Title: Everywhere But No Place (Messages From the Unseen World)
Author: Mark Foster
Series: Yes, 1st in series
Category: Drama / Mystery / Technology / Suspense
Length: 531 pages
My Rating: 8/10
A clinical psychologist named Hans Schleiman has come up with a better system for “rehabilitating” criminals in our prison systems. A “Schleiman Tank”, which houses a prisoner and keeps them on life support for the duration of their sentence, allows the prisoner to be transported in to a virtual reality that will house him for the amount of time that he/she are imprisoned. This cuts down on costs of housing, feeding, issues of overcrowding, etc., all by allowing hundreds of inmates to reside in what is essentially a glass sarcophagus within a warehouse. While still in the experimental stages, Jack Denver, armed robber and murderer, is put into a tank after weeks of preparation.
Jack Denver wakes up in an unknown world after being submerged in the tank. It’s a basic, crude world lacking most of today’s amenities, notably, technology. Through his adventure in finding sanctum among a local village and befriending an enigmatic man named Vale, he learns that this “virtual reality” takes place after the year 14,000, when technology has already caused the fall of mankind. Now, even owning books about technology can be punishable by crucifixion. He begins to make a new life, and becomes comfortable in the new world.
Meanwhile, back in the “real” world, a man named Haze is desperately trying to track down Denver, and work his way in to the world Denver is currently inhabiting, regardless of it being a secure network and nearly impenetrable fortress. His life hangs in the balance depending on whether or not he can recover information from Denver.
Haze’s entrance in to the world threatens the very fabric of the existence of the virtual reality world, and causes major ripples and tears within the world that cannot completely be healed by the Host.
Will the world hold up long enough for Haze to save his own life and Denver’s family’s lives, or will the entire virtual reality collapse before anything can be accomplished?
While Science Fiction is normally out of my genre, this one was quite the read. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I could feel the emotions that Foster put in to creating each character, and could tell that he had a genuine love for writing. For anyone who is a fan of science fiction or virtual reality, alternate universes, etc., it’s a must-read.