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AlterWorld (Play to Live #1)
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Author Promo (Share Your Stuff!) > Play to Live, a new MMORPG series by bestselling Russian SF author D. Rus

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Smilla's Sister (smillassister) | 7 comments Hi guys,

This isn't strictly "self-published" but the bestselling Russian SF author D. Rus has just published the English versions of the two first books of his Play to Live series independently on Amazon, so I suppose in this sense he is self-published.

The first book of the series, AlterWorld, goes free on Amazon today so grab your complimentary copy and tell us what you think!

A new pandemic - the perma effect - has taken over Earth of the near future. Whenever you play your favorite online game, beware: your mind might merge with the virtual world and dump its comatose host. Woe be to those stuck forever in Tetris! And still they're the lucky ones compared to those burning alive eternally within the scorched hulls of tank simulators.

But some unfortunates - the handicapped and the terminally ill, shell-shocked army vets, wronged crime victims and other society misfits - choose to flee real life willingly, escaping to the limitless world of online sword and sorcery MMORPGs.

Once a seasoned gamer and now a terminal cancer patient, Max grasps at this final chance to preserve his life and identity. So he goes for it - goes for the promise of immortality shared with a few trusty friends and the woman he loves. Together they roam the roads of AlterWorld and sample its agony and ecstasy born of absolute freedom.

Quoting the author's official bio:

D. Rus is a young Russian author whose books took the Russian literary market by storm in 2013. AlterWorld - the first novel of his Play to Live series - made him a bestselling author overnight as critics now credit him with single-handedly creating a new science fiction genre: LitRPG.

Set in the virtual reality of MMORPG - Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games - his books tell stories of real people who'd become stuck in the game and are forced to follow its rules while preserving their intergrity and fighting to make their new world a better place.

The five books of the series have created a huge following as more authors followed suit, making LitRPG the latest bestselling Russian genre that merges science fiction, fantasy and gaming conventions. D. Rus has been nominated for Start, one of Russia's prestigious literary prizes for the best debut science fiction novel.

The first two novels of the Play to Live series - AlterWorld and The Clan - have been translated into English, and talks are under way to have the rest of the series published on Amazon.

Alex Bobl (alex_bobl) | 132 comments Hello everyone,

Another MMORPG-based series: The Way of the Shaman by V. Mahanenko. Similar to Ready Player One or Play to Live by D. Rus

message 3: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Fascinating.

I'll have to check these out, they sound pretty cool. It's a little weird that they're crediting the author of AlterWorld with creating a new genre, though - the "trapped in a RPG" thing has been done for years. Is there something that distinguishes these books from similar stuff?

The oldest one I can think of is probably Wyrm, but there might be even earlier stuff. More recently, .HACK, Heir Apparent, Sword Art Online, and Log Horizon all sound like they'd fit the description of the genre.

Smilla's Sister (smillassister) | 7 comments You're right, Andrew. What they meant I think is that the name itself, LitRPG, was coined in Russia. Also, it was the first country in the world where the genre was officially recognized by the traditional publishing community.

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