Dream Park

Larry Niven, Steven Barnes
Dream Park Cover

Dream Park


Read originally as a teen, this murder mystery in a live action RPG land is a lot of fun, even if the mystery has flaws.

Set in the near future, this book was a little visionary at the time. Wireless mikes, holograms, and powerful computers. LARP (live action roleplay) at the time was either styrofoam boffers or rock-paper-scissors. In this story, weapons are swung or thrown, making for a very realistic game. Elements of the game (and the game master interaction) are also well done.

Dialog was rough at times, and the mystery itself had flaws. Still, at the time, this book had no equal, and I eagerly awaited the two sequels. Another has been released recently. Also at the time, this created enough of a stir that a Dream Park game group was incorporated, with the intention of making Dream Park a reality. Some 10-15 years later, the same sort of thing was attempted for Battletech, with more success.

In summary, a fairly good read. Not 5 star material, and these days not even really science fiction. Worth reading, and looking forward to rereading the first two sequels.