Friday, February 1, 2013

Gameland Episode 2: Failsafe - by S. W. Tanpepper

3 of 5 Stars

Gameland Episode 2: Failsafe is part of a larger work with a total of 8 episodes and a prequel.  As excited as I was with the prequel, Golgotha, and the first episode, Deep Into the Game, I have now lost some of that enthusiasm.   With more than a dozen proofreading errors in this 83 page novella, it got to be more than a little distracting.

The story it'self is still a good one and the writing style is still comfortable and entertaining. 
A little background may be in order here.  Between climate change and periodic zombie outbreaks, the near future is a different world.  Consider the Life Service Law,  now everyone is legally considered government property after death.  You die, you become Undead and you serve the government in some capacity until your time of servitude is ended.  Then there's Gameland, Long Island is cut off completely, "after the second flood, the Army Corps of Engineers went in and walled it off and evacuated the people still alive." Later, Arc Properties converted one of the zones on LI into a new type of gaming arcade, which they called Gameland.  Then they imported a new crop of Zombies as Players.  It costs more than a million bucks to buy into the game.

A group of 6 teenage hackers with more spunk than brains decide it might be fun to see if they can get onto Long Island and check it out.

In Gameland Episode 2: Failsafe the action picks up after the central characters escape the Forbidden Zones and the episode is primarily about a rescue attempt to get one of their friends who was trapped during their effort to escape.  There's a lot of teenag angst and the writer deals with relationships in a very convincing manner and overall the story is wildly entertaining.  I just wish the product had fewer grammatical errors.

If you'd like to read Gameland each of the 8 episodes are available separately, or there is a complete omnibus version with everything except the prequel for a discounted price.

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