Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 36356
date submitted 01.05.2011
date updated 22.04.2014
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Science Fiction
classification: moderate
incomplete

The Immortality Game

Ted Cross

A dead man wants a new body, a scientist wants his stolen mind back, and Zoya just hopes to survive the day.

 

Zoya has never done anything more exciting than putting makeup on the corpses at the morgue where she works, until the day she carries a package to meet her brother, only to see him thrown from a tenth story balcony. Chased by mobsters who always seem one step ahead of her, she encounters Marcus and his A.I. father. They open her brother’s package and find two unusual data cards -- one which helps turn the tables on the mob, and the second which holds the key to everlasting life.

 
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cyberpunk, immortality, mafia, military, science fiction, sci-fi

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HarperCollins Wrote


It is the year 2138 and the world is a very different place. Most of the rich are Mesh addicts, plugged into a virtual world on a permanent basis. The poor lead a very different existence, still far more technologically advanced than today but without the ability to escape into the virtual world for great lengths of time.

Zoya is a young Russian woman caught up in the theft of some data cards that are of great importance to the military and a particularly evil bunch of gangsters. Marcus is an American student, kept off the Mesh by his AI father, a virtual version of the man who saved the world by restoring the internet some years before. Marcus is sent to Russia by his father, who also has in interest in the cards. The paths of Marcus and Zoya cross and they soon find themselves on the run in an increasingly dangerous Moscow.

This is an entertaining and imaginative technothriller. The fictional world is well realised and believable. The technology is fascinating and not over explained, allowing the reader to get used to it and understand it as the story unfolds.

The plot is complex and in places is hard to follow at times. It shouldn’t be simplified too much, as it works very well for most of its length, but there are a few episodes and scenes which could be rewritten to avoid any confusion.

As is often the case with this sort of book, there are some sections of dialogue that are unrealistic and clearly used to help develop the plot. These are best avoided and the book would benefit from these being removed or reworked.

Characterisation is strong; we get a real sense of who is who and what makes them tick. That being said, the many Russian gangsters do sort of blend into one at times and it can be hard to tell them apart, some attention to this issue would help a lot.

There were a few places where I felt the plot dragged a bit, or didn’t make sense, and these interrupted the strong pace of the story. The scene in which Marcus and Zoya first meet is a good example. They seem to hang around in a dangerous place for too long, have a lengthy conversation about the state of politics in America, fight a few gangsters and deal with the deal of her mother. This really bogged things down and would benefit from revision.

I am, however, only really picking out things that would potentially make a very good book even better. This has very strong potential and I would certainly recommend it to the authonomy editorial board for consideration for publication.

Charlotte Elise wrote 407 days ago

Hi Ted,

First of all, thank you for writing such a good sci-fi! The Immortality Game reads with the essence of a quality science fiction novel for so many reasons. I've read four chapters so far and can't wait to come back to read more.

Chapter 1
The sibling dynamic is well presented here, as they act naturally as brother and sister. Georgy seems like he has an interesting backstory, and despite the fact he's dragging his sister into his troubles, he's likeable too. Also, Zoya is a great name.

Chapter 2
Toward the end of this chapter I found some of Jorge's lines to be a bit wordy, and it broke the flow of otherwise well written, natural dialogue. I like that Marcos' final reason for doing as eDad wanted was for the sake of his mother and family, and not just because he was talked into it. It gives his character some extra merit, and also makes him more actively involved in what he's going to do, rather than just doing what someone else says.
Despite not really knowing what Meshing is yet, I really like it being presented as an addiction. I find addictions in stories (ones other than the usual alcohol and drugs) really interesting as to how they affect characters. The fact that Marcos also suffered the same gives him a little bit of darkness in his character and past, and to me there is nothing better than a flawed character!
A couple of things that stood out to me were the disposable plate described as clattering on the table, whereas I'm thinking of a plastic or paper plate that wouldn't make much sound at all. That's just me though.
The other is mentioning a place called Sedona. Because I don't live in Phoenix, it doesnt mean much to me as a reader that this is as far as Marcos has ever traveled.

Chapter 3
This has been my favourite chapter so far. It's suddenly so tense, I'm captivated immediately. By the end of it I wondered if it would be better as the first chapter, as it has the best hook so far. Of course, doing that is never as easy as just suggesting it.
Also, I didn't read your long pitch before reading the story so Georgy's fate really surprised me! And I'm a bit sad he died, I quite liked his character already. It's a good way to get another character moving though, in this case Zoya who seemed reluctant to have anything to do with his trouble, is now thrown right into it.
In her first section you say the fire escape forced her to walk into the street. This threw me a bit as I thought she was already walking in the street. Is she now walking into another street?

Chapter 4
This one took me by surprise also, but obviously for the twist in the middle. I like it. All four chapters have been so different, it's kept everything interesting and kept me on my toes, so to speak (type). Another character being pulled into the story has me even more interested to find out what all the fuss is about and how they're all going to interact when they, I assume, cross paths.

Throughout the chapters I have especially loved the science fiction elements you've added, such as the suborbital travel, Meshing, existing digitally and the slots behind the ears. These are subtle ways of bringing us into this sci-fi world, rather than shoving it in my face trying to constantly remind the reader that its futuristic. Yours has none of that, its just the right amount to make it believable and doesnt make me stop and wonder what this tech stuff is.

Anyway, I obviously don't have a bad word to say about this! The multiple viewpoints are well handled, its well written and engaging and deserves high stars and a backing from me. Good luck on your short rest of the way to the desk!

Charlotte Elise
Saving Isondier.

FireweedFiend wrote 427 days ago

The Immortality Game is masterfully orchestrated, introducing the reader to a future that is both original, and completely believable, while conducting several stories and characters through an aria of adventure, suspense, and some pretty gritty murders. From the Mormons unintentionally coming out on top, to Meshing, there is not any part of this world that feels implausible.

I love the dynamic between the characters, especially Marcus and Zoya, and I even feel a bit of empathy for Tavik- I mean, the guy is clearly not all bad, just mostly. Is there a mailing list for when this gets published? I need this in my library, like, yesterday.

Brennon

Parogar wrote 497 days ago

You have an excellent writing style. Everything from your word-usage to sentence structure are all on par with what I'd tend to find in a published book, and your pacing is also good enough that one paragraph flows into another with very little abruptness or confusion.

Now, since you're writing a multiple POV story, I know it won't be revealed until later on where the POV characters intermingle, so I didn't feel that the story was at all disjointed from the switch. What I did think, however, is that the story (intentionally) makes certain elements just a little bit too ambiguous. In the first three chapters, I was able to follow them quite easily due to the skillful writing, but it was only as I reached the end of chapter three that I realized I actually didn't have that much of a clue as to what was really going on in the grand scheme of things; in terms of plot.

In Chapter 2, the techno-talk was a bit confusing. It went on a bit, and I really just couldn't follow it as well as I'd hoped to be able to. My recommendation for chapter 2 would be to reduce the technobabble just a pinch because after a point it becomes jarring. But for all three chapters overall, I think giving just a few more "hints", without reveling everything. I think I know what you're going for. There's a world of mystery and plot waiting to be discovered for the reader, but I think giving us just a bit more reason for the urgency and conflict early on will help to more firmly plant the reader into the tension.

If I had to be completely honest with you, there's probably a bunch of plot things I could criticize if I re-read it, but the writing was so good that I didn't notice them. Maybe I'm just overly enthusiastic because this was one of the few things I've read so far on Authonomy since RJ's where I could actually, 100% place myself inside of a character's head. Honestly, if you can get a reader that far, they'll usually come along for the ride no matter what genre or story you're telling.

The first and third chapters were my favorite of the three, especially the scarier third, with Georgy and the "gangsters". The second one was a bit muddled in shadows, and by that I mean it was purposely (I think you did it on purpose) a bit confusing.

I'd buy this in a bookstore because the writing is indistinguishable from other published authors--by that I mean I can't look at it and say amateur author!--and it had a gripping first chapter. I don't feel as if you're trying to teach me new words, and I don't get the sense that you're trying to teach me anything, really. The story comes off like just that; a story. It reads like someone who has a tale they want to tell, and they're doing so in the most accessible way they can.... minus the technobabble.

Sylvia wrote 508 days ago

Aside from one small issue, I found this story astonishingly well written and completely gripping.

It's difficult to imagine how you thought up the characters: a protagonist who does beauty treatments for corpses, then a fat student with his father plugged into his brain: 'Something I've been searching for ever since I died.' Despite this strangeness and the future setting, the people are totally believable and the reality is as gritty as it gets, especially the encounter between Georgy and Tavik. I also like the notion of Mesh, which is a strong possibility even now.

Poplar seeds floated like snowflakes on the summer breeze … This is one of those descriptions that can only come from close familiarity to a place. (I've since seen from your bio that this is the case.) It not only brings the story alive, it also makes it feel authentic.

From the chapters I've read, I'd definitely buy this novel. It should get a great review from HC and It should be published. Starred and on my shelf until it makes the desk.

My only gripe is the opening paragraph:

It would be too easy to say one hates working with corpses … This is too impersonal for a first line. Who is one? The narrator? The character? The queen?

… onto the grossly fat man on the stainless steel slab … is it possible to avoid the repeat of 'on' or make it less noticeable. I know this is picky, but it is the opening paragraph.

liberscriptus wrote 786 days ago

Pardon my French, but holy $#@! this is amazing! I just read what you have posted and was quite sad when I got to the end. Fast-paced and exciting with a great premise and so many sticky moral dilemas! What is life? What is intelligence? Is Jorge sentient or a convincing imitation? If he were transfered to a clone body, would he be alive then or would that clone be a new imitation? And the idea of New Eden if fascinating - would it be worthwhile to spend a lifetime on a ship so that your descendents could live in a new world?

In my opinion, raising questions is what the best of sci-fi is all about, and clearly you've done lots of that, so great job there! I also find it interesting how you depict the Western US as a Mormon-ruled theocracy - quite an interesting what if there. I think it's great how you blend elements of the familiar world we live in with the speculative future you've created. The character dynamics are also very interesting - how Zoya goes from an average woman to a fugitive in the blink of an eye and how she handles it. I'd love to see how she and Marcus, who seems very much an obedient daddy's boy, interact...

The only critique I have is that I feel as though some parts lack physical descriptions of the characters and surroundings, so it's hard to visualize what's going on in some scenes. But other than that, it's very well-written and flows well... I'm so bummed I can't finish it!

Cheers,
M.
Astral Sea: The Pandora Project

Jack Vantage wrote 329 days ago

Your descriptions of features are outstanding. It felt like the characters were acting in front of me, it was like they literally jump from the page. I like the concept and will reading further than the first few chapters when time permits.
Think you would love my sci-fi novel. The first four chapters are there to read if you have time.

Good Luck

Millennium Zero G

janimarei wrote 340 days ago

I love sci-fi and the first few chapters have me hooked. I'll definitely be back for more when time permits.

stearn37 wrote 348 days ago

Hi
Well done on the superb review.
I will be first in line to buy the book.
Good luck and I hope ir is a best seller.
Cheers,
John Stearn
Author of Derilium

Scott Toney wrote 348 days ago

Congrats on the wonderful review! :)

Cathy Hardy wrote 348 days ago

Brilliant. Well done!!!

AuthorGirlAngie wrote 349 days ago

Ted, looks like you've done a great job on this book and I wish you the best of luck!

AuthorGirlAngie wrote 349 days ago

Ted, looks like you've done a great job on this book and I wish you the best of luck!

carolinecutting wrote 350 days ago

Hiya, only had time to read the first two chapters and already I'm hooked. I love your reference to digital copying of the mind, fantastic!
Caroline

MickeyCee wrote 353 days ago

Hey Ted

Only this far today but can't wait to get back to the book, later. Love the characters, the plot and the suspense.

Mickey
Charlie and the Witches Coven

LValder wrote 356 days ago

Very engaging characters, fast paced, not predictable, great descriptions and damn good writing. I think you have a winner here. My one semi-negative comment is I did not buy the part about the gangster Tazik being in love with Zoya, you need to build that in sooner or ? When it was first mentioned (I guess she's not going to marry me.) I thought he was making an ironic joke, then later you hinted that he did love her, very hard to accept this. That one part was the only thing that knocked me out out the suspension of dis-belief- everything else tracked pretty true. The other thing I hope you do is keep the characters true to themselves, a good arc is fine but I'd hate to see the American kid suddenly become a toughguy/super hero or? Have you written ch 23 yet?
Love to continue reading it let me know when you have more chapters, thank you Laurie Mains, The Zen Gene / ISS

aw findlay wrote 361 days ago

good fast paced read, nice one!

aw findlay wrote 361 days ago

good fast paced read, nice one!

aw findlay wrote 361 days ago

good fast paced read, nice one!

T M Robinson wrote 366 days ago

I've only read the first chapter.
The writing is good, but there are a few places where the prose could use a bit of editing. References to 'Pre-dark time' and 'quaint times' sound out-of-place and forced. Why not just drop them out. If you want to tell the reader it's a post-apocolyptic novel then just say it.

You make reference to your protagonist fearing corpses at one time but don't explain to the reader why she feared them or why she stopped fearing them. If this has no relevance to the story- why is it there?

Your descriptions are good but sometimes contain unrelated information that only slows the tempo.i.e.: tied off with twine the way mother always did it - this doesn't tell the reader anything. We don't know what 'it' is.

The last paragraph has reference problems. 'Fear made it difficult to swallow. The last reference was to the package. 'It' will lead you into all kinds of problems. I would suggest doing a search on 'it' and replacing where possible with a more precise word, or better yet- fear consticted her throat. - convey your thought clearly.
- 'her hand brushed the clammy skin of the corpse. An image filled her mind of Georgy laid out on the slab while she rouged his cheeks." Georgy's cheeks or the corpse's cheeks? Remove doubt by saying 'her brother's' or 'the stiff's' Precision in word selection is important when presenting a clear image to the reader.

Best of luck

Alice Barron wrote 371 days ago

Hi there. I saw a thread recently which indicated that the books near the editor's desk may require support. I don't think you do. Your book is flying. Then again, just in case I am wrong I decided to read a little bit of your book and star it and offer it some support.
I read two chapters. It's quite good. I like the dialogue between brother and sister and then again between father and son.

I wasn't so sure about the sentence in chapter one that says.....the stronger one.....to me, the stronger one indicates you are referring to someone. Would you consider writing....and the strong whiff of embalming fluid.

Should air of the room be air in the room?

These guys are brilliant, almost as smart as me even........I don't think you need even in this sentence. Try reading it out loud. Does it sound right, now? It sounds like even is a persons name, to me.

Okay, you can tell me to go away now! Starred.
Alice.

Maevesleibhin wrote 376 days ago

This is truly engaging and very well written. I am in chapter 10 and will read further before commenting, but this gets my backing and top stars.
Best,
Maeve

George Fripley wrote 384 days ago

Hey Ted,

I enjoyed this. I couldn't really find much fault with it. The pace was good, I didn;t find myself skipping through (which I have a tendency to do) and I thought that Zoya was a character that drew people in. Her relationship with Marcus is genuine and this sets the book up. I will be abck to read more later.

George

Ivan Amberlake wrote 389 days ago

Just finished Chapter 22 and found it amazing! Just as the action keeps coming there's also some of the back story inserted, but in a way that the story flows nicely. Loved Marcus's story and more talk about the futuristic world. The ending ... superb! Look forward to reading the next chapter. Only don't know when it's coming *sigh*

Kestrelraptorial wrote 398 days ago

I like the character names in this story. Zoya, caught in a race for military technology that can copy the sentient brain of a creature . . . to extend life and space travel, and several competing parties trying to retrieve it. I’ll admit that apart from this plot, the story was a bit hard to follow, though I liked the chapter with Xax exploring the caverns and running from the basilisk.

Chapter five was the first I was reminded that this world has a futuristic setting, when Zoya signals for an air taxi. Why is she able to negotiate the price down to ‘criminal’, especially when, if they happen to be pulled over, the price for a fine is very expensive? I doubt she’d be able to haggle much if at all.

Tavik and Bunny are scary they way they keep popping up and killing anyone they perceive to be in their way, or who knows something. So over-protective of their secret technology. The last chapter – they’re still right on Zoya and Marcus’ tail, after having killed everyone close to her, and still no resolution. You know, I’d really be interested in a story that explores life on a generation ship.

stearn37 wrote 404 days ago

Hi
I have given this a full six stars and it has been put on my watchlist so i can read more over the next few days.
It will be back once i have a gap on my shelf.
From
John Stearn
Author of Derilium

Charlotte Elise wrote 407 days ago

Hi Ted,

First of all, thank you for writing such a good sci-fi! The Immortality Game reads with the essence of a quality science fiction novel for so many reasons. I've read four chapters so far and can't wait to come back to read more.

Chapter 1
The sibling dynamic is well presented here, as they act naturally as brother and sister. Georgy seems like he has an interesting backstory, and despite the fact he's dragging his sister into his troubles, he's likeable too. Also, Zoya is a great name.

Chapter 2
Toward the end of this chapter I found some of Jorge's lines to be a bit wordy, and it broke the flow of otherwise well written, natural dialogue. I like that Marcos' final reason for doing as eDad wanted was for the sake of his mother and family, and not just because he was talked into it. It gives his character some extra merit, and also makes him more actively involved in what he's going to do, rather than just doing what someone else says.
Despite not really knowing what Meshing is yet, I really like it being presented as an addiction. I find addictions in stories (ones other than the usual alcohol and drugs) really interesting as to how they affect characters. The fact that Marcos also suffered the same gives him a little bit of darkness in his character and past, and to me there is nothing better than a flawed character!
A couple of things that stood out to me were the disposable plate described as clattering on the table, whereas I'm thinking of a plastic or paper plate that wouldn't make much sound at all. That's just me though.
The other is mentioning a place called Sedona. Because I don't live in Phoenix, it doesnt mean much to me as a reader that this is as far as Marcos has ever traveled.

Chapter 3
This has been my favourite chapter so far. It's suddenly so tense, I'm captivated immediately. By the end of it I wondered if it would be better as the first chapter, as it has the best hook so far. Of course, doing that is never as easy as just suggesting it.
Also, I didn't read your long pitch before reading the story so Georgy's fate really surprised me! And I'm a bit sad he died, I quite liked his character already. It's a good way to get another character moving though, in this case Zoya who seemed reluctant to have anything to do with his trouble, is now thrown right into it.
In her first section you say the fire escape forced her to walk into the street. This threw me a bit as I thought she was already walking in the street. Is she now walking into another street?

Chapter 4
This one took me by surprise also, but obviously for the twist in the middle. I like it. All four chapters have been so different, it's kept everything interesting and kept me on my toes, so to speak (type). Another character being pulled into the story has me even more interested to find out what all the fuss is about and how they're all going to interact when they, I assume, cross paths.

Throughout the chapters I have especially loved the science fiction elements you've added, such as the suborbital travel, Meshing, existing digitally and the slots behind the ears. These are subtle ways of bringing us into this sci-fi world, rather than shoving it in my face trying to constantly remind the reader that its futuristic. Yours has none of that, its just the right amount to make it believable and doesnt make me stop and wonder what this tech stuff is.

Anyway, I obviously don't have a bad word to say about this! The multiple viewpoints are well handled, its well written and engaging and deserves high stars and a backing from me. Good luck on your short rest of the way to the desk!

Charlotte Elise
Saving Isondier.

Robert Liddle wrote 408 days ago

I keep looking for another book on this site as good as this one, but I can't find it. Great story, great writing, and great science fiction. Six stars and a backing.

Jimmy Wearne wrote 413 days ago

Great 1st chapter - the only thing that threw me is the use of 'one' in the first sentence - usually that comes with 1st person POV. I would try 'she' or writing something different - I think you could write a better opening line. also shoudn't the fat man be lying on the stainless steel slab? You're missing a verb there and the sentence probably could use another comma, when I read it out loud I take a break. Everything from there flows really nicely - love the name Zoya - I would put "Hey little sis..." down a paragraph after the action - very engaging overall - only other suggestion is when you have that military style opening date, place time - I would like to see after Moscow - Central Morgue or whatever you want to call it. Highly starred and I'll back you because you deserve to make editors - I would just really think about a better opening line before you get there.

If you can return a read at some point that would be great.

Cheers

Jimmy

emarie wrote 421 days ago

Excellent writing. You pull the reader in immediately and then their hooked. Watchlisted.
--emarie
Jacksom Jacob Henry Brown, III

Markal wrote 425 days ago

Excellent premise, great concept, and right up there with any current sci-fi story.
Your characters are believable and their dialogue isn't forced or false, and your writing flows, no jarring sentences, no having to read anything more than once to understand it's meaning.
As I said, a great story, and I thoroughly enjoyed what I read. Many stars.

Mark.

MiriamNConde wrote 426 days ago

I think this has an intriguing plot. You do well writing with different perspectives. I also like the colorful descriptions. You left me wanting more.

MiriamNConde
The Immortality Experiment

FireweedFiend wrote 427 days ago

The Immortality Game is masterfully orchestrated, introducing the reader to a future that is both original, and completely believable, while conducting several stories and characters through an aria of adventure, suspense, and some pretty gritty murders. From the Mormons unintentionally coming out on top, to Meshing, there is not any part of this world that feels implausible.

I love the dynamic between the characters, especially Marcus and Zoya, and I even feel a bit of empathy for Tavik- I mean, the guy is clearly not all bad, just mostly. Is there a mailing list for when this gets published? I need this in my library, like, yesterday.

Brennon

D. S. Hale wrote 433 days ago

You write like a pro. Smooth. Clean. The tension mounts as the reader continues. This is one of the best pieces i've seen on here. if this was a printed book, I'd buy it now. no way that i couldn't! i want it to be in my library. No wonder you have climbed the charts to #11. Great job! I am giving you 6 stars, and a promise to get on my shelf as soon as the next round of editor's picks. I love it, and highly recommend it!!!

Sincerely,
Donna
Jessup and the Teleporter

Oh, I forgot you were an old man, and we were in a restraunt! lol Let them stare. you have mesmerized this girl, and no gold digging for me! This is real!! lol

Lara wrote 438 days ago

I don't usually read this genre but this one really impressed me. The quality of the writing as well as the ideas meant I had to back it. Lara
A RELATIVE INVASION

GJC wrote 438 days ago

Ted,
I was told to take a look at your book because I might enjoy - and although I have only just started reading on here, \i have to say this is great writing. I like your spare style, very different but still enjoyable. Works with the setting and story, and the pace of the reading is great. This isn't much of a comment right now, but I want to let you know how impressed I was. I see your book is highly ranked, but I want to add it to my shelf because it deserves to make the top.
GJC

berniemint wrote 451 days ago

Read first 5 chapters and although cyberpunk is not my thing, I found the writing tight, fast-paced and compelling. A well-visualised world brought to the reader with clarity and authority. Good luck with the desk!

Trenor wrote 460 days ago

Great premise. Expertly written. I think you are on to something here.
High stars!

Trenor
The Lords of Invention

Susanna Clayson wrote 462 days ago

Hi Ted,
spotted you in Mary Jane's messages and though i can't claim to have read much (i shall return!) yet i can see the quality of the writing in a genre i would not usually gravitate towards. You deserve to reach the desk and how tantalising to be this close. i shall find a place on my bookshelf til Feb and wish you all the best with both your books.
good luck
Susanna
Eccles Cake Collection

D M Sharples wrote 465 days ago

Ted,

Having returned to the site after a bit of a break from writing, I am glad to see that it is still going strong, and that work of a standard such as this is climbing its way up towards the desk. I've gone through the first five chapters, and have only stopped because I've things I have to do today. I could've quite happily carried on with this, as it is really quite a wonderfully written piece. Your style is easy to read, yet not too simplistic, with an almost perfect structuring.

I enjoy the short(ish) chapters, not only do they make it easier to read on the site, but they keep the reader's interest held from one to the next, never getting bogged down in too much description, unnecessary exposition, or other such trappings of writing. The characters are almost instantly 'there' for me; I can conjure the images of each part of the story with little to no effort - a task that shows you have a clear understanding of how much to show the reader before letting them create the rest, customising their reading experience. A mark of a skilled writer. And the imagery you do provide is wonderful: the poplar seeds, the funnel cloud skyscrapers, both absolutely wonderful descriptions that satisfy on several levels - subtlety, familiarity, clarity...all within those few words.

I do try to offer some form of constructive criticism where I can, but I struggle here as I found myself being sucked in and forgot that I should be looking for things to point out. The only part I could offer such comments on would be during the first chapter, where I thought some of the interactions between Zoya and Georgy leaned more towards the romantic than of brother and sister, primarily due to word choice. For example, being "swept into the arms of her brother", sounds a bit odd. A couple of other similar instances occurred in that chapter, and personally I would consider rewording them.

Overall then, this is a very good, finely polished and accomplished piece of writing. Great stuff.

DM

Tlank wrote 467 days ago

This reads like a good detective novel, I like it! One chapter in and curiosity has me, I will be reading more. You may be right, no need for politickin.

Travis Lankord

RVH wrote 470 days ago

Ted,
I came across your book through a friend's bookshelf and decided to have a look. I found your writing style easy to read and even easier to immerse yourself in. The chapters are short enough not to discourage the reader and the tech terms easily absorbed. Highly rated and enjoyed.

Cheers,
Robyn
Elendra - Tides of Easthaven

subra_2k123 wrote 473 days ago

Hi Ted,
At last I found someone who can speak my language. In an age of highjacked researchers( Newton, Einstein and all other folks making good money, spending their research on an eternal question of " how to make CeraVe 1% more smoother on skin than Nivea). The Immortality game is a peep in to future. Wonderful story that satiate the appetite of Sci. fi lovers. Highly starred and feel proud about doing so.

venkatarama
Ozoneraser

Graham Jon Don Lench wrote 480 days ago

I have just read the first two chapters and must say thoroughly enjoyed the story so far. I like the ideas, it didn't go over the top with the technical side of things and will read more tomorrow as the story pulled me right in. It is well written, the chapters so far are concise and to the point, and I love the concept of downloading our 'mind' or personality, very intriguing.
I have starred and backed as I will continue to read more.

Seringapatam wrote 480 days ago

Ted. Excellent book. I nearly broke my three chapter rule. I love the way you get your point over in a nice flowing style. I can see big things for this book. Well done.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R)

Ellie S Lee wrote 483 days ago

What an imagination you have here and how well sustained, such beautiful writing too but not at all showy, never overwhelming the story, simply great quality. I’ve ventured beyond my comfort zone with this and you had me riveted. Very well done

subra_2k123 wrote 484 days ago

eerie but compelling read. highly starred.

venkatarama
Ozoneraser

Andrea Taylor wrote 494 days ago

This is well written and interesting. It leads the reader in step by step with just enough info to keep us wanting more. What more can one ask of a book? Very good!
Andrea
The de Amerley Affair

subra_2k123 wrote 495 days ago

Ear slots...Apartment voices...these are exactly the kind of things that makes Sci-Fi so interesting and attention grabbing. Your plot seems to be well built and the beginning is done well. Marcus interacting with what I believe is his dead father is quite intriguing. Being a fan of Science fiction, I must say I deeply enjoyed reading the first three chapters and this is the kind of book I would gladly spend my money on.

Good Luck,
Venkatarama

Parogar wrote 497 days ago

You have an excellent writing style. Everything from your word-usage to sentence structure are all on par with what I'd tend to find in a published book, and your pacing is also good enough that one paragraph flows into another with very little abruptness or confusion.

Now, since you're writing a multiple POV story, I know it won't be revealed until later on where the POV characters intermingle, so I didn't feel that the story was at all disjointed from the switch. What I did think, however, is that the story (intentionally) makes certain elements just a little bit too ambiguous. In the first three chapters, I was able to follow them quite easily due to the skillful writing, but it was only as I reached the end of chapter three that I realized I actually didn't have that much of a clue as to what was really going on in the grand scheme of things; in terms of plot.

In Chapter 2, the techno-talk was a bit confusing. It went on a bit, and I really just couldn't follow it as well as I'd hoped to be able to. My recommendation for chapter 2 would be to reduce the technobabble just a pinch because after a point it becomes jarring. But for all three chapters overall, I think giving just a few more "hints", without reveling everything. I think I know what you're going for. There's a world of mystery and plot waiting to be discovered for the reader, but I think giving us just a bit more reason for the urgency and conflict early on will help to more firmly plant the reader into the tension.

If I had to be completely honest with you, there's probably a bunch of plot things I could criticize if I re-read it, but the writing was so good that I didn't notice them. Maybe I'm just overly enthusiastic because this was one of the few things I've read so far on Authonomy since RJ's where I could actually, 100% place myself inside of a character's head. Honestly, if you can get a reader that far, they'll usually come along for the ride no matter what genre or story you're telling.

The first and third chapters were my favorite of the three, especially the scarier third, with Georgy and the "gangsters". The second one was a bit muddled in shadows, and by that I mean it was purposely (I think you did it on purpose) a bit confusing.

I'd buy this in a bookstore because the writing is indistinguishable from other published authors--by that I mean I can't look at it and say amateur author!--and it had a gripping first chapter. I don't feel as if you're trying to teach me new words, and I don't get the sense that you're trying to teach me anything, really. The story comes off like just that; a story. It reads like someone who has a tale they want to tell, and they're doing so in the most accessible way they can.... minus the technobabble.

MiriamNConde wrote 498 days ago

Thanks for telling me about authonomy! The Immortality Game is now on my watchlist. I can't wait to see it published.

Michael Matula wrote 503 days ago

Excellent work. Great, clean writing that has a very nice flow to it, along with some wonderful little details and a really engaging concept. I love the setting, as I don't think I've read anything that takes place in future Moscow before, and I really like Zoya as a protagonist. The sections with her worked especially well for me in the three chapters I've read so far. Chapter two did slow down a bit for me, as while I really liked the AI father, the Marcus character seems a bit immature to me and hasn't quite hooked me yet.

This is highly polished, though (the only things I might have possibly changed were incredibly minor, and may simply be personal preference, like: “Reluctantly(,) she enabled” / “Years ago(,) Phoenix”/ and I might make it something like “crumbling concrete (and) a blur of gray sky” instead; again, though, all of these instances may be perfectly fine.)

Overall, I thought this was a terrific start to the book, and the first three chapters definitely made me interested in reading more.
Full stars.

Mike
Arrival of the Ageless
What, the Elf?

Sylvia wrote 508 days ago

Aside from one small issue, I found this story astonishingly well written and completely gripping.

It's difficult to imagine how you thought up the characters: a protagonist who does beauty treatments for corpses, then a fat student with his father plugged into his brain: 'Something I've been searching for ever since I died.' Despite this strangeness and the future setting, the people are totally believable and the reality is as gritty as it gets, especially the encounter between Georgy and Tavik. I also like the notion of Mesh, which is a strong possibility even now.

Poplar seeds floated like snowflakes on the summer breeze … This is one of those descriptions that can only come from close familiarity to a place. (I've since seen from your bio that this is the case.) It not only brings the story alive, it also makes it feel authentic.

From the chapters I've read, I'd definitely buy this novel. It should get a great review from HC and It should be published. Starred and on my shelf until it makes the desk.

My only gripe is the opening paragraph:

It would be too easy to say one hates working with corpses … This is too impersonal for a first line. Who is one? The narrator? The character? The queen?

… onto the grossly fat man on the stainless steel slab … is it possible to avoid the repeat of 'on' or make it less noticeable. I know this is picky, but it is the opening paragraph.

Blancherose wrote 518 days ago

This is a fast paced science fiction with plenty of action and with a mind stretching plot.
It is true that some of your setting need a little more foundation or imagery for the reader to better visualize what is going on, but a great read. Congratulations!
Blessings Roslyn
"I Am" through the Ages

FGCollinse wrote 529 days ago

I really like the opening chapter of your book. Backed.

Gordon James Ritchie wrote 537 days ago

Hi Ted,

I am here to fulfil my promise of critiquing your go at sci-fi.
First, I will admit I enjoy your fantasy more - but, fantasy is my preferred genre of reading; so that is expected. Nevertheless: Wow! Once again you took me away into the story, with fascinating philosophical questions being thrown into the plot (this I found very intriguing. As the story does not rely on the science-fiction genre to propel itself, which too many authors use as an escape route, but rather on the characters and their interaction).

All I can criticise is that I found myself flailing to know the appearance of some characters (particularly Georgy, who I feel needs to be described intensely at the start). Of course, it is not always beneficial to describe every character in detail; but some are necessary to be done. Then again, my own work has a near undescribed protagonist - but this is for a particular reason and I intentionally left his description up to the reader (and if this is ever your intention, then please ignore my comment).
Zoya is well done though, and her character development is great too - particularly when you fling her into such a terrifying chase.

On a final note, I found your mix of seemingly archaic imagery with modern settings fascinating, and a refreshing way to approach the genre. ("pre-Dark Times rock" - love this usage! Partly what indulged my further reading). Definitely continue along this line.

Great work! Fascinating plot and history.
Would be keen to see some more fantasy from you.

Best regards,