Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sex and the Single Avatar in Second Life XX – They Write Books about this Stuff!

The vital factor of virtual reality is immersion, the degree to which the user's senses are limited to the simulation and screened from a real world. 

Fjodor Ruzic

Sometimes my life as a blogger about virtual life in Second Life (SL) gets interesting.  Or rather, more so than it is usually is.  (Significant Other’s head shakes and I’m reminded to take out the garbage later when I’m finished writing.) 

Sometimes Real Life (RL) wanders into my SL existence.

Like when a RL author, a published author who actually earns a living from writing, approached me inworld and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing her latest novel.

As my British friends would say, I was gobsmacked.  (Yes, I do have a few although they’ve asked that I not reveal their identities.)

After checking that this author had the right person and not some other struggling wannabe I said, “Yes!”

(Fellow wannabe writers out there know what I’m referring to.  We exist in a demimonde between those who are “real” writers and everyone points to with admiration and those who do the pointing and wonder why we can’t do the same.  Significant Other has always been loyal and stood by my side confident that I’ll never become a “real” writer.  Significant Other is smiling smugly as I write this.)

OK, enough of me and my insecurities!

Let’s talk about this RL author!

Olivia Devon, her pen name in RL and also the name of one of her SL avatars, is the author willing to risk her name and reputation with my blog.  Her tag line is, “I write books. Some of them are naughty. Others are more well behaved.” 

For the record, this book is naughty!  (Ergo, that’s why it’s in the Sex and Single Avatar series.)

Oh, yes, the book’s title!

The book is PLAY [Manhattan Lux] and it’s a fun read about virtual reality, virtual worlds, and, of course, sex!  (Lots of it!)  This is part of the Manhattan Lux series Olivia writes centered around a sex club in Manhattan.  While PLAY is third in this series, reading
the previous books isn’t necessary.  I didn’t but after reading this book, I plan to!

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot or any spoilers but I’ll say a little. 

PLAY is the story of a relationship between a driven, high tech male executive and a smart but hurt female programmer.  They spend much of their time in a virtual world very much akin to SL and using a virtual reality tech that makes Oculus Rift and Sansar look like a coloring book with a box of crayons missing a few colors.  Think teledildonics on steroids.

Olivia understands virtual worlds and virtual reality.  Unlike some books which come across as either overly simplistic or go straight to Star Trek holodecks, she keeps both feet on the ground.  Her writing is a logical extension of current virtual technology.  Honestly, if Linden Lab had had a little more imagination and guts then SL would be more. 

The experiences and scenes based in the book’s virtual world are written by someone who has immersed herself in these worlds and lived among us.  Most importantly, she understands that virtual worlds are more than just a game and that virtual relationships are as very real and can be as painful as RL ones.  You can’t make that up. You have to experience it for yourself.

Her understanding of virtual communities as being more than just a group of avatars just standing around is evident. 

Olivia is also a builder in SL.  One of the principle locations in the book was based on her build inworld.  It’s quite a build and can be seen in this video she prepared for her blog. 

And, she’s got the sex down too!  Enough said there!

Finally, PLAY has great writing and storytelling. 

Olivia writes under various pen names in RL and has been a longstanding resident in SL.  (And, no, she won’t give me any of these various identities.  Significant Other says she’s a prudent woman.)  She’s a gamer and I suspect a closet Whovian. 

Olivia makes being a geek sexy! 

I recommend PLAY to all who enjoy a good story and especially to those who enjoy one based in a virtual world without having their intelligence insulted.  Well worth the money and time spent reading it!

Also, I hope to have an interview with Olivia in my blog shortly so keep an eye out for it! 

I’d like to thank Olivia for inviting me to review her book and for writing it in the first place.

Check out PLAY and Olivia’s other writings!

I know I’ll be!

Full disclosure, I received a free review copy to prepare this story.  Although, I did later buy an ebook copy so I could mark it up. 

PLAY is available at most ebook vendors and can be found here at Amazon.

More information about Olivia and her books can be found here.

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!

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