6 Hackers, 1 Game... and 10,000 Undead.
Everyone loves Survivalist, a live-action, virtual reality show based on Arc Entertainment's The Game, where cybernetically controlled zombies do battle in a video arcade in the middle of a Long Island wasteland. It's to die for.
If you're rich enough, you can buy your way in. If you're desperate enough, you can volunteer to become one of the Undead Players. Jessie Daniels and her gang of computer hackers plan to break their way in.
Welcome to GAMELAND. Access Restricted.
EPISODE 1: Deep Into The Game
A reckless, end-of-summer plan leads Jessie and her friends onto Long Island hoping to catch a glimpse of the infected victims of a decades-old outbreak. But while breaking in might be easy, getting back out is a hell of a killer. It doesn't take long before they realize they're part of The Game.
Deep Into the Game is the first book in the hi-tech dystopian thriller GAMELAND. Structured on television's The Walking Dead and Law and Order, the nearly 400,000-word series consists of eight individual episodes, first published monthly between May and December 2012. All are available digitally in single and multi-episode packages, as well as in an omnibus edition. Also available in print.
Not recommended for readers under age 15.
Title: Deep Into the Game (GAMELAND #1)
Author: Saul Tanpepper
Published: April 29, 2013
Genre: Horror, Post-Apocalypse
I'm impressed with Tanpepper's series so far. The zombie apocalypse has been done, but this is by far the most unique plot I've had the pleasure of reading.
This first episode easily kept my attention. So much so that I went to bed to read just one more chapter, and ended up finishing the book at 1 a.m. I couldn't stop reading.
From an editor's standpoint:
There were a handful of issues like missing punctuation, grammatical errors like "talking it easy" instead of "taking it easy" and "drift pass" instead of "drift past." And while too many errors can distract from a story, I was too engrossed and invested in the characters to care too much about them. All I cared about was turning that electronic page and continuing to read.
I like surprises, so the prologue was a bit of a spoiler to me. I don't want to know what happens at the end of these eight episodes, but I'll go on this journey because I'm confident that there will be excitement and terrifying moments. I suppose knowing what we know before all hell breaks loose puts us in a different frame of mind as we discover new tidbits about each of the characters, why they decided to break into Gameland, and how Arc Entertainment fits into the scheme of things. I've already started reading episode two, and have no plans to stop until I've gotten to that moment where Jessie holds the gun with just one bullet.
If you like zombie apocalypse stories, I definitely recommend reading the GAMELAND series.
About the Author
Saul Tanpepper is the speculative fiction pen name for Ken J. Howe, a retired PhD molecular biologist and biotech entrepreneur who writes full time in multiple genres. The pen name honors the memory of his high school buddy, who passed away at age 27. "Salt and Pepper" was a favorite epithet, given the author's premature graying.
After a childhood in a small town on the Erie Canal in Upstate New York, he entered the U.S. Army and was trained as a combat medic. He did a tour in West Germany before the wall came down, working as both a medic in an armored infantry unit in Mannheim and a hospital attendant in Frankfurt. After returning Stateside, he did a tour as a trauma specialist in the emergency room at Walter Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, and at Lawrence General Hospital in Massachusetts.
He attended university in Santa Barbara, CA, majoring in biology and creative studies while working as a medical assistant in a variety of locations. He studied molecular biology and genetics as a graduate student, then completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Berkeley.
Prior to entering the work force, he and his wife spent six months traveling overland through the Middle East and Africa, logging over 50,000 miles in a refurbished garbage truck.
He spent 10 years in biotech, working his way from bench scientist to Director of R&D and site manager of a major pharma company. He then formed his own company, Collabria BioSciences, and was VP of R&D of another startup.
He retired from the business in 2011 to write and publish full time. Under his real name, he writes literary young adult, middle grade, and children's picture books. As Saul Tanpepper, he writes and publishes speculative fiction (scifi, horror, fantasy).
He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, children, and a zoo-full of pets and farm animals.
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