THE MOON MAZE GAME by Larry Niven

THE MOON MAZE GAME

KIRKUS REVIEW

From the authors of Dream Park (2010, etc.), a sort of thriller set in 2085 within a Live Action Role Playing game staged on the Moon.

Thoroughly colonized and itching for independence, the Moon will host a huge and prestigious LARP whose lunar adventure-park setting, enhanced with holographic details, VR technology, special effects and actors, features a plot loosely based on H.G. Wells's First Men in the Moon, the whole thing to be broadcast in real time to an audience of billions. Gamesmaster will be the legendary, irascible Xavier; the gamers will include Wayne Gibson and Angelique Chan, old rivals of Xavier's, and young Ali, whose father is Abdul, President for Life of the Republic of Kikaya, plus Ali's bodyguard Scotty Griffin, an old lunar hand and gamer. What none of the gamers and stagers know is that revolutionaries have hired ruthless professional kidnapper Shotz and his gang to grab Ali during the game and so force his father to resign. What Shotz doesn't reckon on is that the gamers are in a totally familiar environment, and that Xavier is a genius. After a hideous first couple of chapters—on June 22, we're told, "lightly drifting snowflakes dusted the street," which seems somewhat extreme, even for Switzerland—things get warmed up, games-wise, though the wobbling-scenery ambience never really dissipates.

Not much more than an elaborate do-over of Dream Park and its predecessors: Move it to the Moon, throw in Wells, rework the plot and presto! 

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2666-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2011




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