Begun by Zelazny before his death in 1995, and completed by collaborator Lindskold: a novel combining virtual reality with Zelazny's abiding interest in gods and mythology within a science fiction setting (e.g., Lord of Light, 1967). Early in the 22nd century, the real world, VeritÃ¢, coexists with a computer-universe, VirtÃ¢, created--or maybe discovered--during the Genesis Scramble when the world computer net crashed. Engineer John D'Arcy Donnerjack of VeritÃ¢ loves Ayradyss of VirtÃ¢, so when she dies, John petitions death for her return. Death agrees but demands John's firstborn child. But then John is astounded when Ayradyss reappears--in VeritÃ¢! Soon, too, she becomes pregnant, then dies--permanently--shortly after giving birth. Furious, John challenges Death and fights him to a draw, thereby winning a reprieve for young Jay--though when John dies, he must be raised by robot Dack. Meanwhile, the gods of VirtÃ¢, Seaga, Skyga, and Earthma, are plotting to invade and subdue VeritÃ¢. Later, Jay, becoming curious about the circumstances of his life, approaches Death intending to surrender--in exchange for information. Death, he learns, is also threatened by the gods' belligerence, and so arranged for Jay's advent as part of a plan to frustrate the gods' ambitions. All this doesn't even begin to describe what's going on in this prodigiously overcomplicated and overstuffed yarn--why are editors so reluctant to edit?--but bursting with Zelaznyish ingenuity, mischief, and pizzazz.