A study of breathtaking depth and scope and, like all the very best academic books, it has some of the attributes of a good novel: it is elegantly written; it is enthralling; and it leaves the reader buzzing with new and exciting ideas. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in virtual reality, and a rich source of information, inspiration, and insight for a wider readership concerned with the relations between fictions, technologies, and their users.(Sara Gwenllian Jones Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media)
A major achievement of great value to students of literature, the new media, and art and aesthetics in general. Its richness of detail and comprehensiveness of overall design make it an object of immersive reading, a challenge for intellectual interaction, and last but not least, a source of pleasure for the mind.(Uri Margolin Poetics Today)
Ryan's book fosters critical thought and debate, and it does so without being overly provocative or deliberately vague... [Ryan] creates a virtual reality for us to explore and take delight in.(Julian Kücklich TEKKA)
What intrigued me the most was Ryan's description of the emotional aspect of immersion which entails the contemplation of purely imaginary states of affairs as an evolutionary asset that works towards the preservation of the species.(Niran B. Abbas Yearbook of English Studies)
Perhaps the most detailed and thorough study to date.(David S. Miall Comparative Literature Studies)
Marie-Laure Ryan is an independent scholar and former software consultant. A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, she is the author of Possible Worlds, Artificial Intelligence, and Narrative Theory and the editor of Cyberspace Textuality: Computer Technology and Literary Theory and the forthcoming Narrative Across Media: The Languages of Storytelling.