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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Cybernetic Walrus (The Wonderland Gambit, Book 1) Paperback – November 14, 1995

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Wonderland Gambit Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A corporate takeover forces brilliant computer programmer Cory Maddox to look for another job. He accepts a government position too tempting to refuse?to continue the work of the late Matthew Brand, a virtual reality pioneer. After settling into his new environment, Maddox slowly begins to realize that what he has known as "reality" is not what it seems. Veteran sf author Chalker (Shadows of the Well of Souls, LJ 2/15/94) embarks on a new series that explores the boundaries of human identity, space, time, and the nature of reality itself. Chalker once again demonstrates his talents as one of the genre's leading raconteurs. For most sf collections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Fresh from a trilogy of episodes in his Well World saga, Chalker quickly inaugurates a new series that explores the mind-bending limits of virtual reality. Cory Maddox is a brilliant programmer for a fledgling computer network company. He is promptly recruited by the National Security Agency when his company suspiciously sells out to a competitor. His new job involves reactivating an aborted virtual reality project pioneered by computer wizard Matthew Brand, whose incorporation of top secret alien technology apparently led to his demise. Checking out the agency's cyberspace realms, Maddox is soon trapped inside a perfect reproduction of base reality with no clear way out or even any certainty that base reality actually exists. Characteristically, Chalker's initially hard-sf premise gives way to increasingly bizarre and sometimes confusing plot developments, including body switching, alien intervention, and alternative universe hopping. Die-hard cyberpunks may want to pass, but Chalker stalkers should be delighted. Carl Hays
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Product Details

  • Series: Wonderland Gambit (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (November 14, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345386906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345386908
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,682,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jack L. Chalker's theory of existence was spelled out in Book I, P. 223: "... Sometime, somebody, in a world we otherwise know nothing about but which has to be far more advanced than the one we now knew, built a vast computer for some reason and put tremendous knowledge and capability into it. Something went wrong, or so it seemed. A group, a small group, of people from that original place, that true universe, had come into the system and gotten lost, then trapped, in an ever-increasing series of exquisitely detailed virtual universes.. [Brand] was the only hope of getting everybody together again and back to reality. ..."
Chalker wrote, "All reality is programming. We cannot know the real: we are trapped in an endless series of simulations, all of us, and some, like myself, in simulations within simulations. ...." He uses an IT, a thing, a faceless one or a gray ancient to speak these lines, rather than a flesh and blood character. This device implied a para-programmer, one outside the mind of man. This invented God is in control not only of the author outside the story's pages but in control of all the characters within the pages of the book.
Reality now has a counterpart, virtual reality. The characters, en mass, stare into the mirror of their own minds and realize that they had no measuring rod with which to gauge their own realities. The mind is self reflective. The mind has no outer objective way to measure either its input or output. The characters reveal the dead end of human thought. The fact that the tactile nerves register solidity reveals little regarding production or projection of such solidity. There is no way to distinguish whether the neurons fire due to sensory input rather than from say drugs or computer generated inputs.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I admit to being a Chalker-stalker, and I've read most everything he's written (that I'm aware of). Like most everything of his, you need your brain on when you read it, or else things just won't make sense or you won't follow. I consider that requirement a good thing. Also like Chalker's other books, this one exists (portrays) a very, very dynamic universe, probably more so than his other books, as the universe itself regularly changes. He warns about all the change up front, and it seems to be what he's going for. If you don't mind keeping up, it's an excellent read. I've read it three times now and still have integrated the first chapter into the full, three-book story. That's about all the time you have until everything changes, the first time.
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Format: Paperback
I love a bit of Alice in Wonderland themed stories. This one definitely plays up the Alice analogies. But as for the actual story, it's weird. The plot is not too odd, but the elements of reincarnation are a bit weird. The dialogue, though, is so awkward. Chapters and chapters of dialogue that are essentially large data dumps. And the information provided is convoluted and hard to understand.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack Chalker continues his tradition of unique ideas and perspectives in the Wonderland series. What starts out as a classic cyberspace story quickly turns in unexpected directions. This book will definitely get you thinking about the true nature of reality. If you liked the movie, "The Matrix," get this book! The movie stole Chalker's ideas without giving credit, and the book explores the ideas to a greater depth. Too bad Del Rey is so short-sighted and has not reprinted the 3rd book in this series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was given to me as a recommendation by a friend and I was blown away. Chalker's communication style and ability to switch perspectives makes this a unique and captivating series. A five star series for sure.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are naturally curious, like interesting plot twists and rich environments, then you are going to love this book.

I tend to agree with other reviewers that this work is the inspiration for the movie "The Matrix" and in many ways is a superior work. The ideas in Chalker's work are much more developed than in The Matrix and does a much better job of keeping it's integrity throughout.
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By A Customer on April 15, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Chalker always amazes me with his imagination. Much of fantasy/science fiction literature follows familiar established themes with some originality thrown in from time to time. For all of that, it is very entertaining for the most part. It is very hard for a writer to surprise his readers today. To be able to take familiar ideas, put subtle twists on them using current technology, and create something so completely new and entertaining is a true gift and Jack Chalker has it. I can't begin to express the enjoyment his works have given me. This series has to one of his best yet
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you enjoy books that make you think, this one will set your gears a-spinnin' at high speed! The premise is wonderful, the characters well-drawn and constantly changing their ... points of view, so to speak. It's well worth the read, and a ride that'll make you look at things a different way from now on
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