Deep State (Dagmar, #2)
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Deep State (Dagmar #2)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  339 ratings  ·  63 reviews
In THIS IS NOT A GAME, Dagmar found that the Alternate Reality Game she was writing was being manipulated by a killer, and in her own turn manipulated the game players in order to solve mysteries and unmask the villain. In the sequel DEEP STATE, that progression continues. Once again, the boundaries between game and reality are breached, and Dagmar finds herself using game...more
Kindle Edition, 411 pages
Published February 3rd 2011 by Hachette Digital (first published January 1st 2011)
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Somewhat like William Gibson with his Blue Ant series Walter Jon Williams recently began exploring more contemporary environments with his ongoing Dagmar Shaw series. Unlike Gibson, however, Williams depicts a high-stakes milieu more compatible with the techno-thriller genre. Deep State is the second Dagmar Shaw novel and quite frankly needs to be read after the first book, This Is Not A Game. There's a background in the first that plays out in the second.
Dagmar owns Great Big Idea, a company t...more
John Carter McKnight
Williams should be the most famous thriller writer in the world right now, with his novel about both popular uprisings in Islamic countries and gamification. Simple premise: what if the US government hired an alternate-reality games designer to astroturf a revolution? What could possibly go wrong?

Deep State is thriller writing at its finest: tight, fast-paced, suspenseful, clever, with strongly sketched characters. Taking Hitchcock's advice, Williams introduces his one implausible thing up front...more

If I had started reading this book the same week the uprisings started in Egypt, I would have had a hard time distinguishing between the news and this novel. Mr. Williams should be glad this was published prior to the spreading unrest, lest he be charged with mere conspiracy mongering.

I am not one who especially likes series with a recurring hero/heroine, but Dagmar Shaw is pleasantly believable: flawed without being overwrought and angst-ridden, capable without being a Mary Sue, concerned about

Lis Carey
Dagmar Shaw is running an Augmented Reality Game, an ARG, in Turkey to promote the latest James Bond film, Stunrunner. She's not happy about being in Turkey, where a military junta has recently seized power, because she's had some seriously unpleasant experiences with military governments in the past, but, really, what can go wrong? Turkey is benefiting from the positive PR and the increase in tourism, and the generals are very pleased by that. Her company, Great Big Idea, is being very well pai...more
This was book 2 in the Dagmar series. Reading book one is a must.

This read a bit like a travelogue and history of Turkey which I thought straddled the line between interesting and annoying. It was interesting in that I knew the author visited Turkey quite some time back and blogged about it. It was annoying in that it made aspects of the story read like an organized bus tour. “And on your right, Ataturk Park….”

Now the reality of the political aspects of the book were a bit scary - the use of soc...more
Walter Jon williams is the cure for the sci-fi complexity that sometimes plagues the genre. Don't get me wrong I like the pure science writing as much as anyone, but sometimes I want a good mix of science and action. Here we have that great mix.

This is the second novel in the Dagmar series. With what Dagmar went through in the last book I wondered how much more the author could throw at a person with out breaking. This is the crux of the whole story. Dagmar dealing with issues from the last nov...more
This was pretty similar to the first book, enough that I didn't enjoy it as much. I mean, of course you want a sequel to be similar, but you still want it to be surprising. There were some surprises in this book, and the characters and writing were as good as the first, but the story was, I felt, a little *too* similar to the first. Still enjoyable, but not to the same extent as This Is Not a Game
Steven Cole
This is the second book in Williams' stories of Dagmar Shaw, game designer.

I've got to admit to a love of game designer protagonists, for sure, as that's where my own career started... Dagmar Shaw designs experiences known as Augmented Reality Games (ARGs), where the "game" contacts players through real-world systems (like email and phones, realistic looking websites, and even things like billboards for those in the know).

Williams conjectures that such a game will cause a kind of "group mind" t...more

Dagmar Shaw is a game designer, but her games are way more interesting than any MMORPG that exists today. I never entirely came to grips with what Alternate Reality Games actually entail, but it has players follow a story, interpret clues online, and it sometimes has real-world connections. The story opens with Dagmar Shaw designing a James Bond movie tin-in game that sees some players going to Turkey to actually follow some of the action in real life, while tens of thousands of others follow th...more
Joe Robles
A revolution in a middle eastern country helped by the Internet. You know, science fiction. Love the character of Dagmar, and how she was affected by the events of the first book. Too often authors leave their characters with little to no emotional baggage. As if the deaths of friends, and their own near death experiences, leave them untouched. Most authors would include a line or two about missing their friends, but Walter Jon Williams gives Dagmar PTSD. Every decision she makes in this book is...more
Like the first book in the Dagmar series (This is Not a Game), and like some of William Gibson's recent stuff, this is not so much science fiction as technothriller - our present-day world, or maybe one a couple of years in the future, already being so technological that it's like a science fiction setting.

I don't usually read thrillers, so I don't know what they're like, but I suspect that the protagonists usually feel more on top of things than the unfortunate Dagmar. Out of her depth, lacking...more
This was a fast read featuring the main character from This is not a Game. I read that book quite a while ago, so not only did I struggle to remember relevant details, but I actually got my wires crossed with Reamde and Moxyland characters. A personal problem that I hope won't affect other readers. The plot, citizens rising up in revolution against dictators, was pretty topical given the recent Arab Spring events, and made me see all of that in a different light, or at least in the light of vari...more
In This Is Not A Game , Walter Jon Williams introduced readers to Dagmar Shaw, the head of Great Big Idea, a fictional company dedicated to producing and directing alternate-reality-games, or ARG, for short. Ms. Shaw returns in Deep State, and Walter Jon Williams spins another tale of intrigue, though one decidedly less interesting than the first outing.

Synopsis for Deep State :

By day Dagmar Shaw orchestrates vast games with millions of players spanning continents. By night, she tries to forget
Jul 13, 2011 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Players of games
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
I found this sequel to This Is Not A Game a little hard to get into, even though I'd read the first one fairly recently... even with that boost, it took me awhile to get back up to speed. So be warned; familiarity with the milieu is assumed. However, once events get rolling, they really get rolling—it may not look like it at first, but Williams knows how to write a taut thriller.

Dagmar Shaw, CEO and prime mover for Great Big Idea, the firm that brought augmented reality games (ARGs) to mass appe...more
Michael Hirsch
Why is it that almost every book I've really liked lately are about computer and role playing games in some way? It's particularly funny because I don't like computer games or RPGs. I guess I like them in abstract, I've just never found one that I enjoyed in reality.

Anyway, this one is about Dagmar, a women who produced Alternate Reality Games--games that take place in the real world. She lays out clues and hires actors to play a few roles, but the rest of the game is played by the players who h...more
Another fun read, featuring Alternative Reality Game (ARG) creator, Dagmar, and her team. This is the second in the series, and is best read after the first, This Is Not A Game, although not required, it will add to your understanding and enjoyment. Very interesting to contrast what is going on in this story, where an ARG staged on location with ARG tourists and remote participants searching for clues in Turkey acts as a compelling promotion for a new James Bond thriller, leading to follow-on ac...more
May 27, 2011 Gretchen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gretchen by: Carl Rigney
I don't think this book would make a lot of sense without having first read This Is Not a Game, but it's a very satisfying sequel. I liked This Is Not a Game better in many ways because of its tighter focus on ARGs and the interesting implications of the Group Mind. However, one major strength of Deep State was that events which occurred in the first book still had ongoing impact as more than merely plot points; so many books with action have characters that just shrug off the trauma and move on...more
The idea that Internet memes could influence a dissatisfied populace to demonstrate, riot, and then overthrow their government is a powerful one. The idea that another government could use these to induce revolution is also interesting and plausible. You can see why totalitarian regimes resist the internet and social networking.

Williams explores all of these ideas in Deep State. I was a huge fan of the first book in this series, This Is Not A Game, because I loved how it blended physical and vir...more
Joel Finkle
Better than "This Is Not a Game," this sequel hits all the marks of spy thriller, computer hacking (without the angst of cyberpunk), puzzle-based mystery, and more. It's a good companion to books of Charles Stross (Rule 34) and Neal Stephenson (Reamde), with near-future SF, spy games and a well-run con. I only wish I was more of a crossword puzzle geek, there are several chapters with subheads that are cryptic crossword clues such as "Deranged Scot Sum Ammounts to Local Habits."
Stuart Reid
If you liked "This Is Not A Game" then you'll *maybe* like this. Most of the characters from the first book return, but this time Dagmar is head of Great Big Idea and she's running an ARG in Turkey - first to promote the new James Bond movie, but then helping one of her former players and the CIA overthrow the military dictatorship.

Maybe this book lacks the pacing of the first, and maybe the whole coverage of the "events" she stages in the Turkish revolution get a bit tiring, but still, all in a...more
Laz the Sailor
This is a sequel to This Is Not a Game, and you would expect, the tech foundations are more mature and the character development is a bit deeper than in the first book. Still, it's a logical extension to Dagmar's team of "game writers" who combine online social media with flash mobs and scavenger hunts to actually influence real-world politics. By selecting Turkey as the nation in turmoil, WJW gets to play with all the Middle Eastern politics, add in Slavic confusion, and the US and British spy...more
This novel is closer to the book I wanted This Is Not a Game to be, and very relevant to today's headlines about social-media enabled unrest, but could have used more insight about open source warfare from John Robb's excellent nonfiction Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalization, and a better understanding of network protocols. But it was still enjoyable and thought-provoking.
Akemi Joy
I didn't enjoy it as much as This Is Not a Game. I think it was a good sequel. I don't think I liked that it got more "real" than the first one. I still want to get to know Dagmar better and see what happens to her.

Not sure if it was intentional, but I felt a lot more paranoid while reading this. It kept me on my toes trying to think about who Dagmar could and should trust and what things and people were actually not what they seemed. I felt kind of creeped out... but in a good way... I think.
Yup, another good one, can't wait to get into the next! It's rare to find a good intelligent sci if series with a female protagonist, it doesn't scream about it, it doesn't squish in pointless sex scenes, Dagmar is cool, Dagmar is a woman.
Good thrillers should operate on the borders of possibility, the danger of that is at times and author can veer over the line in the wrong direction...

Deep State, is for the most part a decent sequel to a better book (this is not a game), with the returning female lead of that book, dagmar, returning and using her skills to run ARG games to destabilise "rogue states". Along the way there's death, mayhem and the odd strange Scottish rock star.

The main problem that I have with this title are that...more
Another solid tech-savvy (but not really sci-fi) thriller, a sequel of sorts to This is Not a Game. Both books are highly readable, and - if you have a passing knowledge of the technology described - fairly light and fun. Once again, Dagmar Shaw is a resourceful and enjoyable heroine. With the "Arab Spring" in the news headlines, this book feels "of the moment" (though it seems to take place a year or so from now, 2013 at least), as it deals with internet technology assisting in the overthrow of...more
Cupof Tea
Great, suspenseful story starring Dagmar Shaw. She sees herself as the helpless Bond girl who dies in the first half of the film. Although she is amazingly talented at manipulating information and mobilizing the Group Mind to solve personal puzzles, she finds herself over her head over and over again. This time, she gets hired to "astroturf" Turkey after a military junta takes over the country; making it look like the revolution is grassroots, spontaneous action and showing how antiquated the ge...more
Despite liking the first book in this series, I just couldn't get into this one. I just didn't care about the setup, couldn't get into the storyline.
As with the first of the series, this book could fit in the genre with Clancy or Grisham; Classified as Science Fiction presumably because Williams is a SF writer. This second book isn't as good as the first one, but still fairs well--perhaps 3.5.

In places it seemed forced. In places it seemed a little too convenient. Overall thought, it kept moving at a good pace, and was entertaining.

Parts were a bit technical. Not sure a non-tech would enjoy the amount it had. That is, he was building the sto...more
Full review here:

While not as infectious as This Is Not A Game, it's still a lot of fun.
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Walter Jon Williams has published twenty novels and short fiction collections. Most are science fiction or fantasy -Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Aristoi, Metropolitan, City on Fire to name just a few - a few are historical adventures, and the most recent, The Rift, is a disaster novel in which "I just basically pound a part of the planet down to bedrock." And that's just the opening chapters...more
More about Walter Jon Williams...
Destiny's Way (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #14) Hardwired (Hardwired, #1) Ylesia (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #14.5) This Is Not a Game (Dagmar, #1) The Praxis (Dread Empire's Fall, #1)

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