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Martin T Ingham

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Member Since: May, 2007

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Virtual Wiles
by Martin T Ingham   

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Books by Martin T Ingham
· The Guns of Mars
· The Rogue Investigations
· Prisoner of Time
                >> View all

Category: 

Science Fiction

Publisher:  Publish America ISBN-10:  1424178770 Type: 
Pages: 

250


Fiction

In a future where humanity has lost its purpose and people live their lives within virtual simulations, one man must challenge reality.

In a computer-generated world of Fantasy, where popular mythology and sword and sorcery come alive, Morgan Asher faces his own prejudices against virtual reality, while battling ruthless bandits and deceptive Mages in an attempt to free his cousin, who is trapped within the program. With the aid of program veteran Rheena Liszt, Morgan uncovers more about virtual reality than he ever believed possible, and is challenged with one of the greatest moral dilemmas in history, with the fate of two worlds in the balance.

When fiction becomes reality, the game grows deadly!
Join the adventure that is...
Virtual Wiles!

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{Note: The following excerpt appears in Chapter 10 of "Virtual Wiles."}

Chores were split evenly every day. They alternated on necessary jobs; the day Morgan dealt with the animals, Rheena would cook and keep the fire going, then they switched.


They took turns milking the six cows in the barn, and Morgan was yearning for an electric milker every other day, when his turn came around. Rancher he may have chosen to be, but things were never so primitive in the day and age he had initially chosen to ranch. Here, he'd gone back hundreds of years in agricultural technology. No tools to aid him, he had to crouch down by each cow and milk its udder every other day by hand. He hated the strenuous tedium.

You can imagine how angry he became when he caught Rheena milking the cows magically.

A few days after their last fencing lesson, in which Morgan decided to give up for the hundredth time, he awoke early in the morning and thought it would be nice to assist Rheena with the six cows, thinking it would be easier and faster if, instead of alternating days, they each milked three of the six a day. It seemed just as fair, and more expedient.

There he found her, gently resting her eyes, leaning back against the barn wall, having her spell drain each cow in minutes. No apparent effort on her part, and Morgan watched as she went about her task. The spell worked on several levels, starting by invisibly opening the cow's teats so the milk would drain like a faucet. When the milk stopped flowing, a second part of the spell automatically kicked in, teleporting the milk from the pail into the holding tub, where it would settle to be separated later. Then, the pail would slide across the floor, until in position underneath the next cow in line, and Rheena was required to recast the specially formulated spell to achieve the same outcome, until all six were complete.

Morgan waited to confront her about it, allowing the sixth cow to drain. Rheena was pleasantly resting on the milking stool, awaiting sufficient passage of time to return inside. Her magic milking only took about a third of the time Morgan wasted every other morning, so she had plenty of extra time to wait through.

Morgan showed no attempt to conceal his displeasure, and tried to guilt Rheena for making him do unnecessary work. However, she wasn't the kind to just let herself get rolled over with insult.

"How dare you!" she said, keeping her tone low but sharp. The sound of spiteful lecture was prevalent. "Unnecessary work? Do you really think what I just did wasn't work? Do you have any idea how long it took me to cook up that spell, to get the formula just right? Casting magic is unlike anything you've ever done, or ever will do. It's so weird compared to anything you experience in reality, I can't even try to make you understand the complexity, the absolute mind bending it requires to use it. And here you stand, thinking it's nothing but child's play."

"I never demeaned your talent," Morgan replied in defense. "I didn't say anything about that. But it's obvious you've got that spell of yours down pat."

"That's right, and it took me close to three months to get it that way. I'm not trying to get out of doing my fair share. I spent the first two months working these cows just like you, trying here and there to ease the physical burden with magic. I started by teleporting the magic from the pails to the vat. After I got more comfortable with my abilities, I started working on the cows, first nursing them with psi-movements, later figuring out how to drain the mammary glands directly. Can you honestly say that wasn't serious work?"

"No," Morgan admitted. "But I can say this. Since you've developed this spell, it's not fair that I should still be forced to work many times harder every other day to reach a goal you can achieve effortlessly."

"Why? I don't see it as unfair at all. We agreed to share the work load fifty/fifty. Regardless of how jobs are accomplished, we both do them equally. Just because you can't utilize magic for this task doesn't mean you should make me do it all. I'm not physically strong like I used to be. I only started using the magic so I could pull my own weight. I don't imagine I could have lasted so long otherwise."


"If that were really the case, why didn't you tell me?" Morgan asked.

"No, it's not that simple. You wouldn't have survived this long in Fantasan if you were truly that feeble. This isn't hard work. What is it then? What are you hiding?"

"I'm not hiding anything. I'm just weak now, that's all." She sounded very ashamed. "I explained how my physical appearance reverted to defaults. Well, all physical attributes were changed back as well. Physically, I'm identical to what I was the day I booted in, and my strength was... less than peak at the time. It takes time to build muscle here, just like in real life, and I haven't had time to toughen up. Maybe in a year, I could rough it, but I can't hope to achieve the levels I did as a Vulman. Not that I'd want to go back to that."

Morgan was feeling real guilty all of a sudden. "I didn't know," he said. "You should tell me these things, you know. We're in this together."

"I know," Rheena replied. "I guess I've been so... alone in the past, I've become overly defensive."

 





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Reader Reviews for "Virtual Wiles"

Reviewed by Jeremy Twigg 8/10/2007
Virtual Wiles explores the dangers of becoming a prisoner to a simulated world and the potential technology that may be possible, even in our future. The story is a perfect blend between fantasy and the real world, where the lines between reality and make-believe are blurred.

The journey to this virtual world is an escape or vacation for some, while others use it to live out the life they never could have. Virtual Wiles follows Morgan Asher on a mission that leads him to a far off place, and has him questioning what is real—and what is simulated. At times I found myself doubting what was real and what was simulated—as if lost in a simulated world myself. And the only way to get out was to read on and follow Morgan through it.

The detailed description of the surroundings and the characters allowed me to see them as if I was there. When I thought I knew what was coming next, I was blind-sided by the tale. Romance also finds its way into the picture as the plot gets more detailed—and makes things more complicated along the way. The future of two worlds will be forever changed.

The story comes alive with perfect pacing, and the scenes leave a lasting imprint. There is plenty of depth to the characters and I instantly became attached to them. The book is extremely well written and the plot well thought-out. Ingham has created a magnificent journey that left me fulfilled at the end—but still wanting more. The only question left—when is the sequel coming?

Fantastic book! I absolutely recommend it for all ages! Five Stars!



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