This is Not a Game (Dagmar Shaw Thrillers Book 1)

Written by Walter Jon Williams

“Walter Jon Williams is a visionary of tremendous power and originality . . . He kills every damn time.”
–Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

When you play one of Dagmar’s online games, you can’t just shut down the computer and walk away. The games pursue you into real life: you start getting emails and phone calls from fictional characters, perfect strangers ask you to help solve their problems, and sometimes you’re asked to volunteer for a mission to discover a vital clue.

But now something is pursuing Dagmar.

From the anarchy of a street riot in Indonesia to the brutality of a Mafia killing in Los Angeles, from the seedy glitz of Hollywood to the ruthless international currency market, Dagmar finds herself at the center of an intrigue far more desperate than those she devises for entertainment.

And somehow, she knows, the key to the puzzle lies in her own past, and the gaming group she joined in college.

Dagmar must draw on all her powers, not the least of which is her circle of online gamers whose well-honed puzzle-solving skills may prove vital to preserving her life.

This Is Not a Game. And there is no Second Life.

“Williams (The Rift) weaves intriguing questions about games, gamers and their relationships with real life into this well-paced near-future thriller.” –Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“This Is Not a Game is a compelling mystery, one that threateningly demands—like a militant nun, ruler in hand, your knuckles spread before her—for you to continue, to finish. Stopping, it’s not an option. It’s not even a thought. You turn the pages of the book not just to get answers, but to get the questions, also. And neither disappoint. There is no letdown, no clumsy resolution, no descent into lameness. Everything works, the story coming together beautifully like a well-played game of chess, Williams maneuvering the reader, skillfully. Like a pawn. A very happy pawn. –Paul Stotts

“Williams, from his own experience, knows how these games work and how the participants react, and the result is that This Is Not a Game succeeds only as a suspense novel, but as an incisive portrait of a subculture for whom reality is increasingly contingent, and increasingly mediated.” –Gary Wolfe, Locus

“Combines droll satire, cyber-fu knowingness, ingenious extrapolation, social commentary, and techno-thriller suspense.” –SciFiWire.com

“[An] eerily prophetic thriller.”

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