Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE
Author: LeVar Ravel
Author: LeVar Ravel
Press F5 to Load Game is one of those quasi-sci-fi yarns that is more concept and inventiveness than an engaging story with Well-drawn characters. It reads like a plot gamers would enjoy who’d like their own technology to reset reality. Who wouldn’t want the ability to do whatever they liked without consequences? An event didn’t work out the way you hoped? Never mind—press F5 and you can start all over again and wipe out a reality that didn’t go your way.
The story is all about an underling in the employ of State Senator Kenji Glover named Lars Uxbridge. Young Uxbridge, an egotist frustrated by having to work in the shadows for his publicity-seeking boss, is recruited by a businessman named Mr. Fix to dig up dirt on a state representative named Frannie Up wood. While she’s an apparent political underachiever, a much more powerful representative has allied himself with Upwood and no one can figure out why. Lars spies on her and what he discovers shocks and amazes him. He soon follows her while she is out and about and doing very strange things.
Of course, there’s nothing new in sci-fi about the ability to restart reality. The most famous example is probably Ursula K. Le Guin’s classic 1971 The Lathe of Heaven in which “effective dreaming” did the reboot trick. This time around, Ravel gives us a backdrop of political machinations to give Upwood her reasons for using the unexplained F5 device. Like modern real-life politics, we don’t really see what the political insiders want to accomplish other than get and stay elected. In other words, the novel isn’t a contrivance for Ravel to present a political philosophy disguised in SF clothing.
Press F5 to Load Game is likely to resonate most with gamers who might want to see what might happen if things that can take place on their hand-held screens could work in real life. Still, you don’t have to know anything about video games to follow the story. But an interest in those toys might stimulate your interest in this short book.