plot the author has constructed which requires a little too much explanation in the coda; explanation which could have more usefully been folded into the story. It is to be applauded for the way it folds in cultural trends and extends them into a story that moves, generally, along at a pace, though once or twice it does tread water whilst the author hammers a point home. There is violence, there is a long chase, the whole book is a chase, there is a class structure, there are Angels and Demons, there is a commentary on how science can be morphed into belief and life is the reward and death the consequence of the Game (life). The Meta-game transforms it's players to would-be immortals or meat. Everyone enters as would-be immortals, but they are not equal. Death is the leveller.

I am glad I read this book, I did enjoy it, it has something to say and it has ambition. What it needs is more characterisation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playing the Game of Life 18 Aug. 2011
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Just going by the outline, you'd probably think you've read this kind of thing before. The concept of MetaGame is just what the title suggests - taking gaming into the level of it being your entire life. Here, the external real-world is transformed through technology to appear like a game, and by playing the game in this virtual world, you effectively contribute to the society, everything you do is rated and scored for the entertainment value it contributes or for its usefulness in maintaining the variety of products or ways by which you can view and play in the world. You can even earn points automatically by plugging product in conversations with your friends. Everyone plays the game, and why wouldn't you? Your quality of life, the health insurance and the extension of lifespan is greatly enhanced with one's participation in the game - you can even achieve immortality. Sam Landstrom's Metaworld however takes this whole concept, appropriately, to the next level.

Where there is a game there are rules and, inevitably, a hierarchy and even a kind of religious devotion is needed or is going to evolve out of this. In MetaGame, everything is overseen by the OverSoul, who is ultimately determines the points awarded or sentences when serious infractions occur. And they inevitably do, the guilty parties denominated Demons who then become targets for divine agents known as Angels, as well as providing opportunities for other Game players to earn some big points by helping to track them down.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By H. Ashford VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
D_Light is a player of games, and a good one. He spends most of his time "jacked in" to one game or another, amassing points and building up his status. This is important, as a player's points dictate where he/she lives, what they wear, what food they eat, etc, etc (ie they are the currency of the society he lives in). Everybody is playing Games at one level or another.

D_Light is moderately successful; he is climbing up the rankings. But there is a price to pay - in order to manage his moods and keep his performance at a peak he finds himself taking more and more drugs, he suffers from feelings of guilt, and he is lonely. Being invited to take part in a MetaGame seems like the opportunity of a lifetime; a MetaGame is a real game (ie not virtual) and therefore comes with a risk of actual injury or even death to the individuals taking part; not surprisingly it is played for high stakes.

However, as the Metagame progresses, D_Light finds that his risk-taking approach has backfired and taken him outside of the rules of the Game. As he struggles to come to terms with this, the game itself starts to shift. Without wanting to give away spoilers, all I can say is that he is forced to choose between winning the Game (by the rules) or risking everything to change the Game itself.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It's not great literature, but there is a good story line which it is well developed, and (for me at least) the pace was about right - a bit slow at the start, but great once it got going. The characters are a bit stereotypical, but they were real enough to hold my attention and make me want to know what would happen to them. The best aspect (I thought) is the culture / society in which the events play out, which is imaginative and well described.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is a top quality book. I bought it because I really enjoyed his app D_Light Games and the Wizard's Choice saga (also brilliant so worth trying). Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael C
5.0 out of 5 stars a bloody good read
It took me a few attempts to get started but once I was in I was hooked. A great story that has enormous potential to be a brilliant movie. Read more
Published 3 months ago by joanne ruff
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing
Great idea but let down by the weakness of the facts and situations it is based on. It doesn't stand comparison to Michael Chrighton's books, or Bob Berridge's "The Car",... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bookreader
2.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting ideas, but poorly written and a complete lack of...
Sam Landstrom presents two or three interesting ideas for a future dystopia but conveys them with a cast of characters which rarely reach the level of caricature and a plot that... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Got bored and didn't even finish it
Found the writing to be slow and characters boring. First few pages were good but next 20 bored me silly.
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars original
Original story. Build up bit slow to where the story really starts to unfold. Ending not easily predictable. Worthwhile read.
Published 14 months ago by Andrew Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 1st novel
This is a well-written piece of hard SF.
I liked the way that the way the world worked and how it arose came gradually, without very much tedious exposition. Read more
Published 14 months ago by johnp
5.0 out of 5 stars For a science fiction book, a nice, light read
I read all genres and this book was quick to grab my interest. I have read a few science fiction books before and enjoyed them, I am not really into gaming but I thought I’d give... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mrs. S. Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars sci-fi with some depth!
Nice to see a modern sci-fi with some depth, would read a sequel! Story was fast paced, characters interesting, and overall well-written.
Published 14 months ago by Oliver Pickford
5.0 out of 5 stars Different and engaging
Really enjoyed this book, the story flows well and the central points of the world it depicts are explored with out resorting to tedious or condescension. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Bald and Brave
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