Tor Forge, $15.99, 349 pages
The Barsoom Project was originally released in 1989. The book is the sequel to the authors, Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, Dream Park. The book is centered around Dream Park, a futuristic mash-up of Disney World and live action role play (LARP) and the gamers, actors, and people who visit the park. The Barsoom Project centers around the parent company of Dream Park, Cowles Industries’, sales pitch to private investors to help fund their next big project: a space elevator on Mars. Cowles has invited numerous corporations, individuals, and nations to the Dream Park to convince them that the future is colonization of the red planet and the best means of doing so is the construction of the elevator. The book focuses on two groups, a set of gamers LARPing in a post-apocalyptic setting, and Dream Park’s security and research teams. As the gamers play through their fantasy, little do they know they are being manipulated by outside forces wishing to destroy Cowles Industries and Dream Park as well as the Park’s own security forces as they try to protect the gamers and their livelihood! The Barsoom Project is a great mix of fantasy and science fiction.
Reviewed by Jonathon Howard