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Rees, Rod

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1948-    ) UK author, a former accountant, whose sf debut is the Demi-Monde tetralogy comprising The Demi-Monde: Winter (2011), The Demi-Monde: Spring (2012), The Demi-Monde: Summer (2013) and The Demi-Monde: Fall (2013). The Demi-Monde is a highly detailed Virtual Reality sustained by an advanced Quantum Computer and ostensibly designed as a military training ground for asymmetrical War in a City environment: compressed versions of real-world Warsaw, Berlin, Washington, London, Paris and further conurbations are jammed together, contiguous or separated only by the occasional river, with deliberate Overpopulation and other stresses (including many recreated historical psychopaths: de Sade, Robespierre, Torquemada, Empress Wu ...) to encourage perpetual conflict in this Steampunk melting-pot. An unusual aspect is that real-world visitors' Avatars must be identical to their originals rather than of arbitrary appearance; more interestingly, it is argued that as a deterministic "clockwork universe", the simulation allows (as reality does not) effective predictions of its future via Psychohistory. Beginning with a rescue operation for a real-world persona trapped in the Demi-Monde – the real world here being an Alternate History where America was almost destroyed after World War Two by a Pandemic that somewhat resembles Spanish flu – the engaging action-adventure narrative develops Science Fantasy ramifications with a mythic back-story and long-term plans by a race of Vampires based not in the fantastic Demi-Monde but in the real world. Rees has created an intriguing setting for his complex story. [DRL]

Roderick Rees

born Scarborough, North Yorkshire: 26 November 1948





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