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Gamechanger

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Neuromancer meets Star Trek in Gamechanger, a fantastic new book from award-winning author L. X. Beckett.

First there was the Setback. Then came the Clawback. Now humanity thrives.

Rubi Whiting is a member of the Bounceback Generation. The first to be raised free of the troubles of the late twenty-first century. Now she works as a public defender to help troubled individuals
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Hardcover, 576 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  119 ratings  ·  38 reviews


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Suddenly Life
Nov 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
After the first few pages (following the long prologue) I imagined the author to be a boomer (a person in his late 40s to early 60s) trying to write a book that would appeal to millenials. The more I kept reading, excruciatingly I might add, the more that image became cemented in my mind. It's as if the author doesn't understand this culture and has written a completely detached and deeply flawed analysis of it.

First of all, a writer that adds sound effects (boom, bang, crunch, screeeeeeeech [I
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Paul
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gamechanger at its heart is a mystery of one entity that has cracked the code and become a thorn in the side of society’s new regs. The novel is an exploration of the relative near-future. It is scary, exciting, and a look through your fingers as you cover your eyes.

The worldbuilding is tremendous. Immersive and mindbending, but somehow totally realistic. To be honest though, it took me awhile to read this one. It was hard at times to get back into the future speak. It’s not a world that is easy
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Sarah
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
2.5 stars rounded up?

This is not the worst book I’ve read this year- but I have to say, it’s probably the most unsatisfying.

We’re given all these awesome ideas- immediate and public social justice, a world that seems relatively free of judgement concerning race and gender, cool tech, small jobs and volunteer work on the fly, virtual assistant AI, gaming.. the list goes on.

I mean really- the world building in Gamechanger is almost as impressive as a personal favorite of mine: Too Like the
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Tante
Oct 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
One of those books I give up on after a while.

I liked -bits- of it, but... Well, usually I'm 'ok' with character names and whatnot, but this one just kept throwing names at me and introducing people (or non-people) once and then just assuming I knew immediately who was who and which was which. It got frustrating quickly and since the story was interesting but didn't fully grab and drag me along by the collar, I let this one go.
To go with the style in the book: #shrugemoji?
Carien
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book takes you on a wild emotional ride while challenging your views on what humanity actually is.
Jon Tyler
Oct 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike Stolfi
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I stopped about a third through, no really compelling characters & the kind of tech fetishism that annoys me when reading copies of Wired.
Paula Lyle
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, 2019
Made it through chapter 23, but gave up. There are just too many words that don't really add to the story. #, @, TM, all avatars from the "future" (not really sure that's true), but just clutter in the story. Too much flash, not enough actual.
Sara Norja
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from the author.

What a fascinating world L. X. Beckett has built here! I loved that the narrative focused on a future where huge steps have been taken towards a more sustainable way of life, but it was in no way a utopia. I wouldn't want to live in the future where there's so little real food and half one's life is spent in the Sensorium, but it was great to read about.

I'm not really into gaming myself, so often narratives that centre games and VR don't grab me.
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kari
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for a review.

This book really is a gamechanger. It redefines cyberpunk and offers a sustainable alternative to the grim, dark, corporate-owned settings while it never sugarcoats its failings. A clever, complex story set in a fast-paced yet humane world, it was a delight to read.
Johan
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I really wanted to enjoy this book, but in the end it just didn't grab me. The setting had all the right ingredients: a post #climatefail future where mankind is still squabbling and unable to pool their resources enough to #bounceback - our main character, Rubi, is having trouble getting face to face with a legal client. The reason might be an emerging AI, or is it?
Climate fiction, a setting where humans seem to have merged their "surface" (real world) and "VR/sensory" (online) worlds, the race
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Jeremy Brett
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to acquire an ARC of this wonderful book, and I feel blessed at my fortune at getting to read it before everyone else. :) "Gamechanger" is a wonderfully thoughtful novel, deep with both concern for our future and with optimism that we might overcome the challenges before us and make a more acceptable, equitable society. Beckett draws a series of complex characters who realistically engage with an equally well-constructed post-soft apocalyptic world, that feels so very real and ...more
deep
Jun 08, 2019 marked it as to-read
PW Starred: As this exuberant, exciting near-future yarn keeps reinventing itself, the action gets wilder and the scope wider, until the future of humankind is at stake. Though the Clawback project is beginning to rejuvenate an ecologically ruined Earth, public responsibilities are still unsettled and fluid. Cherub “Rubi” Whiting, a popular star of elaborate multiplayer virtual reality games, is excited to become a lawyer, but her first client, Luciano Pox, turns out to be difficult—and ...more
Chris
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
*ARC received*

Gamechanger is the debut novel of L.X. Beckett. It focuses on Rubi Whiting, some time professional gamer, part-time lawyer, as she investigates events around one of her clients, the mysterious and troubled Luce, in a world that is pulling back from the bring of ecological catastrophe.
If you’ve not got the time to read any more, and want to know whether the story is any good: yes! It’s an interesting narrative, wrapped in a detailed, plausible, compelling world, with some character
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V. West
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love the world L.X. Beckett has created! Hope for the future of humanity through the tech that is currently thought to be destroying society. Thumbs up for this take!
Peter
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Decades after the climate crisis reached a head and killed far too many people, things are finally starting to get better again... thanks to universal rationing and reputation-based economy where those who aren't civic-minded get punished. You may not physically travel much but you can still interact with people all over the world, sometimes as though you are in the same room. Reproduction might be limited, but children are cherished and large families form to support them. But there are still ...more
Brad
Nov 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Oof. Where to start.

I really wanted to like this book. It purported itself as a post climate crisis "bounceback" society trying to fix itself. Instead, I got nearly 600 pages of Mary Sue Extraordinaire Rubi Whiting, the lawyer/pro gamer/world renowned climate activist/street fighter/friend of world leaders/AI expert/anything else she needs to be tromping through multiple realms of meatspace and the internet I mean "Sensorium." Gamechanger suffers from the classic high school writing assignment
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Nancy Cook  Lauer
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4/5. I love books that create a whole new societal structure and show how it would work once you add people with all their foibles and follies. This story took some time getting into, but once I was immersed, I needed all 567 pages. A gaming background adds greatly to the comprehension of this groundbreaking book.

Imagine a society that's truly social-networked. Where people give each other "strokes," when they behave in a socially acceptable manner, and "strikes," when they don't. One's social
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Doctor Science
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very solid hope/solarpunk set in 2101. It's about: generational change from the Setback generations (that's us), who destroyed the world, to the Clawback, and now to the Bounceback generation, people born c. 2070+ who are still working on saving the world, but want to have *fun* doing it.

It reminds me of Snow Crash and of Stand on Zanzibar, in presenting a near-future that is very much an extension of the current world -- which may mean it will date pretty badly. But it's got social media and
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Julia
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, audiobook, adult
I was at CanCon recently and was at two panels that LX Beckett moderated. They are a delight to listen to, and I knew instantly that I needed their book.

I picked up the audiobook, but a part of me wonders if this book might be better served reading it with eyeballs as opposed to ears. This is not a complaint on the narrator - they did an amazing job, especially with all the hashtags, and internet lingo. But their is a significant amount of world building happening here, taking our current teck
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Morgan McGuire
DNF, I stopped around chapter 4.

The sci-fi world is good, reminiscent of Ready Player One, Elysium, and Judge Dredd rolled into one, and ready for interesting stories. There's a mixture of augmented reality, virtual reality, internet stuff, and near-dystopian setups.

I found the style hard to read for two reasons. First, characters frequently react to situations before the situations are themselves described. For example, there will be a previously undescribed character in a room. It feels like
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Allison Denny
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I had some ups and downs with this. A lot of the language used feels almost too clever -- is this actually how we'll talk in 75 someodd years? I also had a hard time with my own reaction to the tech and the subsequent changes in society and in human life.

On a purely fictional level, the benevolent technological helpmeet you see in so many SF stories (Computer in Star Trek, for example) seems really cool and I would love to have one. On a practical level, I have a lot of paranoia about living
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Elvin
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gamechanger is an absolute treat to read- the thoroughness with which the author answers, "What if the world ends, and we figure out a new way to survive?" is very satisfying. I stayed up all night to finish it, and I cannot wait for the sequel so I can get back into this universe!

The book switches between different character perspectives, and the differences can be jarring- I'd hate to try to listen to this book on audio-book, honestly, as I think it'd be very difficult to follow. However, as
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Dan Trefethen
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
DNF. While I liked the concept, the endless exposition of the post-crash society dragged, and the split POV among the characters didn't work for me. I got to page 178 of this 576 page book and realized I wasn't enjoying it, and didn't engage with the characters. Because the characters mostly live in a virtual reality, the action stopped every time a character switched VR venues for an extended description of that venue.

Maybe this would work as a film where you could see the VR venues without
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Wendy
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Fantastic, deep, interesting worldbuilding makes this a stunning achievement.

Alas, it was a struggle to finish.

It was too slow for me and I never really bonded with any of the characters enough to muster the energy to sift for plot.

I think for readers who adore dense and clever creations that feel real and possible, this may be just the ticket. I’d recommend it—even if I didn’t fall for its charms.
Michael
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this! 5 stars got the sheer fun of this book! It took a little work, which I always appreciate in a book, to get into the density of the world-building that was going on. I suspect I’ll notice more details on the re-read.
Really, there’s so much that I liked, it’s hard to just start listing aspects. The overview of extrapolated tech integrated into a non-Utopian yet pretty good global society was well-portrayed.
Chris Smrke
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite the game changing read

This has been quite the journey through the book. An excellent story that changes your expectations as it goes. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but found the beginning a little challenging as you are thrown into a vastly different world. Buying in was definitely worth it, and I’d recommend it to anyone that wants a different and sometimes chilling view of where we may end up.
SacBibliophile
extremely interesting premise
VERY dense world, hard to follow as casual audiobook reader (which I usually am),
but I listened all the way through nonetheless
and can see myself returning to the book when I'm in the mood for something which asks more of me than casual attention.

narrator's use of accents was odd and seemed out of place for a world were so much takes place on the net.... seems to me that people would lose A LOT of regional accents in such a world....

Sam
Sep 22, 2019 added it
I haven't rated this book because it wasn't for me. It was however very well written and for some people I'm sure it's an excellent read.

What i didn't like was the setting, it's basically a world that has emphasized everything that is wrong with our current society.

I will read this authors work in the future because as I already said the writing was excellent, I can imagine if the story was something that interested me it would be near the top of my rating list.
Jamie Rich
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gamechanger (Kindle Edition) by L.X. Beckett

A story of delightfully quirky characters!

Set in the not so far future, after the apocalypse and during the next cyclical of good times, we have our novel. No hero is with our flaws aplenty, and the baddies are too. You'll just hafta read it and enjoy!
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L.X. Beckett is a queer science fiction author and editor who lives in Toronto, Ontario. They are the author of “Freezing Rain, a Chance of Falling” a new novella coming soon to the pages of Fantasy and Science Fiction, as well as the upcoming novel Goldilocks Conditions from Tor Books.

L.X. Beckett used to kick trolls out of a Star Trek chat room for the TV channel now known as SyFy. These days
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