Player Choice, by Jeff Deck
Glen, video-game coder, is on his way to the business meeting of his life, where he will pitch his beloved baby of a project, the one he's been designing in private for years, the one he hopes might even help people change the world--Novamundas. Even his commuter train crashing can't stop him. But then Glen starts switching realities. Or reality is changing around him--how can he tell? Is he really reality-jumping? Is someone trying to torture him? Or did his brain implant malfunction? Glen tries to figure out what's real and survive to get back home--whatever that might be. He can't remember...
This is quite a good science-fiction story. I was grabbed. There are some great ideas to play with here, and the characters are interesting and real. It's set in 2040, and nearly everyone has celphs--brain implants that function as personal devices and assistants--like Siri, only far more so. It's a great idea and completely organic to the world (and our own quite possible future). I think celph is a great term as a play on what cellphone could turn into, and am quite tempted to use it myself. One price of having a celph, though, is that companies can zero in on you for advertising.
I like Glen. He's a lot like many software guys I have known. His co-workers are interesting, and when we meet his friends through the story it's really nice; they're nicely fleshed out and it works. Then there are some other, more difficult relationships as well.
The Novamundas concept gets a lot of play in the second half of the book. Gamers will probably have a lot of fun with it. I am a complete non-gamer but it was still a great story, so don't worry if you're not either.
There was some profanity in the book, which I'm not really a fan of, but it wasn't awful or anything. Overall, I enjoyed it a lot. It's well worth spending $3 on Amazon to read it yourself. If you're hesitant about self-published books, don't worry about this one; Deck has written professionally for a long time and Player Choice is a polished novel. From what I hear, a lot of SF is moving to the self-publishing sphere and if a good percentage of it is of this quality, it will work.
I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.