Reset: The Dowland Cases - One
by Kirk Dougal
"An exciting science fiction detective story mixing cyberpunk murders with game culture and high-tech addiction." - Jason Sanford, Two-time Nebula Award Finalist RJ Dowland was the biggest name in gaming. He invented the process for players to immerse into computer games, living as an avatar inside the virtual world. But the immersion left a percentage of players addicted to the impulses in their nerve endings, choosing to live inside the created worlds while their bodies wasted away. RJ became one of the addicted. Years passed and he weaned himself off the games, eking out a life as a socially-inept homicide detective with a partner who calls him names, an ex-wife who will not acknowledge him, and the choice of using other addictions to fight off returning inside the computer. But now the FBI has approached RJ because they are investigating a series of murdered gamers who ignored the government regulations and they need his game experience and knowledge to catch the killer. The agents ask him to risk rekindling his addiction and enter the computer world, putting his life in danger to chase an old nemesis from his past when he ruled the gaming world. Now RJ is back inside a computer, trapped in a 1930s film noir world as a private detective searching for the killer while negotiating his way through the roscoes, dames, and twists. Every step he takes toward meeting his former enemy is haunted by one question: Even if he captures the killer, will he be able to pull himself away from a computer-generated world that is more fulfilling and feels more real than his life?