By Austin Grossman
(Mulholland Books, Hardcover, 9780316198530, 400pp.)
Publication Date: April 16, 2013
A NOVEL OF MYSTERY, VIDEOGAMES, AND THE PEOPLE WHO CREATE THEM, BY THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE.
When Russell joins Black Arts games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly, he needs to know what happened to Simon, the strangest and most gifted friend he ever lost, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit.
Then Black Arts' revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a mysterious software glitch, and Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The bug is the first clue in a mystery leading back twenty years, through real and virtual worlds, corporate boardrooms and high school computer camp, to a secret that changed a friendship and the history of gaming. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears--and soon, Russell comes to realize there's much more is at stake than just one software company's bottom line.
Austin Grossman's debut novel Soon I Will Invincible announced the arrival of a singular, genre-defying talent "sure to please fans of Lethem and Chabon" (Playboy). With YOU, Grossman offers his most daring and most personal novel yet-a thrilling, hilarious, authentic portrait of the world of professional game makers; and the story of how learning to play can save your life.
Austin Grossman is a video game design consultant and the author of Soon I Will Be Invincible, which was nominated for the 2007 John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize. His writing has appeared in Granta, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He lives in Berkeley, California.
"A razor-sharp comedy ... a smart meditation on the nature of gaming. Grossman, who has designed video games, brings experience but more importantly abundant affection to describing this world--the welcome recognition of the one Dungeon and Dragons enthusiast for another, the surreal happiness that comes from mastery, the semi-ironic clinging to juvenile aesthetics."
"Some of the most startling, acute writing on video games yet essayed."
-Tom Bissell, Harper's
"Combines videogames, advanced technology, and suspense into one crazy pageturner."
-Kansas City Star
"You confirms Grossman's status as a major talent. Grossman isn't just chronicling the rise and fall of a company, or of a character, or even an industry. Rather, he uses YOU as a tool to prise open the mystical center of what art is, what games are, what fun is, and how they all mix together. A novel that both uplifts and entertains, and reframes the world we live in and the things we do in it. Easily one of the best books I've read this year."
-Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
"A celebration of videogames and their creators."
-Booklist, starred review
"YOU is every bit as fun as you hope it's going to be, and also much more. Grossman draws you in with his clever premise, but then as you progress through the levels, you understand the complexity of the world he has built. Full of wit, ingenuity, and nostalgia -- a meditation on what it means to be the hero of the game."
-Charles Yu, author of How to Life Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
"A brilliant, incisive, and very funny journey through the adolescence of the computer game industry, delving with wit and charm into the fascinating question of exactly whose story is being told."
-Max Barry, author of Jennifer Government and Machine Man