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Simulacron-3. Mass Market Paperback – 1964

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Mass Market Paperback, 1964

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x98e3cdb0) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98e54aec) out of 5 stars Solid early novel of a virtual world 14 Jun. 2006
By Richard R. Horton - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Daniel F. Galouye's _Simulacron-3_ gained some notoriety a few years ago when a movie was made based on it -- THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR. The sadly somewhat overlooked movie is quite good, and a fairly faithful adaptation of the book. I found it reminiscent of DARK CITY and (natch!) THE MATRIX.

The book opens with Doug Hall attending a party given by his boss, Walter Siskin. Hall has just been promoted to replace his dead friend and mentor at Reactions, Inc., which is developing a new simulation to evaluate consumer reactions. The simulation is populated by virtual people who are exposed to advertisements and such, their reactions analyzed. Siskin sinisterly wishes to use this simulation for political purposes -- he believes that he will be able to control the country if he can predict voter response to various approaches. Siskin is opposed by the Reaction Monitors group -- a seemingly ubiquitous group of pollsters, who will be put out of business by the new sim. Hall is made uneasy by Siskin's political ambitions, himself.

Then Hall starts to notice some strange things. His mentor's notes contained what appeared to be a cryptic message to him, which disappeared. He remembers some other colleagues that nobody else can recall in any way. A psychiatrist friend thinks he's mad. His mentor's beautiful daughter seems to run hot and cold with him -- and to be very concerned about his crazy ideas. And what about the time they drove out of the city and all of a sudden the road just stopped with nothing beyond?

It's no big surprise what's going on even without the references I've given to DARK CITY and THE MATRIX. Hall and all the people he knows are themselves virtual creations in a simulated world. Much of the resistance to his simulation efforts is orchestrated from the "real world" (or is it?), which doesn't want to lose its Reaction Monitors, the real reason for the simulation. Hall finds himself traveling "down" to his simulated world, and encountering (sometimes sadistic) evidence of someone from the "real" world taking over his brain. It's mostly pretty well handled, and the questions raised are interesting. The resolution is perhaps just a bit too convenient, too much fulfilling of wishes. The characters are mostly fairly stock. Still, a fine story.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99e98c54) out of 5 stars Simulacron-3 15 May 2006
By R. Dayle - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A well-written tale from a period before there were home computers,... or even the concept of them. All computers then were research or military devices.

The tale is wound up, then released to wind its way through an unbelievably bizarre world, dragging the reader with it. The mind-bending 'twist' at the end may leave the reader briefly disoriented.

It is one of the really good computer-world stories from a time when this device was still a mystical mechanism.

Simulacron-3 is up there with the movie, "Colossus: The Forbin Project."
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a1d61b0) out of 5 stars Micro Macro Vertigo 20 April 2004
By Billy Pilgrim - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Very well done story with an intriguing concept . I read it as a child and it was made into the movie "The 13th Floor" a few years back
HASH(0x98e54e88) out of 5 stars Is Douglas Hall real? Is he an illusion? Are you? 23 July 2015
By James Kenney - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Daniel Galouye is a very under-rated SF author from the 1960s. Simulcron-3 is his best book , of a multi-tiered world in which Reality is not only in flux but also inconsistent. What is "real", is a question that many philosophers and many religions ponder, although few have any truly convincing answers. This book explores that question in a powerful and creepy way, with the main character never sure what is happening, or even if anything is happening. Is our world only a simulation inside a giant computer? A simulation within a simulation? Is anything "real"?
Buddhism maintains that nothing is real, that flux is all there is, that constant change is what we think of as reality, and that even the sense of self we all experience is an illusion. Is Douglas Hall real? Is he an illusion?
Are you?
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98e57030) out of 5 stars Simulacron 3 (13th Floor) 19 Oct. 2009
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Verified Purchase
Good, longer than the movie, a little Atlas Shruggy, but I love it because I love the premise. GEM
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