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Deep State (Dagmar Shaw) Paperback – February 7, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
In many cases Walter Jon Williams gets this balance right. He was quite successful in achieving this balance in "This is Not a Game", the predecessor to "Deep State". At the end of Deep State, the balance was lost. As others have noted, the "High Zap" which is introduced at the start of the novel is problematic. It did not have to be so. Williams could have simply described the "High Zap", with out giving details about how it was achieved. And he could have avoided going into technical counter measures. Unfortunately Williams succumbed to the temptation to provide unnecessary technical detail and the result makes no sense, at least to someone who understands the technology. Digging an even deeper hole, Williams develops the technology for a counter measure and then never uses it in the plot, suggesting that it could have been left out entirely. This would have been good, since the counter measure is entirely nonsensical from a technical point of view.
Even with these flaws, Deep State was a good read, although I kept cringing when Williams suggested technically ridiculous things near the end.
Deep State is set in Turkey. Right before I read Deep State, I read Ian McDonald's Dervish House (which I highly recommend). Like Deep State, Dervish House is set in Turkey. Perhaps Istanbul is becoming the new Tokyo for science fiction novels.
And then Dagmar and some of her people are invited to meet the generals, and Dagmar accidentally offends the head of the junta, General Bozbeyli.
Dagmar, her immediate boss Lincoln, and her top on-site American and Turkish employees, have to evade the junta while staging the last live event of the ARG--and that means moving the live event at very short notice. Dagmar and her team work out a way to do it, wrap up the game, and head home.
But before she leaves, Lincoln offers her a new job. Lincoln, it turns out, works for the US government and is in Special Ops. The current Turkish junta, unlike previous ones, is not interested in restoring a secular state and then turning the government back to democracy; they're in it for the money. Lincoln wants to use Dagmar's game-running skills to peacefully destabilize the current Turkish regime and force a return to democracy.
Working from a British military base on Cyprus, Dagmar and her team--Turks Ismet, Tuna, and Refet; Americans Judy, Lloyd, Lola, Magnus, and Byron--set to work, running an Augmented Reality Game with the very real-world goal of bringing down a government. Flash crowds form in places where it's hard for the police to respond quickly, and melt away before they can react.Read more ›
I am not one who especially likes series with a recurring hero/heroine, but Dagmar Shaw is pleasantly believable: flawed without being overwrought and angst-ridden, capable without being a Mary Sue, concerned about the ethics of her job without getting preachy. Williams also does a nice job of sketching out the various locations in which the narrative occurs, providing enough detail to help the mind's eye without getting bogged down in florid detail.
Your perception of this book is almost certain to be improved if you have read its predecessor, This Is Not a Game. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but Dagmar's character will be richer if you have read the other book first.
I did not read the previous book 'This is Not a Game', so I approached this book essentially as a stand-alone novel. It worked fine, although I just bought the previous book in the series. Many of Walter Jon Williams "series" are more like "chronological collections": they're books set in the same universe, in a particular order, but each tells a completely independent story. I like this, because you can read each book fresh, without trying to recollect a thousand details from the last book.
I found the premise of Deep State, that a woman who runs live-action role-playing games/puzzles is hired to coordinate a revolution, to be quite intriguing. It highlights just how much of public opinion and action can be influenced, and how ephemeral power can be. As other reviewers have mentioned, the timeliness of this book is just amazing, with revolts and protests all around the world being coordinated with text messages, twitter, and social media. The vulnerability of the Internet to government intrusion is also fascinating and timely, given the recent NSA revelations.
All in all, this is a good near-term technothriller / speculative fiction novel that kept me up late at night reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As was the case with "This is not a game " Walter Jon Williams creates a near future experience not that improbable what with today's use of media and social neworking and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by A.E. Shugart
After trying several times to read this book, I found that it failed to keep my attention for any length of time. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Silverscarf
I'm a little biased as I am a big fan of WIlliams. This book kept was a good read and raised interesting ideas.Published 14 months ago by hamishsteiner
While not as exciting as some of his books, this is still first class Sci Fi with well developed characters, a believable world, good action and some very clever ideas.Published 21 months ago by Eric
Sequel to THIS IS NOT A GAME. It is no a game was the best of the trilogy. this on is the average one. However it is a good reading. Read morePublished on December 24, 2013 by Henry H
In most ways I liked this sequel to "This is not a Game" better than the first one. Here Dagmar- our protagonist- is mostly not physically caught up in the globe-hopping... Read morePublished on January 20, 2013 by Cissa
In This Is Not A Game, Walter Jon Williams introduced readers to Dagmar Shaw, the head of Great Big Idea, a fictional company dedicated to producing and directing... Read morePublished on August 9, 2012 by Amazon Customer
Like the first book in the Dagmar series (This is Not a Game), and like some of William Gibson's recent stuff, this is not so much science fiction as technothriller - our... Read morePublished on May 30, 2012 by Mike Reeves-McMillan
Deep State (2011) is the second SF novel in this series, following This Is Not a Game. In the previous volume, Dagmar called Siyed's wife. Read morePublished on February 3, 2012 by Arthur W Jordin