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Francesco Augustine Bernadone: A Brief History of Our Tomorrows (Love and Fear: The Future is Bucharest Book 1)
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Francesco Augustine Bernadone: A Brief History of Our Tomorrows (Love and Fear: The Future is Bucharest Book 1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In 2026, hundreds of millions of gamers hustle in an epic, virtual reality to win real cash prizes. Zombies, ruthless players, scarce resources and menacing artificial intelligence are just a few of the challenges in ‘Jacob's Trouble’, where less than one in a thousand manage to level up, grind for gear and avoid permadeath in order to loot hidden treasures and find life-c ...more
Kindle Edition, 124 pages
Published May 15th 2017
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4.18  · 
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 ·  28 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Gamers, is this your reality? How you see the world after hours of online gaming that blurs reality and fantasy? Or is it the virtual reality of the future? In a not too distant future, gamers globally compete for real cash prizes. In a game to beat all games, the odds of winning are approximately one in one thousand and the stakes are high a virtual world that could be life-changing for a real person. For Francesco, forced into retirement as a janitor, a non-gamer, and in desperate need of a mi ...more
M Crabbe
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a fast-paced and complex novella that is the start of a promising Lit-RPG series.
The story can be summarized as an introduction to the story’s protagonists, antagonists, and does a good job at presenting the stakes.
Roberto is an autistic kid with a terminal mother who begins his journey on the Massive Social Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MSMORPG/ MSMO) Jacob’s Trouble.
Francesco is a recently unemployed janitor from Rome who won a super computer with a subscription to Jacob’s Trou
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not at All What I Expected!

Read as part of the #30days30authors challenge.

This fast-paced novella is not at all what it originally appears. I haven't read a lot of LitRPG, and what I have usually was either an 80s movie or it was written by Andre Norton for D&D. This story asks the question: what if life were a game like Second Life, only it was played like Call of Duty? With zombies?

You would expect a slaughterfest, and it certainly was exciting, except that there is a much deeper story h
Jessa Julian
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow! I was really impressed by how much was explained and developed in so few pages! But, because this is a Saturday Short, I will focus only on my three favorite pieces.

1. I am freaking in love with Francesco, which may be weird, because he's an old, married man, but oh well. I'm not looking for loving, I just adore the idea of an MC who is so very much in love with his wife that he is willing to put himself in harm's way if there is even a chance of saving her.

2. As previously stated, Faryna d
Judith Rook
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it

In Literature Role Playing Game (LitRPG) narratives, events often take precedence over characterisation. Exciting adventures and conflict are the main point of the presentation, and the personality of the actors takes second place. This can make for a less than satisfactory reading experience, and perhaps video games should stay where they belong, on smart phones and PCs, and not try to emerge into the world of books.

However, in the intriguingly titled “Francesco Augustin
Brian Tubbs
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Absorbing, but...

This book is absorbing! It's hard to categorize, but fits somewhere between horror, cyberpunk, and LitRPG. It effectively explores themes of love, sacrifice, fear, and hope.

The author does a great job in creating a highly immersive dystopian world and drawing you into it. And then, before you know it, you're plugged into an online game world as well. And he does a great job there as well. Both worlds - the dystopian world in which the characters live and breathe as well as the M
Heidi Angell
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
So this is only my second foray into LitRPG as a reading adventure. And it was definitely different from Conquest. However, there were quite a few similar themes that I think might change the view a lot of non-gamers might have of gamers. Both of these stories have a lot of similar themes. The duality of good and evil in everyday people, the power of love, and the concept of how some people may get lost in video games while others find a higher power.

This definitely had a much heavier focus on
Julie Baswell
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
In 2025, the world is different. All classes of money have become obsolete. UNITS have become the world currency, and not easy to come by. With jobs becoming harder to find, or keep, the majority are making a good living playing a popular virtual reality online video game called Jacob’s Trouble. Like many others, Francesco is desperate, needing many UNITS for his wife’s cancer treatment. After he wins a super computer from the lottery, he tries to sell it but to no avail. So, his only other opti ...more
K.J. Simmill
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
The world as it once was is no more. Currency is a thing of the past, prices have skyrocket, and the best way to earn units in a world where three jobs would barely keep you afloat is through a game. Collecting loot to exchange for real life counterparts. It is the hope people need. They immerse themselves in a post-apocalyptic world, and by doing so may even fail to notice the true horror of their current one. Francesco is one such man, new to the scene he hopes to farm for the units needed to ...more
Cynthia Terrones
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing

This book was somewhat different than I normally read, but I was asked to check out this book by the Author and I'm so glad that I did. I really did enjoy this book and by the end of the "Prologue" I was hooked. Penny and her son Roberto were good, but the story was the best with the start of Francesco and he is my favorite character so far in this book and what I hope to be a great series. In a time when the Virtual World means more than the
D.L. Gardner
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A novella in the most thought-provoking way. Rarely do we find motivation for deep thinking anymore, and yet our world is starving for it. Having touched the waters of filmmaking in Virtual Realty, and coming in contact with critics of that media, I find this story indeed frightening and so close to home. Not that the pleasure of VR isn't mesmerizing. Indeed, but so is the devil's den. Video games were innocent at the beginning with Mario jumping for coins to save a princess. Look how dark they' ...more
Greg Alldredge
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wanted more!
Francesco Augustine Bernadone: A Brief History of Our Tomorrows (Love and Fear: The Future is Bucharest Book 1) is an interesting take on how the future world might turn out. At times, the dark future is easy to see coming into being. The plot moves along quickly and I noticed many innovative descriptions of the dark future world.

I hate reviews that spoil the story so I will not do it here. I am however reminded of books I have enjoyed in the past: Notably those by William Gibson,
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Francesco Augustine Bernadone: A Brief History of Our Tomorrows” is an intriguing and entertaining first installment in Stan Faryna’s “Love and Fear: The Future is Bucharest” series.

For fans of Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One,” this dystopian tale imagines a future where a virtual reality game has real-world consequences for the downtrodden citizens of a world suffering from economic collapse. The story follows an unemployed janitor as he enters the cyber world to secure a revolutionary treatm
Jeff Neff
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you're a gamer, it's a must read!

I enjoyed reading this book based in Rome. It's set in the future where the unemployment rate is 66%. Times are hard but there is an escape in Jacob's trouble, virtual reality game that has its own industrial complex. I can see the future heading this way as real world items are given codes to be accessed in the game. Along with the plot, the book itself has a nice message to it: love never fails. Francesco is a thoughtful character reminds the little things a
Amanda Evans
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I seem to be reading a lot of dystopian novels lately and this one was a joy. It’s not very long at just 124 pages but the story is captivating and a lovely read. The story centres around a video game and the main characters bid to win in order to pay for life saving treatment for his wife. The characters are well written and the plot is strong throughout. The love and desperation portrayed in the story is excellent and it poses the question, how far would you be willing to go for the one you lo ...more
Richard Crofton
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful interpretation of the way things could turn out in our near future, with the explosion of cryptocurrency and gaming into our world! I love the concept in this story that the endurance of the human spirit is still present in society, if only just a whisper in this dystopia. A little too unresolved with the story arc of the autistic young man (Roberto I think), and the end itself seems rather abrupt. I understand that there is meant to be future installments, but it seemed to end in a ...more
Daryl Ball
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a different style for me to read but it was highly enjoyable. It's a short that gives us a first glimpse of a future not far off. It focuses on what the world is like and why many want to escape into the world of a video game but also do so to make more money. The main character Francesco is compelling and you find yourself caught up in his struggles and his emotions. For a story based in a video game, it is the striking world Francesco lives in and why he enters the game at all in his ...more
Apollos Thorne
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great pace, brutal and fascinating! Stan Faryna creates a near future dystopian world where the most you can hope for is to play an online virtual reality game; a game where murder and deception are considered a virtue. There is a fortune to be made for those cruel or lucky enough to find it.

This is a dark tale but the light is daring to poke its head out and challenge the status quo.

The only draw back is this is only beginning of the story. Looking forward to it!
Shakyra Dunn
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Depth and Perception

It's not often that I get to read a novella that pulls me in right from the start. The character motivations, the blending of LitRPG and pop culture as a gamer myself, and particularly the caricatures of good and evil, love and fear, were phenomenally executed.
Michelle Murray
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was ok

This story confused me. It jumped around a lot. I would have liked more about the disabled son.
Fran was interesting and I would have liked more about him as well.
It was all just too quick and jarring.
Books & Quills Magazine
"The author earns all four stars in the storyline itself. I have no complaints about the storyline either. In most aspects this is a five star read. Where Faryna falls short is the ending." -C.A. King

Read the full review here:
D.L. Gardner
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stan Faryna has a unique style and extremely interesting concept which he is pursuing in this series. Can't wait to find out where he goes with it.
C.A. King
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read my full review in Books & Quills Magazine
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