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Omnitopia Dawn: Omnitopia #1 by Diane Duane

Omnitopia Dawn: Omnitopia #1 (2010)

by Diane Duane

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2581066,296 (3.92)21
  1. 00
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (pammab)
    pammab: To explore the possibilities of virtual reality in the near future. Duane's is much more traditional fan-friendly fantasy; Stephenson's is more humor-based cyberpunk.

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Some of the storyline felt a little two dimensional and I didn't quite get how the side storyline was so important to the main one, but overall I liked the ideas explored and the characters were likable. Entertaining. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Nov 30, 2017 |
Diana Duane’s written some of my favorite stories, but even though she’s got her hits, Omnitopia Dawn also shows she’s got some misses.

Essentially, Omnitopia Dawn is the story of feuding CEOs. Dev Logan used to run a company with his friend Phil. But after a bitter argument, Dev left the company and the two parted ways. Now Dev is more successful than ever before, the creator of Omnitopia, a hugely popular MMORPG that’s about to roll out a major expansion. Phil sees this as an opportunity to take revenge, bring down Dev and Omnitopia, and teach Dev a lesson once and for all.

However, it took me a while to figure out what the storyline was given how many other (unnecessary) POVs the narrative contained. The story opens with Rik, a player of Omnitopia. Rik basically exists to give a player’s perspective, but I think Dev easily enough could have provided that instead since he’s actually plot relevant. Rik’s contributions to the plot are minor. Maybe he was intended to be important in a sequel? Other storylines are set up as if to be significant but later are drop or offhandedly dismissed. For instance, the first part of the book introduces a journalist who’s writing a story on Dev and trying to find his dark side. I found the potential of this plot line intriguing, but it goes nowhere, and the journalist very rarely has POV sections again. This is especially disappointing because aside from one brief section from Rik’s wife’s POV, she was the only female POV character.

Actually, the entire book was heavily centered around male characters. The two most present women are both wives – Rik’s and Dev’s – who’s main role in the story is to nag their husbands about keeping their blood sugar up. It was seriously disappointing. This book would have been way better with more ladies doing things. Also talking to each other. In reflection, I don’t think this one passed the Bechdel Test.

I wasn’t super impressed with the male characters either. Dev and Phil are too absolute to be interesting. Phil was never an intriguing villain, and I agree with the other reviews that call Dev too perfect. He’s like an angel who descended from heaven to become a CEO. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I don’t find that believable. People who get that powerful tend to have stepped on some toes on the way up.

On the bright side, the in-game aspects were imaginative. Duane has all the codes and hacking and whatnot take visual forms, so a massive hacker attack is like a grand battle from an epic fantasy novel. There were a handful of scenes inside the game where I could be like, “oh yes, this is Duane’s writing,” but most of the time this book didn’t live up to her high points.

Maybe a reader who is more into MMORPGs would like this one more? But I think it’s the weakest novel I’ve read from Duane, even including Wizards Abroad, which at least had women doing things. Anyway, if she ever does get around to writing a sequel for Omnitopia Dawn, I’m not planning on reading it.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Nov 14, 2017 |
Excellent story from a sci/fi & fantasy master! ( )
  amymyoung | Nov 27, 2014 |
Ok, so the crew of the Enterprise, as Duane writes them, instead run a MMORPG the day after tomorrow. I mean, not exactly the crew of the Enterprise, but you will recognize the types if you love Duane’s Star Trek books as I very much do. Hard work, competence, and compassion are her highest values and they are rewarded (along with a little bit of cheating only those who have been confirmed as trying to cheat you). It’s a cozy book, in its way. ( )
  rivkat | May 6, 2013 |

I started this book with some trepidation. It isnt really sci-fi to a major extent (Im not even sure if it is classified as sci-fi, though sci-fi and fantasy are the only books I get from publishers), yes it takes place in the near future and yes it deals with advanced technology but it isn’t a far stretch from World of Warcraft and games of that ilk.

The story revolves around Omnitopia a massive only gaming universe that packs almost every imanginable world into on massive bundle. Its creator (Dev) is busy working with his company to unroll the newest expansion pack and Phil , his chief competitor (and former partner) is working on his own release while colluding with the a hacker group to weaken Omnitopia so Phil can slip in and gain controlling interest. The other main story arc consists of Rik, who is a player and was given a rare chance to create his own Microcosm inside of Omnitopias own universe.

This was a well written and very enjoyable book. It wasn’t too tech heavy and for the most part the advanced technology it dealt with wasn’t anything that a simi-literate computer user wouldn’t recognize (yes, that’s my classification). It’s a solid story with interesting characters and a fairly good plot. ( )
  joshmkii | Oct 14, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756406234, Hardcover)

A near-future techno-thriller from New York Times bestselling author Diane Duane.

It's the first quarter of the twenty-first century, and "massively multiplayer" on-line games have been around for a couple of decades. In an increasingly wired and computer-friendly world they've become a form of entertainment so popular they're giving television and films a run for the money. And the most popular gaming universe of all is Omnitopia, created by genius programmer Dev Logan.

For millions of people around the world, Omnitopia is an obsession, a passionate pastime, almost a way of life. Omnitopia is a virtual place where dreams come true-players can create their own universes within the game's structure, and participate in the profits if their piece of the universe is a hit. Ten million players routinely play in Omnitopia, and at any given time, nearly a million of them are on-line, living in a world more real to them then their own.

Worldwide, Omnitopia is now as much a culture as a game. Participants can become involved in it in a hundred different ways. Some game as if their lives depended on it, spending thousands of hours, or thousands of dollars, or both, on quests in search of "game glory" among their fellow players. Some game only to acquire sufficient in-game "value" to become entitled to become subcreators themselves, able to build new levels and start raking in the so-called "one percent of infinity" which is the leveler's share of the profits. But there are also people who don't game at all, preferring to use the massive platform simply to explore its worlds, or to interact with other participants. Some people do nothing but design on-line weapons and other items for Omnitopia gamers, and sell them-or act as brokers, buying and selling game artifacts to order. Some subcreators do the same kind of design and creation, but for tailored Microcosms or slices of them: these are the "unreal estate" dealers. Some players speculate in game "gold" on the success or popularity of Microcosms, rather than actually playing in them. And of course there are thieves and swindlers, cheaters who live to find the loophole in the game that will outside it in the real world.

Now Dev and his people are preparing to rollout a major new expansion to the Omnitopia system. And even as players, staff, the media, and the heavy hitters on the world financial scene wait eagerly for this fast-approaching and momentous event, there are others preparing to play a very different game-one that is meant to strike at the heart of Omnitopia and bring the entire system crashing down....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In an increasingly wired and computer-friendly world, massive multiplayer online games have become the ultimate form of entertainment. And the most popular gaming universe of all is Omnitopia, created by genius programmer Dev Logan. For millions of people around the world, Omnitopia is an obsession, a passionate pastime, almost a way of life. But there's a secret to Omnitopia, one that Dev would give his life to protect-the game isn't just a program or a piece of code. It's become sentient-alive. And it's Dev's job to keep it that way.… (more)

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