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Realms Unreel Paperback – November 22, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Temen Books (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937262030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937262037
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,213,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Reality is an activity of the most august imagination. — Wallace Stevens

Customer Reviews

The characters have depth and are genuinely likeable.
Govannan
The ending gives some closure, but not enough to feel like the end of the book--perhaps the end of a chapter.
NomDePlume
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in technology, fantasy or adventure.
Cavan Meese

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By dsethlewis on February 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Make no mistake; I think the book was great. Once I got through the first couple chapters of jerkiness that I expect from a debut author of any caliber, I was hooked. Auden hit her stride very quickly and this is a polished, clean cut, imaginative, and exciting work. The fast-paced plot, self-aware tone, and shameless virtual reality descriptions more than made up for the lacking character depth in the main characters. The main character had a virtually flawless childhood, and as a young adult she's unperturbed in everything she does. It makes it hard to relate and care for her. The other main character's slightly greater depth is largely attributable to his unrequited love, which is hardly an original concept nor is it explored from an original perspective. Nevertheless, the book is in no way disappointing and well worth the short of time you'll need to joyfully burn through it.

I realize the reference has already been made, but this book is clearly heavily influenced by Snow Crash by the duly glorified Neal Stephenson, and that's a good thing. We could use more books like Snow Crash and more authors developing the cyberpunk sci-fi crossed with fantasy crossed with ancient religions genre. And I say that with only the slightest hint of irony.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bobby on February 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
"They have made a travesty of a great mystery, and in so doing even they have forgotten the truth. All who live possess eternal life, and few would trade it for an immortal body, if they truly understood what it is to be alive."

I really loved this book. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I knew the premise sounded really cool. If I'd started out with a better understanding of what this book was about, I might not even have read it and I would have missed out big time. Techie sci-fi stuff isn't really for me. I picked up reading as a hobby after far too much television. Cheesy sci-fi movies have forever ruined me to any futuristic fiction. I even had to suppress my distaste for it while reading Dune, which I also grew to love. Whenever the genre is even mentioned I have this awful vision of all-purpose rubber suits with gratuitous muscle-shaped ridges. Barf. However, Realms Unreel is set in the near future where technological advances are tame enough to believe that they might really exist in a decade or two, yet strange enough that even in parts where the plot moves forward slowly, I have fun just admiring the quirks of Auden's fictional (prophetic?) world.

Realms Unreel is an ambitious work. Auden covers a profoundly wide range of themes from Buddhism, to internet censorship, to religious extremism, to soul mates, to Adam and Eve. And in only about 350 pages she does this with smooth storytelling and prose that make this book fun and bizarre while the plot builds up, then exciting and immersing when it begins to unravel.

At first I couldn't help but feel that Auden had some influence from various manga.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must admit I didn't get very far along into this book before I gave up on it. I'm an avid reader, always with a book in my hand or nearby. I found this book to lack depth, and with stilted dialogue and wooden characters. I tried to get into it, and picked it up several times only to find myself watching TV or surfing the internet instead. Finally, I picked it up and started in on what must have been the third or fourth chapter and I found myself saying aloud, "This is just boring." Life's too short to be spent on bad books, so i deleted it from my kindle.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Realms Unreel" is a delightful blend of fantasy and near-future cyberpunk, with nicely realised characters and a very well-paced plot. The true highlight of the book, though, is the beautifully conceived vision of the evolution of the internet and virtual reality - well-trodden territory, to be sure, but Auden handles it with a confident, creative touch that makes the book a pleasure to read. Comparisons to "Snow Crash" are inevitable, but short of the mark - "Realms" shares the thrill of diving into the mind of a creative protagonist, and sharing the author's visions of virtual reality, but its heroine is a designer rather than a hacker, and that definitely changes the tone of the book. More than anything else, I was reminded of the first time I played Myst - Auden shares that vision of virtual realms that are above all beautiful (and mimetic), and whose functional and interactive aspects are fitted seamlessly into that beauty; a convergent but very different approach to the more raw-magic-of-hacking metaverses of Stephenson or Sterling.

The only weak note was the fantasy element - it rang a little hollow, and was not as immersive or well-crafted as the near-future strand. However, since the book spent very little time in that world, it didn't affect my enjoyment of the story at all - all in all, this is a solidly five-star read that anyone with an interest in virtual reality, gaming, cyberpunk or Silicon Valley culture is strongly recommended to check out.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Thom on May 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The idea was interesting but not very well thought out. It lost me the first time one of the characters said "OMG!". Am I reading a book or a text message?
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More About the Author

I was a bookworm as a kid and always dreamed of writing the kinds of books that I would love to read. I studied engineering in college because I thought it was the next best thing to magic. Now I live and work as a UI/UX designer in the San Francisco Bay Area, immersed in the startup culture that produces many of the real-world wizards that inspired my novel Realms Unreel.

I'm currently collaborating on an illustrated version of Realms Unreel with my friend Ian Steplowski, an artist and character modeler at Pixar. We raised money for the first print run of the illustrated book on Kickstarter:

http://kck.st/vZpyQh

In addition to working on the illustrated version of Realms Unreel, I'm writing a companion volume to Realms Unreel entitled Bonds Endure.

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