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Beta Test Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Hadley Rille Books (December 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983953104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983953104
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,910,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Griffith offers up an unusually lighthearted apocalyptic tale.... [the] adventures border on the absurd as he travels from New York to California to Australia while the world at large inexplicably ignores the insanity thrust upon it.
-- Publishers Weekly.

About the Author

Eric Griffith lives in Ithaca, New York, with his girlfriend and anywhere from three to five dogs, depending on the day. He writes features for PCMag.com but refuses to do your tech support. You can follow all of his online exploits by starting at egriffith.info.

More About the Author

Eric narrowly averted a career in food service when he began working in tech publishing almost 20 years ago. By day he works as the features editor for PCMag.com. By night he sneaks out of the house to write fictions. He currently lives in Ithaca, New York, with his girlfriend and anywhere from three to five dogs at a time.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William Kays on March 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
An unusual twist on a familiar sci-fi tale but one that works. I often find myself bogged down by unnecessary technical details. Beta Test is the perfect read for those who enjoy an action story with the sci-fi bent. The language is rough for younger readers but it lends to the credibility of the characters. I think we have all known people like those in this story and can easily relate. The author skillfully gathered the most uncommon band of heroes and drew me in on every page. I also enjoyed the use of footnotes and asides to strengthen characters (I could almost hear the main character narrating the movie version of this book). If you like action mixed with science fiction, read Beta Test.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevin J. Bartell on February 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
BETA TEST could almost have been subtitled, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Eschaton." Yes, it's that funny. Go ahead and buy it, NOW. I'll wait.

All done? Good.

The story begins with a series of sudden mass disappearances. Then things really get weird. Despite the obvious connection to Rapture novels of the "Left Behind" school, this is in NO way a religious novel, unless you're the sort who thought The Matrix was a documentary. It's a desperate bid to save reality as we know it by a couple of guys from a Dilbert comic, a cougar, a crotch-terrier, an ex-soldier who could only be played by R. Lee Ermey, and a heroine transgendered in ways that get funny looks even in San Francisco.

All of this comes to us in a form that reads like the case notes of an omniscient observer. The text even includes footnotes to explain just how funny this book is. The style doesn't so much require getting used to as forgetting the way you're used to reading fiction. It's a new and unique approach, that leaves you thinking, "I didn't know you could write a book like that!"

You can't. Eric Griffith can. And it works. Tells you something about his literary prowess, doesn't it?

Read the book. Tell friends about it. Demand more like it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Bock on December 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of this book at a book reading by the author at a small bookstore in Ithaca, NY.

The first few pages, frankly, left me unimpressed, and at first I thought the way the author had footnotes to his own jokes interrupted the flow of the book. But after the book settled into a rhythm, the footnotes seemed to take on a point/counterpoint reminiscent of 'the Word' on the Colbert Report, and added a new dimension to the book for me.

Once the book got into the real meat of the plot (which happens pretty quickly), I found it fascinating. Griffith really 'gets' geek culture - I could see my own friends easily filling some of the roles in this book with the way they talk, what they joke about, etc. And the plot is based on exactly the same kind of existential questions asked by any self-aware geek who wants to understand the meaning of life and turns towards tech analogies to do so.

Unusually lighthearted? Sure, but it also leaves me pondering some of the 'bigger questions', much like Joss Whedon's TV show "Dollhouse" did. I'm hoping to find other people who have read it, just so I can discuss some of the philosophical implications. No real plot holes, which frankly I find unusual for a first time author, and its got a warm ending that would make it worthy of a made-for-tv movie.

One more thing I like about the book - I don't think it leaves room for a series or sequel based on the same material - its a self-contained story. I'd like to see more from the author, and I like that he'll have to create a new environment to raise the 'big questions' in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dale L. Elster on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Sci-fi novels can be at once groundbreaking and breathtaking as they take us on journeys that allow us glimpses of our future selves and the world(s) we know.

They can also be very dry and humorless reads, nearly devoid of emotion.

This is anything but the case in Eric Griffith's debut novel, Beta Test.

The author shatters the illusion of the dry-as-a-desert-planet sci-fi novel by crafting a fun, well-written plot that follows a group of mega-geeks led by one Sam Terra as he embarks on a quest to save the Universe as we know it. While not overtly a comedy, there are plenty of laughs to be had along the way, but make no mistake - this is very much a story for adults, and at the heart of the novel lurks a concept as intelligent as any you will find in the pages of traditional sci-fi reads.

As Sam and his pals uncover the mystery of The Vanished, Mr. Griffith sprinkles references to classic sci-fi movies and TV shows of the 70's and 80's throughout the book, and as if that isn't fun enough, the author makes clever use of footnotes - once the harbinger of universal reader boredom - to flesh out the characters in short, witty anecdotes, avoiding pages and pages of flashbacks. Or flash-forwards. And - since this is sci-fi - flash-sideways!

If you are a fan of traditional science fiction novels, and have a sense of humor, give this book a read. Is it groundbreaking? Probably not, but that's a term that's usually reserved for the serious books anyway. As for breathtaking - if that means big laughs, then yes!

If you're not a fan (like me) of traditional sci-fi novels, definitely give this book a read! The author will have you enjoying all that highly conceptualized sci-fi hoo-ha by using his razor-sharp wit - and a crotch-sniffing dog.
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