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virtual reality novel

PsyBot: A Novel of Virtual Reality

<Coming soon, to an interface near you.>

PsyBot is both AI conspiracy cyber thriller and a literary reprise of cyberpunk.

Personal transformation can go the way of artificial intelligence  and social engineering, or of human hope fueled by love and integrity. Assuming we have a choice…

“Surreal, bizarre… fascinating, three-dimensional characters.” 

In this psychological thriller of the near future, a virtual reality virus sends Joe Norton on the adventure of his life. PsyBot is every programmer’s nightmare: the bug that shows up on the user side of the interface.  With instructions to kill and a baffling menu of choices, Norton’s all-too-ordinary life in Vancouver is coming apart at the seams.  Is the only way out, to go further in?  Never mind that one shaky relationship gives way to another, or that his job is jeopardized by a corporate buyout.  Norton has another mission to complete, as he discovers that virtual reality is not confined to hardware.

8969b89dd12848b735eaa2b26327aa40PsyBot is a literate technothriller, both gritty and poetic, about virtual reality and the consequences of choice. Blending psychological suspense and magic realism with sci-fi tropes of alternate timelines, artificial intelligence, mind control, corporate conspiracy, and astral projection, this noir nod to cyberpunk traces the quest of Joe Norton for survival, sanity, and love. The offbeat, surrealistic narrative verges on metafiction, as the self-deprecating hero navigates a bizarre cybernetic mind-bender, a hacked program set to unleash on an unsuspecting world.

This literate cross-genre novel recalls the intelligent science fiction of Michael Crichton, Stanislav Lem (Solaris), Neal Stephenson, William Gibson and Philip K. Dick – or the popular films Inception, The Matrix, Minority Report, Source Code, Total Recall and The Adjustment Bureau. Elements of the novel also recall the literature of Vonnegut, Borges, Eco, and Jan Potocki. Set in 1992 Vancouver, PsyBot serves as prequel to a cyberpunk world, society at large unaffected… yet.

“Beautiful, unique prose, blurring genre and literary fiction”… exploring the limits of free will, personal transformation and the “very nature of reality in this post-digital age.”

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Literary Fiction, Cyberpunk, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Conspiracy Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Technothriller.

Read a preview chapter here

Read a review of an earlier edition at IndieReader here.

See also: Mind-Control: Fiction or Nonfiction? – related research in neuro-experimentation