EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW IS WRONG....
That was the strange message left on Cory Maddox's e-mail - just at the moment when years of work on a revolutionary subspace computer system was about to pay off. Nothing would be the same for Cory again. Suddenly his life was thrown into chaos when the company that controlled his patent was sold out from under him, and instead of imminent wealth, Cory was facing immediate poverty. Then along came Alan Stark, who wanted to recruit Cory for a special research project on virtual reality.
Stark was reviving the secret NSA work of the legendary Matthew Brand, who had disappeared under mysterious circumstances years before. Cory had always idolized Brand, so he was initially thrilled to be involved. But he quickly discovered that there was nothing virtual about the realities he was working on. Instead, he found that Stark was on the verge of controlling the very fabric of reality itself.
Cory was unsure of Stark's ultimate goal, until he began to recall pieces of another life and found himself in the middle of a battle between two groups of people who could use "rabbit holes" in space and time to jump between different realities, personalities, and lives. Whoever had control of the power to shape reality would have the power to become a god--or a devil. But before Cory could combat Stark and his minions, he first had to remember which side he was on....
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There is Something About Jack Chalker..
Yes. I cannot for the life of me figure out why Jack Chalker is not considered one of the best Sci Fi writers of all time. He is clever, imaginative, smart and funny. I read books (more often that not) to be entertained by a good story. Chalker delivers, and this is one of his best.
Although some of the tech is dated, it still rings true because it is so well conceived and plotted. Terrific.
It's hard to say but I would say Starks the CIA operative. He fashions him as a wry, G Gordon Liddy type and its pretty funny.
Here is the thing. They did! The movie The Matix is based on this book and you know what? The book is better. The movie was convoluted and had several plots that just did not seem to make sense. This is the same premise but it makes perfect sense (in a Sci Fi way). Better characters and a major twist on the story that will really make you think.
At first I thought Andy Caploe was a bit stilted for the reading of all 3 books. He is no. He does several characters very well and his droll delivery is a major part of what makes this so entertaining. If he bothers you initially, I think he will grow on you. I think he was great adn I plan to listen to all 3 books.
I love this series
The narration is SLOW - I found that by speeding it up 1.5x it was tolerable.
The story is well worth putting up with the narration issues. This story wowed me when it came out more than a decade ago and holds up well even with all the advances in technology since.
Despite their claims to the contrary, you can see exactly where the Wachowskis got most of the concepts and imagery for the Matrix movies. Please note those movies came out several years AFTER these books were published.
It's a pity they didn't adopt more of the themes of the story for those films because questioning reality is fun.