Dream Park

02 Dec 2021

Category: book

Tags: book, fiction, good, scifi

I listen to the A16Z podcasts and one of them is One on One with A and Z which is pretty good. I think it is just recording a Clubhouse show, but I have only listened to it via the podcast feed. At some point, they did some book recommendations and I wrote down a few that sounded interesting. One of them was Dream Park which I just got around to reading.

This is a really fascinating book given the context that it was written in 1981. All sci-fi gets some things really wrong, but focusing on the human elements that define some secular trends that are playing out now make this seem quite prescient. That said, it also read like a lot of sci-fi from that era with way too much unnecessary sexualization and objectification. Arguably that is what the readers wanted at that time or at least that is what the publishers seemed to think they wanted. It is not unique to this book, but it is still jarring to read.

The park in Dream Park is basically a hi-tech amusment park but the central draw is a type of augmented reality game. The way it was executed is really AR instead of the VR style of Ready Player One or Snow Crash. This makes it a nice counterpoint to those works and the increasing discussion of the metaverse. Maybe AR is how games are really going to go. More likely some combination of both depending on your preference.

The book is a murder mystery set within an interesting future. I recommend it especially if you are into adventure style sci-fi.

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