THIS IS NOT A GAME is a novel built around the coolest phenomenon in the world.
That phenomenon is known as the Alternate Reality Game, or ARG. It's big, and it's getting bigger. It's immersive and massively interactive, and it's spreading through the Internet at the speed of light.
To the player, the Alternate Reality Game has no boundaries. You can be standing in a parking lot, or a shopping center. A pay phone near you will ring, and on the other end will be someone demanding information.
You'd better have the information handy.
ARGs combine video, text adventure, radio plays, audio, animation, improvisational theater, graphics, and story into an immersive experience.
Now, one of science fiction's most acclaimed writers, Walter Jon Williams, brings this extraordinary phenomenon to life in a pulse-pounding thriller. This is not a game. This is a novel that will blow your mind.
Walter Jon Williams lives in rural New Mexico, a fact that “compels me to perpetual war with mosquito and tumbleweed, and to lengthy disquisitions on the merits and failings of my tractor, the name of which is Beam.” One of the author’s most recent short stories for “Foreign Devils” (January 1996), won the 1996 Sidewise Alternate History Award for Best Short Form.
An infinite, sweeping saga of interstellar war — the first SF classic for the 21st century. The empire of the Shaa lasted 10,000 years. Years of terror, infinite violence and oppressive, brutal order. Now the Shaa are no more, but the terror and violence are only beginning… The Shaa, rulers of the universe, began to commit ritual suicide when it became clear that their minds — profoundly intelligent but limited — would accept no further information. Near immortality was their one, great mistake. And so began the war between the Naxids, oldest client race of the Shaa, who believed themselves inheritors of the empire, and a frail alliance of other races, including humanity. Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula are two of the characters through whom we see this mighty, calamitous war and its aftermath. And so, the story of a dread empire's fall begins…