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on 28 September 2016
Terry Schott has put together a series of remarkable books. Clearly he has
the literary skills of a juggler who can keep a great many plates in the air.
Unlike many e-books of this genre, there are a minimum of typos and
missing words (not even enough to bother a grammar pedant like me), and
each book is satisfyingly full length. Each successive book develops the
themes of previous ones: with so many aspects of the simulated reality
hypothesis to examine, I imagine (if Terry Schott wanted to) he could carry
on exploring this rich vein of speculation for as long as his avatar has
breath. Sadly it seems that the series, if not the subject, is not infinite. A
shame, as I'd happily keep on buying his 'Game' books if they continued to
be as bold and as well constructed as these.

But, as with much science fiction, here's the deal: you come to these
books with an open mind, and you find that your mind expands still further.
Or you read them with a head full of rigid preconceptions, and your
experience is disturbing enough for you to ditch the experience at the first
book. You then spend time debunking it, saying that the science doesn't
add up, and your intellectual citadel is comfortably reinforced, with better
and stronger walls. And you'll remain trapped inside them. These are
most definitely not books for those who want an authorised version of
reality, or who clings to intellectual respectability: they are books for the curious,
the boldly-going ones: all those of us for whom reality has never
seemed... quite real.

It's not an easy thing, being open-minded. Taking on the hypothesis of a
simulated universe: following this wherever it leads; noticing how everything
is at once changed, and yet nothing is different... It's a big adventure - and
like the best adventures, you have to start out empty-handed. I would
suggest you put aside the idea that the central premise is fiction (unless
you're comfortable with the idea that everything is fiction) and allow the
Game to sweep you into another reality. The universe, after all, is made of
ideas.

These books are quite complex - even convoluted - and patience and
attention are needed for their interwoven themes to develop. I did
sometimes I feel I should have a small diagram to hand, showing the
hierarchy of simulations. The fact that names keep changing is also
something to struggle with, but it's best not to get bogged down in minor
details or balk at the odd anomaly. Just let the whole saga unfold, and if
the writer does his job well (and I think he does) everything more or less
gets ironed out. Reality always has a few loose ends blowing around
anyway: that's how you know it's a simulation.

Being open-minded means embracing new ways of looking at life: shake
the kaleidoscope and it's still the same apparatus but a whole new picture
appears. With the simulation hypothesis, things start to add up, but in
ways they never did before. Thus - religion. Thus - reincarnation. Thus - a
collective consciousness. Thus - particle entanglement. And so on. Once
you accept the premise, the implications of a simulated reality are, literally,
infinite.

Speaking personally, I'm entirely comfortable with the possibility i might be
existing within a simulated universe - perhaps one of many nested others.
I'm fine, too, with the idea that i am a simulation myself: a true fraction of
the whole. In fact, i find it reassuring that we might be living in an
intentional world - though i diverge from the conclusions (including those in
this book) that the intention is for our 'world' to provide entertainment to its
programmers, or to be a scientific study. I think any beings advanced
enough to create this world (and others) in such astonishing and perfect
detail, are likely to have an agenda way beyond anything we, as its humble
simulants, can comprehend.

Meanwhile, we can but speculate. And one thing's for sure: if our
programmers hadn't meant the human species to start questioning the
nature of our existence, we wouldn't be questioning it.
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on 7 April 2014
The first couple of chapters didn't really capture me, as I'm more a magic fantasy reader. However, as the writing improved, the plot just got better. Great characters and an intriguing plot that leaves you thinking 'hmmm, what if it's true??'. Looking forward to the next book in this series.
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on 20 April 2017
First book is like a hit... free and your hooked.

I'm on book 8 now, I've loved the twists and terns of the series. Clever ideas and easy reading.
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on 19 March 2017
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Wonderful believable characters and an attention-keeping storyline. I couldn't put it down. Definitely a series to get hooked on!
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on 3 June 2015
The first in the game is life series. A virtual reality world is created to school young children. They live one life after the other inside the game until they turn 18. The children have no memory of the real world while inside the game but for Trew and Danielle that's about to change.
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on 27 March 2017
I wasn't sure whether I would get into this book, but the clever arrangement of the story has you engrossed and keen to explore the concept
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on 9 May 2017
Well written and absorbing story,very enjoyable vision of the future of social networking. Great characterisation and attention to detail of the characters lives.
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on 18 March 2017
I wonder. Could this be true. Brilliantly written. Read the whole book in one day. Superb author. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
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on 9 November 2015
An awesome book. I can't stop reading it!! Very intelligently written by Terry Schott.
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on 6 January 2017
Love this story-line, once you start reading you are hooked.
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