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Omnitopia Dawn: Omnitopia #1 Hardcover – August 3, 2010
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A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
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More About the Author
Right now DD is probably best known for her "Young Wizards" series of young adult fantasy novels, featuring the New York-based teen wizards Kit Rodriguez and Nita Callahan. The series now enters its third decade with Nita's and Kit's newest adventure: "Games Wizards Play," the tenth Young Wizards novel, is scheduled for publication by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in winter 2015/16. Interested readers can find weekly teaser excerpts from the book at the blog at gameswizardsplay.com.
DD shares a two hundred-year-old cottage in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland with her husband, the Belfast-born novelist and screenwriter Peter Morwood, and various overworked computers... an odd but congenial environment for the staging of epic battles between good and evil and the leisurely pursuit of total galactic domination. (And a lot of ethnic cooking: her own favorite foods come from the cuisines of central Europe and the Mediterranean.) In her spare time DD gardens (weeding, mostly), studies German and Italian, chats with friends and fans on her Tumblr at dduane.tumblr.com, listens to shortwave and satellite radio, and dabbles in astronomy, computer graphics, iaido and amateur cartography... while also trying to figure out how to make more spare time.
Her favorite color is blue, her favorite food is a weird kind of Swiss scrambled-potato dish called maluns, she was born in a Year of the Dragon, and her sign is "Runway 24 Left, Hold For Clearance."
Top Customer Reviews
The product description gives a decent synopsis of the plot's frame, but it leaves out how rich the characters are, how complex the game is, and the many threads that go to make up the story. If you like what Ms. Duane did in Tom Clancy's universe, you'll love this one. If you have a special place in your heart for High Wizardry, this will delight you too. But I don't want to say more, lest I give it all away...
This is classic Duane--characters that are instantly real and distinguishable and likeable. I even felt a little sorry for the antagonist, because the character is human, a mix of good and evil; no cardboard cutouts here. There are some wonderfully funny moments (the cow? Really??) and probably a few inside jokes I'm missing. *grin*
The story isn't perfect; there are some unresolved issues and what feels like too many POVs, but that is made less detracting when one considers that this is the first in a series. There are also more than a few typographical errors, which surprised me, but that's an increasing trend these days, alas.
It left me wanting desperately to be able to play too. Maybe someday...
The answer is, through the people involved in creating and maintaining it. "Omnitopia Dawn" is actually surprisingly character driven for speculative fiction, with a rich cast of characters who never feel false or one-dimensional. Prime among them is Dev Logan, creator and CEO of the titular game, who's struggling to keep his creation afloat in the face of an upcoming expansion and a vindictive ex-partner set on seeing him humbled. Further illustrating the rich world and culture of Omnitopia are interludes following a cast of equally interesting supporting characters: Rik, a family man who's given a rare chance to create his own piece of the virtual world; Delia, a reporter with a hidden agenda; and even Logan's former partner Paul Sorensen, who's using any means at his disposal to destroy Omnitopia.
Of course, Omnitopia is almost as much of a character as any of the humans. Duane goes out of her way to make the culture and players of the game realistic and diverse. Technological concerns are occasionally handwaved away--like a virtual reality device that somehow transmits scent and touch through the optic nerve--but for the most part, Omnitopia feels completely plausible.Read more ›
The result is a deep, thoughtful, engaging story with *real SF* and *real computer science concepts*. Or at least the arm-wave at the science holds together and has been thought through. The characters are believable, the scenario plausible, and her presentation of what it's like to roll out a "cloud application" (a term she never uses, mind you) is pretty darned spot on.
Besides, Duane set the Omnitopia company in Tempe, right down the street from me. That made me say Aw[...]
It's not a perfect novel. I won't press it on everybody. There were points when the story sagged a bit, enough that I might subtract a single star. But I'd add at least half a star back again because I *really* like the characters. You won't find any "Insert Villain Here" characterizations; people do things for understandable reasons, even if those reasons are at odds.
This is billed as the beginning of a series, but I can't find an indication that book 2 ever came out. (Naturally I was about to order it.) You won't be left hanging, though; Omnitopia Dawn has a clear conclusion, though with a good hook for Duane to add more to the tale.Read more ›
The problem has always been that she starts a series and then leaves readers hanging. (Where's the final book in the Tale of the Five, Ms Duane? We've been waiting for "The Door Into Starlight" for over a decade now. And the third cat wizard novel?) The one exception to this is the Young Wizards series, which is now nine volumes. The last two show signs that Ms Duane had her mind partly on her many other projects: the plots are not as tight as earlier books in the series.
This is the first installment of another series. Unusually for Duane, it reads just like an opening novel in a series. Lots of exposition, lots of description, plot moves slowly. Thankfully it doesn't have a cliff-hanger ending: the particular threat that emerges in this book is fully resolved by the end of the novel.
The interesting idea for the setting: in the not-too-distant future, online gaming has reached a level of "reality" that allows your consciousness actually to inhabit your avatar when you're in the game. In a nice touch of realism, the better the tech you can afford the more fully you inhabit your avatar. If you spend enough, you'll even be able to taste the food you eat inside the game. But the tech is cheap enough for people with a moderate income to buy it. And some gamers even prefer onscreen action, rather than inhabiting their avatars.
In the online game that's the focus of the novel (as opposed to the online game owned and operated by the bad guy), really good players are offered an opportunity to build their own "microcosm"--a "world" in the game's "universe.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the Wizards series so I thought I would try this but I just can't get into it. I guess the theme just isn't for me.Published 4 months ago by Jaquelyn G
What a surprise this book was. I purchased it as a remnant and once I started reading it did not want to put it down. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Barbarajeanmaria
This is a great book to read if you are into the computer game WOW. The detail and description of how the writer describes being in the game and then being in real life was just... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bonnie
Diane Duane’s Omnitopia Dawn is the first book in the Omnitopia series. It starts out slowly. I tend to take notes while I read, and my notes this time read, “don’t read while... Read morePublished 18 months ago by H. Grove (errantdreams)
Diane Duane can pull you into a story with the first page. Every time. Her writing is crisp, her characters are real, and her pacing is superb. Read morePublished on September 10, 2013 by Imagine A Book SF
Omnitopia Dawn introduces the online roleplaying game of Omnitopia, and the varied characters that support, and attack, the company that runs it. Read morePublished on July 8, 2013 by C. Entwistle
Years ago I stumbled across So You Want to be a Wizard - and I was hooked. I have enjoyed Ms. Duane's work immensely (but must confess that I haven't read her Star Trek books). Read morePublished on February 8, 2013 by B. Crane
Written a year ago for my blog:
I've been a fan of Diane Duane for years. I started reading her Star Trek novels 25 years ago, when I was a teenager, and her Young... Read more
Excellent new science fiction novel by one of my favorite authors. I didn't even know she had a new book out until I happened to see it in the store! Read morePublished on May 30, 2012 by Blue Meeple