Constellation Games

( 10 )

Overview

First contact isn't all fun and games.

Ariel Blum is pushing thirty and doesn't have much to show for it. His computer programming skills are producing nothing but pony-themed video games for little girls. His love life is a slow-motion train wreck, and whenever he tries to make something of his life, he finds himself back on the couch, replaying the games of his youth.

Then the aliens show up.

Out of the sky ...

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Constellation Games

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Overview

First contact isn't all fun and games.

Ariel Blum is pushing thirty and doesn't have much to show for it. His computer programming skills are producing nothing but pony-themed video games for little girls. His love life is a slow-motion train wreck, and whenever he tries to make something of his life, he finds himself back on the couch, replaying the games of his youth.

Then the aliens show up.

Out of the sky comes the Constellation: a swarm of anarchist anthropologists, exploring our seas, cataloguing our plants, editing our wikis, and eating our Twinkies. No one knows how to respond--except for nerds like Ariel who've been reading, role-playing and wargaming first-contact scenarios their entire lives. Ariel sees the aliens' computers, and he knows that wherever there are computers, there are video games.

Ariel just wants to start a business translating alien games so they can be played on human computers. But a simple cultural exchange turns up ancient secrets, government conspiracies, and unconventional anthropology techniques that threaten humanity as we know it. If Ariel wants his species to have a future, he's going to have to take the step that nothing on Earth could make him take.

He'll have to grow up.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The fate of the human race may rest in the unready hands of a down-on-his-luck computer game designer in Richardson's fun first novel (which originally ran as an online serial). Ariel Blum is sick of tweaking old versions of pony-themed games into new versions for the kids' market. When an alien ship called Constellation appears with representatives of different alien races on a contact mission, all Ariel notices is their computer screens. Why? Because where there are computers, there are games. A lifelong fan of space and the search for intelligent life, Ariel convinces the aliens to let him translate their computer games into new versions for humans. Before long, he's stressed out from trying to find the human entertainment factor in games built for alien minds, and being harassed by the suits at the U.S. State Department's cryptic "Bureau of Extraterrestrial Affairs." Then he learns the aliens' true mission: to study humanity before it destroys itself. Part "first contact" story, part mystery, part diary-of-a-gaming-geek, Richardson's debut novel should appeal to gamers and fans of light-hearted space opera. (Apr. 17)
http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-936460-23-6 - Publishers Weekly
The fate of the human race may rest in the unready hands of a down-on-his-luck computer game designer in Richardson's fun first novel (which originally ran as an online serial). Part "first contact" story, part mystery, part diary-of-a-gaming-geek, Richardson's debut novel should appeal to gamers and fans of light-hearted space opera. (Apr. 17)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936460236
  • Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam
  • Publication date: 4/15/2011
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,250,379
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Leonard Richardson is the author of robotfindskitten, Beautiful Soup, and RESTful Web Services.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Riveting, eventually

    The setting and characters were very vivid once the flow of the plot was established. The narration may be a bit hard to understand at the beginning, but the reader soon becomes accustomed to the format and ensnared in the storyline. This book would be enjoyable for gamers, those who enjoy sci-fi, and anyone who likes quirky humor and unusual thought processes. For me, it had the side effect of making me want to play the fictional video games described.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    introduces a lot of great concepts

    If you like speculative sci fi as opposed to a space opera this is it for you. It also has that character and plot development stuff, but it tailors it so that the sci fi background and concepts are drivers instead of simply window dressing. A great example of sci fi in the spirit of Card and Doctorow.

    Ending was a letdown in my opinion. Weird metaphysical argument.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    quite liked it

    I don't know if it has been done before, but the irreverent way the lead character dealt with the aliens was quite refreshing and funny. The entire premise and plot turns were interesting.

    My only gripe would be if you are going to set a book in my home town, please actually do some research and give the locals something. It was Austin, Texas in name only.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Good Fun

    I really enjoyed this book. It was fun to read and had a unique perspective on alien contact.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

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    Posted March 19, 2013

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    Posted June 12, 2012

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    Posted July 12, 2013

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    Posted March 2, 2013

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    Posted May 1, 2014

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