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Mark Fabi
Bantam Spectra Books, 512 pages

Mark Fabi Related Links
Mark Fabi is a psychiatrist who practices in Philadelphia. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Donna, and their three sons. WYRM is his first novel.

WYRM Excerpt
Mark Fabi Home Page
Interview with Mark Fabi
Bantam Spectra
Security Pointers on the Net
Treatise on Hacking and Its Effects

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven MacDonald

Mark Fabi's debut novel slips nicely into the space between cyberpunk, yesterday's hot SF sub-genre, and the newest emerging sub-genre, the millennium apocalypse novel. I suppose if you're going to mix your genres, you could certainly do a lot worse. The novel follows Michael Arcangelo (as in Archangel Michael, the herald of the Apocalypse), a computer virus hunter and gaming expert, as he accepts a job debugging the Goodnight system, a chess machine designed to beat the world's grandmasters.

Except, of course, this is no ordinary virus. Soon it begins popping up in systems across the globe -- and revealing an alarming sense of growing self-awareness. Michael tracks the virus back to the mysterious hacker and game designer Roger Dworkin, who created it for use in an online MUD (multi-user dungeon) so real it could kill. Eventually Michael and his team must enter the now-lethal game, in a race against time to stop a virus that has seized control of the Internet and threatens to cause a Millennium Crash that will bring new meaning to the phrase.

WYRM is an intriguing foray into the state of the art of computer technology. What begins as a virus hunt leads to a sensory roller-coaster ride on the Internet. Plunging the depths of various mythologies, Mark Fabi presents us with a sharply-realized picture of Fantasy Role Playing on the Web. The first time the role-playing element was introduced it was almost like reading a separate book, yet it quickly blended with the main storyline. The dialogue is witty and intelligent, and I lost count of the number of times I laughed aloud.

WYRM offers up heady speculation into the nature of the mind, and how it might lead to artificial intelligence. What I like most about this book is the smooth mix of seemingly unrelated disciplines. Somehow hacking, FRP, AI, and mythology all come together.

If I say anymore, I'm afraid I will ruin the story. Read it.

Copyright © 1997 by Steven MacDonald

Steven MacDonald developed an abiding interest in the Fantasy/SF genre at the tender age of 14, when he chanced upon a copy of Analog. He's lived on a steady diet of F&SF ever since.

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