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Playback Effect

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  15 reviews
"O wad some Power the giftie gie us/To see oursels as ithers see us!" But what if we could see others as they see themselves?

New technology records the highlights of emotional experience for others to share. Buy a helmet and you can feel the exhilaration of an Olympic ski jumper, or the heat of a lucid dreamer's erotic imaginings. Commit a crime, and you may be sentenced t
Kindle Edition, 265 pages
Published December 9th 2014 by Oblique Angles Press (first published December 8th 2014)
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4.18  · 
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 ·  17 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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ETA: Karen has been in touch with me and we've worked through the formatting issues and addressed the typos. Upping the book rating to 4 stars.

Playback Effect is the fifth book I've read by Karen and it certainly didn't dissapoint. Like her other books, this one has a quite complex and intertwined plot. It also has a bit of legalese in it.

The concept of this story is very interesting. What if we could record our emotional reactions to things and share them with people in a form of personalised v
Awesome Indies Book Awards
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wynne Cantrell sells dreams – not the kind you might think, but actual dreams. Wynne has the ability to record her dreams and then provide them to customers. Her husband Hal Wakeman is a noted sculptor, who unfortunately does not take what Wynne does as art, and often takes her for granted. Late as usual for appointments, when Wynne waits for him at lunch near a fountain he designed, he is not there when a bomb explodes, causing the loss of her hand and the deaths of several people.

At a loss for
S.L. Saboviec
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was fascinated by the idea that the book presents -- that of people being punished by feeling the suffering of their victims. But the book doesn't stop there. Instead, it takes us into the life of a couple who are affected by a tragedy, one of whom is punished for something he didn't do. The idea of punishing innocents is riveting, since we (or at least I) wonder: how can we ever know? Unless the evidence is clear and unequivocal, we can't be sure. The author's works, several of which I've rea ...more
Author Karen Wyle has the knack for taking something only slightly outside our experience and turning it into truly absorbing fiction. What if we could record whole events exactly as experienced by observers? What if we could punish evil by sharing what it did to its victims? What if we could teach through shared events? Or what if we could enjoy other people’s dreams, like viewing their art and reading the books they write?

It’s all very intriguing and convincingly portrayed as the author’s nove
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Punishing the perpetrators of heinous crimes is an ethical struggle that continues to be controversial, even in our advanced social age. In this thrilling page-turner, the reader witnesses a method that uses special recording devices to collect the memories of those injured at the scene of the crime, and these recordings are played back in the mind of the convicted criminal.

But how will this method affect an innocent man accused of the terrorist crime in which his own wife is critically injured?
Sarah Perchikoff
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
What if you could record your dreams? What if you could experience someone else’s dreams? And what if stepping into those dreams was a complete emotional and sensory experience? Would you buy a dream? That is the the premise behind Playback Effect.

People purchase dreams in order to experience different aspects of human life. Want to know what it’s like to ski but are too uncoordinated? You can experience what’s it’s like without breaking your neck! There are also dreamers who can control their d
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Playback Effect is near future, thoughtful SF about how technology affects humans and whole societies.

The setting is the near future where people have invented the technology to record what other people experience and then play it back and experience it themselves. Feelings can be recorded and one of the main characters is a professional dreamer who records her dreams for others to buy and experience. However, specifics and details aren’t yet recorded.

One of the most interesting ways that this t
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Social media can be called an exhibitionists greatest friend as it makes it so simple to share photos and videos of life. People can look and see what someone is up to and how many wish they could share in those emotions. You see someone posting about a trip of a lifetime, a risky pastime, or a great meal. Some wish they were there and engaging in those moments. If only there was a way.

Playback Effect by Karen Wyle takes the reader into a not too distant future where such a thing is possible. Pe
Marian Thorpe
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
In Playback Effect, Karen Wyle has created a not-very-distant future in which technology has taken virtual reality down a different path, allowing users to experience emotion – whether exhilaration, fear, pleasure or loss – recorded during actual events, through a special helmet. Protagonist Wynne Cantrell, a lucid dreamer, creates and records dreams for this market, allowing customers to experience her emotions and reactions from her purposeful dreams.

When Wynne is a victim of a bomb, planted i
Don Sloan
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The sale of vivid dreams has become a reality in this high-test legal / sci-fi thriller from author Karen Wyle. Purchase a high-tech helmet and you can feel the carnal pleasures of someone's guilty liaison -- or experience an agonizing death. It's up to you.

Unless, of course, you've committed a crime, as Harold "Hal" Wakeman has been accused of doing. Authorities allege he planted a powerful bomb inside a fountain sculpture that he designed. The resulting explosion killed or injured dozens -- in
J C Steel
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for Readers' Favorite.

Karen A. Wyle’s Playback Effect offers a new and unique slant on the world of virtual reality, one where a minority of lucid dreamers and a number of professional athletes, actors and stuntspeople record their experiences for others to buy and experience for themselves. Wynne Cantrell is one of the most successful lucid dreamers, offering a gamut of dream experiences from BDSM to butterfly gardens. Her husband, Hal Wakeman, a renowned sculptor, is frequently absent
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to L. by: Author provided a copy for review
**This copy was given to me for review only" I was astounded when I read this book. The premise is so different than any other book I have read. The author intertwines, love, deceit, and evil with a bit of a futuristic plot. Ms. Wyle kept me on the edge of my seat and I found it hard to stop reading. Her characters are very different and well thought-out. Her writing style is good as she transitions from one setting to another. The characters? You either love them or hate them, but you will defi ...more
Rachel Cotterill
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wyle presents us with a compelling imagining of the near-future, in which dreams and experiences can be recorded and replayed. Some, like Wynne, make a living by recording dreamscapes; in the criminal justice system, playback of a victim's experience is considered a fair punishment for a convicted criminal. Against this backdrop, a brutal killer is using the system for his own ends.
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
The interplay between technology and psychology makes this take on experience recording sci-fi feel fresh, with characters I can believe and a solid serial killer plot.
Patrick Tylee
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Mar 18, 2015
Danielle Evans
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Karen A. Wyle is the author of multiple science fiction novels, including The Twin-Bred Series: Books 1-3; near-future novels Division, Playback Effect, and Who: a novel of the near future; and YA near-future novel The Link. Her first novel outside the SF category was the afterlife fantasy/family drama Wander Home. Most recently, she has made a foray into historical romance with her novel What Hea ...more