Friday, November 19, 2010


Metagame by first time author, Sam Landstrom is a cyber-punk style of science-fiction novel that is utterly original in style and scope. Essentially, it is about a futuristic society where life itself is one humongous game. Points earned equate to currency so the better player you are, the richer and more powerful you are. Top scorers are eligible for immortality.

Kudos to Mr. Landstrom for creating this world. He has obviously spent a lot of time and energy extrapolating mankind's current trends and motives into a possible future. This is a world that seems entirely plausible as well as disturbing. It is a very different world than we have now and so to bring the reader into it is a daunting task. We jump right into it and, at first, it's a bit of a shock. Lots of new words and slang terms and lifestyles to get used to very quickly. It was almost information overload for me but I stuck with it and soon became a part of it. The best way for me to describe this world and its style is to imagine a cross between the weird science/religion of the Matrix movies and almost any movie by Tim Burton with Johnny Depp in it. It's a strange journey to take but certainly an interesting one.

The problem I had is that the author is forced to spend so much of the book on building this new world for us that he has a lot less room to craft the actual story and build satisfying characters. He still manages to do a fairly good job at that but I felt the plot itself suffered the most. The vast majority of the book is about playing the game...sort of the normal mode for these characters but it isn't until the last 40 pages or so that the stakes become high enough to make a difference and I found I actually cared about what would happen next.

Sam Landstrom has certainly demonstrated some nice raw talent here for world building and setting the scenery; I feel confident he will only get better at the story telling aspect.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire