“If you think you’re conscious, you must be conscious. That’s what consciousness is all about. The feedback is self-awareness.”
Great story telling and contrasting fantasy and science fiction environments, but Anthony doesn’t get a bye for his antediluvian portrayal of gender relations. Even though it was written in the 80s, it’s borderline offensive. His protagonist’s supposed moral uprightness is severely undercut by his treatment of females. Costuming sex as freely given doesn’t excuse his attitude.
“You often don’t have to fight, if you just look as if you’d like to.”
The extended sections of game play slows to the story. The whole game matrix concept rings false: an artificial construct, like quidditch, to pump up the protagonist.
“You are a rational creature, beneath your superficial programming; under my programming I am an irrational animal.”
Quibbles: Published in 1980, totally misses the coming revolution in microelectronics and communications, which renders the story a quaint artifact of a former age. “Two days off his feet” after running a marathon? He’d be a cripple for months. Daily challenge games? After marathons? How’s that fair?
“Murder is not the proper solution to problems.”
Like many series openers, this is larger world, team and goal building. No incentive to read more of the series.