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The Escapist 197

Posted by timothy
from the out-the-door dept.
Stanislav Blingstein writes "Cyberpunk just got a whole lot darker. The Escapist , by James Morris, takes the genre into a gloomy alley and gives it a good kicking. The main character, Bentley Dean, is more than just an anti-hero: he seems to enjoy being bad. His cast of accomplices aren't much better, either, and some are far worse. Most are pretty cartoon-like, too. But you still can't help liking Bentley Dean. He brings a certain charm to being a hacker with a cold-blooded killing streak." Read on for Blingstein's review.
The Escapist
author James Morris
pages 167
publisher Ad Libbed Ltd
rating 8
reviewer Stanislav Blingstein
ISBN 1905290055
summary Cyberpunk with a darkly satirical edge

The Escapist is set in an indeterminate future. Space travel seems to exist, but most of the action takes place on Earth. And there's plenty of action, too. From page one, the book races along with scarcely a pause for breath, and by the time you've finished you've been around the world, met numerous bizarre competing factions, and uncovered the plot behind the mysterious Mind Invasions. The storyline takes in locations as far afield as Egypt, Malaysia, Israel, Las Vegas, New York, and London. It almost seems like a travelogue of all the places the author has been in his life, except seen through a warped lens of cyberpunk fiction.

In fact, the story seems almost arbitrary, like it was written as a stream of consciousness. Think Beat Generation, but penned by a Jack Kerouac who's fascinated by computers rather than drugs, jazz and driving. Bentley Dean is carried along by the increasingly frantic stream of events, each one hitting him sideways. All is revealed at the end, but you still get the feeling that many situations occur with no rhyme or reason -- a bit like real life, only with more explosions.

The ideas about future technology in The Escapist can vary from insightful to mundane. The central theme of cryogenic sabbaticals is rather amusing, though. These could be described as "holidays on ice." And though this is clearly a cyberpunk novel, not much of it actually takes place in cyberspace --that's more of a recurring theme in the background. Most of the action occurs in the flesh. This is maybe a good thing, as the novel's description of using virtual reality to explore the human mind is a bit 20th century, perhaps as a deliberate lampoon of how dated films like The Lawnmower Man seem today.

But that doesn't really matter. Most of the time, this is a very funny book. It's full of one-liners which take the present day and twist it to its logical extremes, so you can see just how ridiculous it is. The moon, with its low gravity, becomes a refuge for the overweight. Pandas are saved from extinction by being genetically re-engineered to like eating hamburgers. A strip club is named after Pee-Wee Herman. Bentley buys a fashionable suit made of paper, only to find it too noisy for creeping around at night.

Some of these ideas will have you laughing out loud, although a few of the gags are very much for the geeks in the audience, like the Windows Bar and Grill which takes three attempts to get your order right. There are also plenty of embedded cultural references for film buffs to spot, including HAL, Yoda and even James Bond quotations. You cant help feeling at times that the plot is just there to serve the jokes.

But the book also has a serious side. There's a deeper theme about artificial intelligence, and each chapter is headed by a quasi-philosophical statement. Some of these will really get you thinking, and some are deliberately silly, just to catch you out. If you're interested in the whole question of whether or not computers could ever think like us, and what that would mean, theres food for thought here, hidden among the humour. The Escapist is a book which just doesn't stop hitting you with idea after idea, some of them serious and some intended entirely for darkly comic relief.

The Escapist's main fault is just this -- it tries to do too much in too few pages. It's so fast that at times you have trouble keeping up, and sometimes you wish the characters would just slow down and admire the scenery. And if you need a truly sympathetic character to relate to in your novels, you might find Bentley Dean is just too mean. He's also too much like a cross between James Bond and Kevin Mitnick. But if you have a perverse streak, and a penchant for satire, you'll like The Escapist. You may even wish it was a bit longer.

As well as being available in printed form, The Escapist can also be bought as a PDF direct from the website. And since the novel is published under a Creative Commons license, once you've got hold of one of these PDFs, you can share it around and print it out as much as you like. The cover art is well worth seeing on a real book, though -- it has an evocative mystery all of its own.


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The Escapist

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  • by BlogPope (886961) on Friday July 08, 2005 @01:56PM (#13015112)
    This reveiw doesn't make me want to get it, I'm sure of that though.
    • Unfortunately, it doesn't make me not want to get it, either. I feel completely unmotivated in either direction, and much like I've just injected my head with a bunch of trivia I'll probably never use about a book I may or may not ever read.

      Sometimes I wish my head had ctrl-z.

  • Could someone actually provide some good novels that take place in Cyberspace, or are closely involved?
    Books such as SnowCrash and Neuromancer were great but other 'cyberpunk' books i read have very little to do with cyberspace and more to do with the dystopian future. Yes yes i know thats the cyberpunk theme, but really i want books that involve hacking etc that wont cost 80 bucks.
    • Could someone actually provide some good novels that take place in Cyberspace, or are closely involved? Books such as SnowCrash and Neuromancer were great but other 'cyberpunk' books i read have very little to do with cyberspace and more to do with the dystopian future. Yes yes i know thats the cyberpunk theme, but really i want books that involve hacking etc that wont cost 80 bucks.

      O'Reilly has a number of good books that satisfy that requirement.

    • Could I see that list of cyberpunk books that cost more than 80 bucks?
    • Try Idlewild by Nick Sagan (Carl Sagan's son) Up until the last chapter, the main characters and reality don't coinside with a chapter at all.
    • Re:Cyberspace? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mweier (135569)
      Tron? :)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberpunk [wikipedia.org] has plenty of other authors (most of which I've never read, since I'm pretty limited to gibson & stephenson myself for that genre).

      Apparently computers are not a prerequisite so much as technology. In that case the Phillip K Dick I've read would fit (though it borders on regular Sci Fi). His work is stupendous in its abilities to create magnificent twists of philosophical (and not just technological) profundity.

      The author(s) of that Wikipedia entry do
      • "Postcyberpunk" (if you believe in such a sub-genre) focuses on family units rather than anti-heroes. Islands in the Net is an example of a future that's not dystopic, and the Eclipse trilogy (if you take into account the fact that, by the end of the trilogy, the protagonists have overthrown the facists).

        But generally, you're right. If a novel takes a positive approach to technology, chances are it's run-of-the-mill sf rather than CP.

    • Re:Cyberspace? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chrisnewbie (708349)
      How about tad Williams's otherland!

      He's not Super Hardcore geek guy! but i thought that his 4 books on VR gone crazy was good! it's a sci-fi fantasy novel though, not just techie stuff.
    • Fool's War

      Trust me, this book is exactly what you are looking for.
    • The original cyberspace, of course.

      Vernor Vinge's novella "True Names".
    • The granddaddy of them all is Vernor Vinge's True Names which was out of print for years unfortunately due to some stupid legal squabble with his publishers.

    • This Alien [indigo.ca] Shore [amazon.com] - C.S. Friedman
    • Daniel Keys Moran has a great series, if you can dig it up. Emerald Eyes is the first, and has some stuff in cyberspace but not much. The Long Run is the second, and is thoroughly a cyberpunk novel. The Last Dancer is the third, and has a mix of cyberpunk and traditional sci-fi, if you can call anything Moran does "traditional."

      Here's a great sample short story [kithrup.com] to get an idea of how he writes. Here [kithrup.com]'s a bunch of links to other free-to-read fiction of his.

  • too much (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chrisnewbie (708349) on Friday July 08, 2005 @01:58PM (#13015127)
    Reading this review is like seeing too many previews from a movie! you know you've seen all the good thing and it's pretty pointless to go see the movie.

    In this case read that book!
  • Gadget Filled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob_Warwick (789939) <(moc.rettirfelppa) (ta) (kciwraw)> on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:04PM (#13015177) Homepage Journal
    I just read the first paragraph off of his 'try' page. Quote:

    They arrested the code dudes in an operation sweeping the entire city. My Pocket Assistant beeped impetuously as Rodriguez dialled the tip-off pager number. Something heavy was going down. Nobody used those digits unless it was a dire emergency. I flipped the cover off the Phoenix handheld and studied the holographic touch screen. The message flashed across in chiselled 3D text:

    Reading that doesn't fill me with any desire to read farther. I prefer my fiction to be about the people and the plot, not the gadgets and the buzzwords.

    • by Ingolfke (515826) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:13PM (#13015248) Journal
      I just threw up a little in my mouth... ugh, I need some water.
    • Gadget filled? That sounds like a Harlequin romance. It doesn't need much editing to become one: "My assistant tossed her hair impetuously." "The message flashed across his chiselled features."
    • Re:Gadget Filled (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > > They arrested the code dudes in an operation sweeping the entire city. My Pocket Assistant beeped impetuously as Rodriguez dialled the tip-off pager number. Something heavy was going down. Nobody used those digits unless it was a dire emergency. I flipped the cover off the Phoenix handheld and studied the holographic touch screen. The message flashed across in chiselled 3D text:
      >
      > Reading that doesn't fill me with any desire to read farther. I prefer my fiction to be about the people and th
    • My kids picked up a Johnny Mnemonic audio book at a garage sale. It was an audio recording of a novelization of the screenplay, not written by Gibson. I kinda remembered liking the movie version with Keanu Reaves, so I listened to it on my commute for two ... agonizing ... days.

      What you quoted could have been an excerpt from that, except for the first-person narrative and no reference to anything Japanese.

      • The screenplay for Johnny Mnemonic was written by Gibson.
        • >screenplay was by Gibson

          Right. The audio book was a "novelization" of the screenplay. That means they added a bunch of descriptive narration to the screenplay that the movie didn't need, because it had pictures.

          I think it's still in the car ... ah, yes.

          "Johnny Mnemonic ... A Novel by Terry Bisson ... Based on the Short Story and SCREENPLAY by WILLIAM GIBSON ... Now A Major Motion Picture ..." (emphasis in the original, but) my text rendering doesn't do the cover justice. It's really bad. So was t
    • Re:Gadget Filled (Score:4, Informative)

      by Henry V .009 (518000) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:36PM (#13015444) Journal
      I don't think it's the buzz words so much as the writing. A good edit would have helped that paragraph.

      In the first sentence, the narrator knows what is "going down," but in the third he does not. The second sentence is a mess. Is Rodriguez right there in the room dialing up the narrator's pager? And by the fourth sentence, Rodriguez has been demoted from token minority programmer to "nobody." Then in the fifth sentence, "Pocket Assistant" confusingly turns into "Phoenix handheld." Presumably, back in sentence two, he meant "pocket assistant" and not "Pocket Assistant."
      • What drives me nuts about most sci fi, and one of the big reasons I stopped reading sci fi for a long time, is how they absolutely insist on putting little "look, it's future technology, see" signifiers on absolutely everything. Characters in sci fi novels never just take a piece of toast out of the toaster which, the writing somehow casually reveals, is for some dumb reason based on nanotechnology. No, they take a piece of toast out of the NanoToast.

        It's like all the authors seem to be trying really hard
        • Oh, I don't know. It seems to work in real life - I mean, for a long time people called photocopies xeroxes, and we have blogs and podcasts etc...

          I would think journals or even stories give more clues to non hip/techies what a blog is...

          I thought podcasts were some sort of wireless thingy for iPods for a long time, till someone suggested adding it to Opera and I finally asked what the heck it was, to find out it's a radio program...
    • Re:Gadget Filled (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Coppit (2441)
      Yeah, it reminds me of Snow Crash:

      The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed subcategory. He's got esprit up to here. Right now, he is preparing to carry out his third mission of the night. His uniform is black as activated charcoal, filtering the very light out of the air. A bullet will bounce off its arachnofiber weave like a wren hitting a patio door, but excess perspiration wafts through it like a breeze through a freshly napalmed forest. Where his body has bony extremities, the suit has s

      • Hmm... that part always seemed like it was just making fun of film noir style. I mean this is a pizza delivery boy we're talking about. Yes, one that is killed if the pizza takes more than 30 minutes, but a pizza boy nonetheless.
      • Re:Gadget Filled (Score:3, Interesting)

        by makomk (752139)
        Yes, that is totally OTT, but in a hilariously parodic way (he dilivers pizzas, for God's sake). The quote from the book under review just sounds like a bucket of verbal vomit.
      • "His uniform is black as activated charcoal" [...] It's like someone's homework assignment on adjectives, similes, and metaphors.

        Worse still, 'activated charcoal' is the stuff they use in Odor Eaters(!)

        Was this meant to be funny?
    • Reading that doesn't fill me with any desire to read farther.

      As far as I'm concerned, "The message flashed across in chiselled 3D text" was bad enough on its own.

      Cheesey, derivative sci-fi always has to have cheesey, derivative sci-fi stylings. I mean, aren't people going to want to read using a "normal" typeface in the future? Anyone with half a brain will have figured out that stylised typefaces like that will be a PITA to use for any length of time. Heck, I don't even like reading novels that use s
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:04PM (#13015178)
    " Bentley Dean. He brings a certain charm to being a hacker with a cold-blooded killing streak." "

    Sounds like a ripoff of Howard Dean, but a lot nicer.
  • "antihero" != "evil" (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:05PM (#13015187)
    "antihero" == "not remarkable", "not heroic".

    An antihero would be a milquetoast everyman who doesn't do heroic things, or who has every good thing he tries to do turn out badly.
  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info@devinm o o r e .com> on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:06PM (#13015196) Homepage Journal
    An example: "The cover art is well worth seeing on a real book, though -- it has an evocative mystery all of its own."

    Care to describe that "evocative mystery" for us? I'm surprised that a review would mention something like that instead of just describing it. IMHO, this "review" reads more like a sales pitch, dancing around everything but saying nothing.
    • Here's the picture [pabd.com] of the cover. Not very mysterious or evocative in my opinion, but what do I know about high art.
      • As a fine art graduate student, I know something about art. That cover looks like what any 17-year old kid with access to softcore pr0n images and photoshop could produce in about 15 minutes.
    • Care to describe that "evocative mystery" for us?

      It's an "evocative mystery" because, according to the author interview [pabd.com], it was the author's wife that did the cover.

      This "review" looks more and more like astroturfing. The "novel" is self-published with a cover done by the author's wife; given the high rating this "novel" received, it is likely the review was written by either the Author or a friend.

      At least it is released under an open license...

  • Very True (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "But you still can't help liking Bentley Dean. He brings a certain charm to being a hacker with a cold-blooded killing streak."

    Yeah, there's nothing more charming than "being a hacker with a cold-blooded killing streak." Seriously, it's a real hit with the ladies and it's great for parties. I would know...I mean I wouldn't know. Shoot! They're on to me!

    [sirens and breaking glass]

    *escapes*
  • by Skyshadow (508) * on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:08PM (#13015218) Homepage
    My take on the book given the review is that the book was a nice attempt that the author didn't manage to pull off. Heck, even the attempts at humor that the author of the review cited sounded pretty darn lame.

    So, I agree: Sounds like a big "skip" to me. Which is too bad -- I've been looking for some new SciFi to read ever since I finished reading through the various works of Vernor Vinge earlier this year.

    I read the Dan Simmons "Hyperion" series and found it extremely unsatisfying (a strong start followed by weaker and weaker storytelling). Read "Forge of God" by Greg Bear and it was decent, although the sequel was, in my opinion, lousy. I read "Forever War" by Joe Haldeman and found it entertaining enough, although "Forever Peace" was a struggle to even finish. Also read through a couple of other one-hit-wonder authors whose second and third books were rather Wachowski Brothers, if you catch my meaning.

    I don't really know where to go from here. Once you polish off the classics and the hits, you're left with a couple of shelfs of books at Barnes and Noble that all have interesting looking covers and rave reviews on the back, but probably aren't all that good...

    • by wren337 (182018) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:29PM (#13015380) Homepage
      You didn't mention it, have you checked out Altered Carbon and Broken Angels? Highly recommended.

      • by Johnboi Waltune (462501) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:43PM (#13015501)
        I'll second that recommendation. If you're looking for a seminal "future noir" detective/cyberpunk novel, look no further than 'Altered Carbon' by Richard Morgan. It's about an ex-military private detective who is released from prison and hired by a rich man to find out who killed him and why. (A key feature of the series is that in this future, most people have their consciousness backed up to an implanted storage device, and it can be restored into any other body.)

        'Broken Angels', the sequel, borrows the main character from Altered Carbon, but little else. It's primarily a future war novel where the main character and his small group face off against military and corporate interests during a planetary civil war. Both novels contain plenty of violent and sexual content.

        There's a third book in the series called 'Woken Furies', just recently released.
    • FWIW I just finished the trilogy of John C. Wright's. Book one is called "The Golden Age". The first 50 pages can be a bit of a slog, but part of that's because they toss all these ideas out there, but without the huge explanations of what everything is, so you can get a bit lost. However, it all gels, all makes sense, and winds up as one hell of a story.

      I've heard good things about Charles Stross as well - that's next on my list to pick up. Some other good authors I've found in the past couple years a
      • Iain Banks-pretty much anything he writes is top shelf.
      • Give Simmons another try- I hugely enjoyed Ilium and just got Olympos. His ability to namedrop "serious" authors is staggering.
      • China Mieville- only sorta kinda SF, and depressing as hell, but one of the best worldbuilders around.
      • I'll second Morgan- not one for the ages, but fun.
      • James Alan Gardner. Plot holes you can drive a truck through in a lot of the books, but again a fun read.
  • by aurb (674003) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:08PM (#13015223)
    .. the first thought that came to my mind was that this is a book about vi, the editor.
  • by Ingolfke (515826) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:10PM (#13015229) Journal
    I have not RTFB, but in true Slashdot fashion that will not keep me from presenting my opinions. Here are some random notes I took while not reading TFB.

    First, the protaginists name, Bentley Dean, leads me to believe that a prequal will at some point be writeen about this man's previous career in the adult film industry.

    Two, this book is trying to be a movie. Morris cunningly creates a universe where space travel seems to exist, but most of the action takes place on Earth so he can have a future, cyber-punk, technothriller action movie without the big budget requirements that a space travel flick would demand.

    Three, one area I wish the book would have explored more was Bentley Dean's (shudder) emotional side; what is driving this wonderful and delightfully animated character? Clearly he's been hurt in the adult film industry... used by so many men... that you'd think this subject matter would lay an interesting foundation and rationale for Dean's cold-blooded killing streak. I can understand how the author wouldn't want to cover some of the details of Dean's exploitation as they may be too close to some of his own experiences in the underground Mexican adult film industry.

    One thing is clear, without RTFB I was able to see just how ridiculous it is and provide insightful karma-building comments to the rest of the community. I was however thrilled to read that

    The Escapist can also be bought as a PDF direct from the website. And since the novel is published under a Creative Commons license, once you've got hold of one of these PDFs, you can share it around and print it out as much as you like.

    So, got out and buy it, spread it like a weed, and when you're done reading it feel free to read another wonderful book that is slightly more coherent and literarily pure [lulu.com].
    • read once.

      The book was called "Gone To Be Snakes Now" and I wish I still had a copy or could find a copy.

      It was utterly incomprehensible to my then young mind. Either the writing was an act of wanton arboricide or it was as brilliant as 'The Iluminatus Trilogy" which I encountered later in my lfe and was able to appreciate.
    • "First, the protaginists name, Bentley Dean, leads me to believe that a prequel will at some point be written about this man's previous career in the adult film industry."

      Sounds to me like a play on another author's name, Bradley Denton. He writes GOOD anti-hero stories, look for Blackburn or One day closer to death.
  • set in the future. Check out Travis' other novel [lulu.com].
  • Um No Thanks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by greymond (539980) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:16PM (#13015272) Homepage Journal
    "a hacker with a cold-blooded killing streak" - killed the whole idea of reading this book. It gave me the same feeling as when I heard Vin Deisel was going to be in a kids movie, it's just too far of a stretch for my imagination to take.
  • by CyricZ (887944) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:24PM (#13015336)
    The best cyberpunk novel I have found is reality. My grandson tipped me off to the hellholes that are the GameFAQs.com discussion forums, so I started reading the postings there out of curiosity. Indeed, what I found there startled me.

    The moderators were your average schoolyard bullies. The thugs who attack innocent people in the night. I'm thinking more along the lines of Clockwork Orange here. Not just physical attacks, but they partake in the worst sort of psychological perversions.

    They are the stereotypical "cyberpunks": nerdy teens with the mentality of 12 year olds who are physically unable to be anything of importance in the non-Internet world, thus they become the punks of the Internet. And their presence really destroys the quality of the forums. But while the quality of the forums as a place for discussion is shitshot, the entertainment value rises immensely.

    The best part is that I don't have to chip out a pence to read such novelry. The GameFAQs forums take the best of cyberpunk novels and combine them with an ever-changing reality.
  • Antihero
    A main character in a dramatic or narrative work who is characterized by a lack of traditional heroic qualities, such as idealism or courage.

    Antihero is someone like scoobydoo who runs at the first site of danger.

    Tragic Hero
    A literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy

    Tragic Hero's (classic Macbeth) A hero who is villanious because he believes the end justify the means.
    • Antihero is someone like scoobydoo who runs at the first site of danger.

      That's a pretty simplistic example.

      Now, you want a real anti-hero, try on the character of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (author: Stephen R. Donaldson). That guy was a fantastic anti-hero.

    • For Christ's sake.

      Could we please (and by "we", I mostly mean "you") stop complaining about grammar until we are innocent ourselves?

      I seriously do not care, but:

      "Antihero" in your sentence is missing an article; add an "an". "Scooby Doo" is a proper noun and thus requires capitalization. You use the wrong form of "sight".

      Next, "Tragic Hero" is also missing an article. The article following the parentheses should not be capitalized. The word "villanious" really wants to be the word "villainous"
  • by C0deM0nkey (203681) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:30PM (#13015390)
    The storyline takes in locations as far afield as Egypt, Malaysia, Israel, Las Vegas, New York, and London. It almost seems like a travelogue of all the places the author has been in his life, except seen through a warped lens of cyberpunk fiction.

    I am left with the distinct impression that there cannot be much depth (or character development) in the 167 pages that comprise this book. By the time you load it "full of one-liners" and punny place names all you probably have left is room for a dash of seriousness.

    The story seems almost arbitrary...tries to do too much in too few pages

    Virtual reality...artificial intelligence...technology ranging from insightful to mundane. And more explosions. Yea. Is the author hoping for a movie-rights deal?

    One, your review does not encourage me to run out and grab this book. Two, why did you give this an 8?

    There are plenty of books out there that are both short and good but, based upon your review, it seems that the author should have spent more time exploring one theme in a modicum of detail than attempt to pass off a screen-play treatment as a novel.

    As well as being available in printed form, The Escapist can also be bought as a PDF direct from the website. And since the novel is published under a Creative Commons license, once you've got hold of one of these PDFs, you can share it around and print it out as much as you like.

    This smacks of self- or vanity-publishing particularly when combined with the fact that "Ad Libbed, Ltd.", the listed publisher, has no web-presence that I could easily find. Sometimes self-publishing is the right way to go - most of the time it means you couldn't get anyone else to pick up your stuff. Based upon your review, it seems the reader would have been better served had the author turned his novella into a serial short and got it published in a sci-fi magazine or something.

  • by bubbaD (182583)
    If you're either looking for cyberpunk books to read, or have expert opinions about the genre, head over to
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberpunk#Cyberpunk_w riters_and_works [wikipedia.org]
  • by Ingolfke (515826) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:42PM (#13015485) Journal
    This book, The Escapist was self-published here [pabd.com]. This site actually has an interview w/ the author (or hack whichever you prefer). Here are a few choice tidbits from the interview. My comments are added in italics

    What is the Escapist about?
    It's an epic, picaresque tale, which I've somehow managed to squeeze into 168 pages. which the author later revealed took him 13 years to write... roughly 13 pages per year on the average.

    Why did you decide to self publish your book?
    I had tried sending The Escapist to a few agents. I'm sure if I'd carpet bombed all the relevant agencies I would eventually have found representation and some form of publishing deal. Sure you would have... well considering what they publish... you acutally might have But it could have taken ages, and I was confident my book was good enough for prime time. By prime time... you mean posting your own review on /.?

    You've taken a Creative Commons license. Why did you do that? ...send me some money...viral marketing ...

    How are you going to market your book? ...I've had one review on a popular computing news website as well so far. Oh really, and where would you find editors of a popular computing news website lazy enough to publish said review... oh... sorry, silly question

    Well, I hope someone likes it. Read the PDF, burn a copy... to a CD or otherwise... and send this guy some money, but not enough to make him think about writing a follow up.

    • ... looks like I forgot to escape my italics. Idiot. Here' the corrected version (not that it really matters).
      ---
      What is the Escapist about?which the author later revealed took him 13 years to write... roughly 13 pages per year on the average.

      Why did you decide to self publish your book?
      I had tried sending The Escapist to a few agents. I'm sure if I'd carpet bombed all the relevant agencies I would eventually have found representation and some form of publishing deal. Sure you would have... well consi
  • ... fiction and I'd recommend s/he reads "Storming the Reality Studio" [amazon.com]to get a handle on it. Its dark. It always has been, always will be.
  • If I want to read something to escape from boring old life, I would read a Star Trek novel. Now that's escapist fiction. Some of it good, much of it bad, but it's a rose-colored, feel-good reality that takes me away from the pain of life.
  • Damn. K&C is a great book, and I was hoping someone would try their hand at "The Escapist", the fictional 1930s comic book described in it.

    Now some hack has used the name for cyberpunk, a genre that's clearly showing its stretch marks. And is showing them much earlier than, say, 1930s comic books.

    (Sigh.)

  • by moxie.whatever (898414) on Friday July 08, 2005 @06:10PM (#13017226)
    This tough-but-fair reviewer apparently shares an e-mail address [google.com] with the fabulous novelist James Morris, widely hailed author of The Escapist. I'm sure this is merely a coincidence and not the result of someone so completely lame that he had to review his own book in order to get anyone to say something positive about it.
  • Not to be confused with The Escapist [amazon.com]
  • The entire genre of "cyberpunk" fiction seems designed to cater to the stereotypical slashdotter, speaking in 'leet' and being a dick to people via the Internet.

    While I suppose there is a market for such material, it certainly doesn't add anything to the literary sphere of our culture.

    The last thing we need is for people to abuse the Internet, and speak in bastardized, acronymical english, to be glorified in novel form.

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