In this 2011 novella by Hugh Howey, a young man, Adam Griffey, teaches college English. And is losing his interest in life, because he has two other lives. After his classes, he goes home, gets on the internet and chats with his ‘girlfriend’, Amanda, who after some time now, is pushing for a face-to-face meet.
After that, he goes to the college computer labs where they have sim farms. Scientists use these virtual reality simulations to do advanced scientific work, others for woo-woo porn, and others, like himself, go to mine the chosen virtual world for literature classics, which, having a prodigious memory, he memorizes, writes out at home, and publishes them as ‘discovered’ masterpieces.
Imagine the Matrix. Or think about the conversations you have had about what if this world, our lives here, are just some gamer’s computer simulation. Would we know it?
Well, the folks in their simulated worlds don’t know they are simulated and go about creating literature and art and music and living just as if they are real. In fact, they, themselves have also created prolific simulated worlds. Which are creating more simulated worlds. Whew. Makes my head spin and my brain freeze up just trying to comprehend the layers and layers of sim worlds.
What happens when it all gets too much, and starts taking too much computer ummm space? Time? Whatever. Yeah, what DOES happen?
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Those of you who are sci fi fans, and those of you who follow some of the more prominent indie writers know the name Hugh Howey for his blockbuster novel, Wool. It started as a short story, created a buzz, he lengthened it to a novel, it created even more of a buzz, and now he has a movie deal for it. His was not an overnight success. He had been writing for ten years before Wool came out. He now has a new book out, Sand.
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I have been musing on just what it is that makes any one particular story resonate in such a way that it becomes part of the psyche of the culture. Books like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Howey’s Wool, Lord of the Rings. What makes one story line so much more appealing to a huge audience than others? Beats me.