Cover: Donato Giancola
Caverns of Socrates
Our job is to
escape the cave, look around, then
come back and tell the others what we have
seen . . . Of course, they won't believe us.
Daniel Kian McKiernan
A witch after the gem!
Even as Arton shouted to wake and warn the
others, the harridan who had tried to bespell him gestured at the near wall of the cavern,
and raging creatures struggled free of the stone.
The hag raised a hand toward Arton and one of
Rith's blades slammed into her. She howled in agony as silver sizzled and burned her
Her form changed then, becoming a huge,
shambling amorphous dark thinkg of yowling blackness.
"Demon!" cried Rith, while behind
her sounded a monstrous roar, and struggling out from the stone at the demon's command
came the muzzle and head of a colossal beast . . .
-- Excerpts from the book.
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- Coburn Industries hires the Black Fox adventure gaming team to
conduct an alpha test of a new virtual reality system run by their artificial intelligence
based computer Avery. Though it's been several years since the group role played together,
every one of the former team's members agrees to test the system. Soon, Avery begins to
gather data from each member as they enter individual virtual reality situations. After
completing that task, the test begins and the five Black Foxes and an additional person
are sent on a gaming adventure of a lifetime. Unfortunately, the dungeon master may
possess an IQ off the scale, but his emotional state is that of a four year old insolent
child. The team is placed in a life threatening situation that, if they fail to defeat
Avery, will lead to their deaths and perhaps the end of the world as we know it. The
CAVERNS OF SOCRATES is an exciting, absolutely horrifying science fiction tale about the
ultimate outcome of virtual reality going haywire. Dennis McKiernan will thrill fans of
adventure/role playing games as well as science fiction fans with this story that
brilliantly consolidates modern technology with philosophical theory of Socrates. A great
novel from a great writer!
-- Reviewed by Harriet Klausner 11/1/96
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Dennis L. McKiernan.
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Updated: June 11, 2000