Title: Secret Realms
Author: Tom Cool
Publish Date: 1998
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Genre: Science Fiction
Sub-Genre: Advanced Technology, Advanced Medical, Advanced Weapons, Armed Conflict, Cyberspace, Alternative Realities, Romance, Strategy
Several entities exist in a world created by technology. Humans. With their neuro-pathways connected to massive computer systems that define ‘who’ they are in that alternate world, it is world of virtual reality where their lives are controlled by a master computer known to them as ‘System’.
System keeps them busy learning tactics of warfare between the entities with their virtual armed forces and increasingly more powerful and cunning enemies that are all from areas in and around the Southeastern Asian continent.
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Trickster has emerged as one of the best strategic thinkers and he manages to figure out that there is another world outside of their own. He learns how to ‘reach out’ into that other place and eventually learns that he can interact in that world with its technology.
Now, he wants to escape into that other world with his friends. As he moves forward with those plans, he and his friends learn that Japan has just gone to war with China. China is their homeland.
Trickster is the name assumed by one of several entities that have not known that life existed outside of their computer-generated world since they were very young babies.
Their interactions in their world are completely controlled by a master computer system that they know as ‘System’. The entire complex is housed on a Chinese controlled island in the Pacific, off the coast of China.
For Trickster and his friends Cat, Dreamer, Snake, and the others, their world is a virtual reality where they are put into increasingly more complex combat scenarios involving their ‘homeland’ versus an enemy from China or one of the other Southeast Asian countries.
Now Trickster has figured out that there is another entirely different world out there besides the one that they have known all of their lives. With this newly acquired knowledge, he ‘reaches out’ to that other world and discovers that he has the ability to control and talk to the other world’s technologies. He learns about the place they are in and works out a plan for him and his friends to escape… right about the time that Japan and China declare war on each other.
Using the knowledge he learned from the war scenarios within the virtual world, Trickster orders the United States Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier in the middle of the war between the two nations in an attempt to get off their secluded island.