Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Digital Plague - Virus Released!

About six months ago, I read and reviewed Jeff Somers's The Electric Church published by Oribit. From my review:
Told from the first person, the reader’s only true window into the world is Avery Cates, but he does seem a rather reliable narrator. Somers affects this very well through Cates’s deprecating internal dialogue as well as his interaction with the team he pulls together for the big kill. Even in the scenes where little action is taking place, Somers maintains a very effective narrative allowing for the pages to turn quite quickly.
The sequel (The Digital Plague) is now out* and as with the previous book, Orbit and Jeff have put together another clever viral marketing campaign. Here's what they tell me (via e-mail):

You might remember last year author Jeff Somers launched an ARG inspired puzzle to support the launch his debut novel The Electric Church (

These puzzles are scripted as narratives – the first one told a short story based in the universe of the book, and allowed players to save (in a manner of speaking) the monk.

The original puzzle was solved first by members at – it's pretty fascinating to watch them work their way through. (

His latest book, The Digital Plague, is now out, and he's scripted another puzzle – this one takes place on a messageboard where citizens of Old NewYork are coming to grips with the plague that's taking over the city.

Even readers who aren't up for solving the puzzles can get a kick out of this extension of the book's universe – with topics like "Augments: A place to discuss legal bodily augmentation" and "Elective Surgeries: A place to discuss the newest surgical techniques to extend lifespans, restore youthfulness, and defeat disease."

* I have the book and will be reading and reviewing in the near future. I liked the The Electric Church too much not to find out what Avery Cates has been up to since the conclusion of the novel.

Lastly, to keep the Star Wars theme running, happy 64th to George Lucas!

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