Thursday, March 29, 2012

"The Games"

Ted Kosmatka was born and raised in northwest Indiana and spent more than a decade working in various laboratories there before moving to the Pacific Northwest. His short fiction has been nominated for both the Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. He now works in the videogame industry where he’s a full-time writer at Valve, home of Half-Life, Portal and Dota 2.

He applied the Page 69 Test to The Games, his first novel, and reported the following:
The scene isn't necessarily representative of the novel as a whole, but it is a nice snapshot of Evan, the savant responsible for the creation of the Brannin computer. The scene describes the last moments before Evan disappears into virtual space to commune with Pea, the secret splintered personality hidden within the computer. Dangerous authority figures look on, but they will be powerless to interfere with what they don't understand. Just as Evan was responsible for the creation of the computer, the computer is responsible for the design of the U.S. gladiator. Both the computer and the gladiator are flawed creations and yet at the same time are far more than what they seem to be on the surface.

From page 69:
It didn't take long to attach the probes and strap him into the booth. The cloth pinched a little at his crotch, but by shifting his weight, it was tolerable. The nice-teeth woman in the jumper lowered the faceplate, and his vision lost its reds. He caught Baskov's critical eye in the crowd just before his vision opaqued. Well, to hell with him; he wasn't going to ruin Evan's day. The old gimp could glare all he wanted, but Evan would have his two minutes and fifty-nine seconds. Almost an eternity.
Learn more about the book and author at Ted Kosmatka's website and blog.

Writers Read: Ted Kosmatka.

--Marshal Zeringue