Sci-Fi Review & Contest: THE MOON MAZE GAME by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes

Any RPGers out there? What if your RPG wasn’t online… but was on the moon? What if, thanks to some terrorists, it turned real? Pretty good novel premise, at least, huh? Today, we’re looking at The Moon Maze Game, by science fiction veterans Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, published by Tor Books. Want a copy? Read on!

THE OFFICIAL BLURB: The Year: 2085. Humanity has spread throughout the solar system. A stable lunar colony is agitating for independence. Lunar tourism is on the rise…Against this background, professional “Close Protection” specialist Scotty Griffin, fresh off a disastrous assignment, is offered the opportunity of a lifetime: to shepherd the teenaged heir to the Republic of Kikaya on a fabulous vacation. Ali Kikaya will participate in the first live action role playing game conducted on the Moon itself. Having left Luna–and a treasured marriage–years ago due to a near-tragic accident, Scotty leaps at the opportunity.
            Live Action Role Playing attracts a very special sort of individual: brilliant, unpredictable, resourceful, and addicted to problem solving. By kidnapping a dozen gamers in the middle of the ultimate game, watched by more people than any other sporting event in history, they have thrown down an irresistible gauntlet: to “win” the first game that ever became “real.” Pursued by armed and murderous terrorists, forced to solve gaming puzzles to stay a jump ahead, forced to juggle multiple psychological realities as they do…this is the game for which they’ve prepared their entire lives, and they are going to play it for all it’s worth.
MY THOUGHTS: Every once in a while I like a good old thriller of a science fiction story, and this is one. Should start off by saying that this is a standalone novel even though it’s technically part of a series the coauthors began over a decade ago. It’s set in the same world but that’s about the only connection.
            Scotty Griffin is one of those standup guys who’s kind of on his last try (think some of those old Bruce Willis movies), still in pretty good shape but running out of options. He botches a seemingly simple protection job, so he jumps at the odd request to see the spoiled, rich prince-turned-gamer to the Moon game. He’s unaware, of course, that the prince and his corrupt daddy have amassed enemies who see the “game” as a chance for some serious anarchy.
            It’s a tense read, which means it’s fast and fun. And makes me think gaming is most definitely not for me.
Want to win a copy of The Moon Maze Game? Tell me if you’d want to play a “live action” RPG? Not me! I’m too big a chicken. It’s the usual the drill: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Now, start playing!
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

15 thoughts on “Sci-Fi Review & Contest: THE MOON MAZE GAME by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes

  1. I guess it depends on the RPG and if I could have my husband be the one wielding the guns. Which might be kind of odd since I do play RPGs on the computer…
    I follow the blog via GFC- Teawench
    Follow on Twitter – @teawench and I retweeted your last Twitter post but can’t access the URL. :-/
    =4 total


  2. A real life RPG.

    I think not.

    All those guns blasting away or else bladed weapons like swords etc. Not to mention the monsters.

    Sometimes fiction is better than fact !

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol T

    + 1 for comment
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    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  3. I’m a chicken as well so no, I won’t be playing RPG.

    +1 comment
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    +1 twitter @Brittleblue


  4. I would love to!
    Imagine a HP rpg game..LIVE!?!

    +1 COMMENT
    +1 GFC Follower: AgneaPink
    +1 twitter follower: AgnesLovesYAlit


    princessintears AT gmail DOT com

  5. Depends on the type of RPG and if no one I knew had any idea I was playing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The book sounds really interesting.

  6. Um, no way on the live RPG. I tried to play a computer RPG with my kid and after about a half hour he kicked me out. It’s probably a sign that I’d be killed in the first sixty seconds in a real one.

    +1 comment
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  7. I’m with Bhand35. I’d do it if it weren’t any more dangerous than a paintball battle. There’s always going to be a little danger.

    I read a book with a similar premise many years ago (might even have been by Niven), but it wasn’t sited on the moon. Can’t dust off the memory cobwebs well enough to get a clear look at the name though, sorry.

  8. I’ve always wondered what it would be like, but I must admit I’m a bit too self-conscious to actually follow-through on that curiosity.

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book! I’ve tweeted, Google+ it, and linked to the blog from Facebook. Hope that qualifies me.

  9. I’d love to play a LARP if I could play a Dream Park game. Loved the first book and I really hope this one is as good.