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“Hello, this is Steven O’Connor.
I’m going to read two quick excerpts from my young adult near-future thriller about virtual reality video gaming. It’s called EleMental and was published in 2010. The excerpts describe how in 2050 a videogame might start up or shut down – something I loved finding different ways to describe.
So let’s start with a game starting up …
Jumping up, Zeb dragged his bedroom’s dusty curtains closed, cutting out all light from the real world.
‘Attention Magnum,’ he said. ‘Seal room for sound and start game.’
Turning, he watched as the game kicked in. His messy bedroom melted away, replaced by …
A first-person shooter
(Deleted title – pay no more than $650.00, incl. GST.)
Zeb skipped the recommended pre-game training and went straight in at the first level.
Immediately, a groaning sound like the bending of steel engulfed him, and the floor shuddered as a complete street scene wrenched into existence, materialising beneath his feet and stretching out on all sides.
Zeb let his gaze wander, turning a full circle and taking it all in.
It was a bright, virtual version of a sunny day. A deserted street. Early century by the looks of things. Something like 2010 – his parents would have been kids. He squinted in the light, searching for signs of enemy activity.
And now, the same game shutting down …
The street trembled and began to retract, tugging at further surroundings. Whole buildings collapsed inwards with a crash of bricks and a shattering of glass, whomping thick dust into the air. Structures everywhere folded, rolling up like rugs and exposing beneath them the walls and floor of Zeb’s bedroom. The Hoolyguns coughed in the dust, horror widening their eyes. One after the other, the Magnum’s shutdown program whipped them off their feet and dragged them spinning into its folding. Bricks, bitumen, flattened space miners, frightened Hoolyguns, all spun into a tight, bright spot of light and hung there, at the centre of Zeb’s bedroom. Then – pop! – the spot disappeared.”
ABOUT STEVEN O’CONNOR:
Originally from Luton, England, Steven O’Connor now lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife, two teenage children and his writing companion, Sparks, who also doubles as the family dog.
While he loves writing, he is also passionate about health promotion and helps create health education programs and resources for primary and secondary schools.
EleMental is his first book.
“I won a place in Varuna’s national Young Adult Fiction Masterclass, during which time I revised EleMental under the guidance of Mark MacLeod and Peter Bishop. This was in February 2003.” Steven O’Connor
EleMental – published June, 2010 by Pier 9, an imprint of Murdoch Books, Sydney, Australia.
You can sample the first chapter or buy the e-book here: http://ebooks.readings.com.au/product/9781742662091
Steven O’Connor’s website: http://stevenoconnorwriting.com/
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