“These stories represent both the importance of games and the people that play and create them. They are all labyrinths, the stories and the games, and they act as mazes that we never intend to escape from. Collections are fickle beasts to tame, there is an overwhelming fear that one story will outweigh the rest and spoil the reader, and a greater fear of that one story that may leave a sour taste in your mouth. Press Play to Start is one of the rare collections that keeps the reader hungrier with every passing story. One might question why we even need a collection like this, or if Cline’s like revolution of videogame stories is simply a fad waiting to pass like the Dreamcast. And another would counter that, this collection should not and will not be sectioned off as a mere collection of nerdy stories; it is an utter and visceral look at our humanity, a reflection of us as both Bowser and Mario.” —Stymie [review]
Tag: Press Start to Play
“There’s plenty of variety in this volume, from outright comedy to deeply meaningful stories questioning the economics and ethics of games and the gaming industry. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or an occasional dabbler, you’ll find much enjoyment and even some food for thought between these covers” —Analog Science Fiction & Fact [review]
GameCrate talked to us about PRESS START TO PLAY. My favorite exchange:
GC: So when it came time to decide if it’s “video game” or “videogame,” who threw the first punch?
D: Copyeditors always throw the first, and last, punch.
J: When copyeditors start throwing punches, I always counter the first couple, then I dodge right and press start to throw an uppercut.
That’s right, a Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out! reference! Little Mac FTW.
IGN interviewed Daniel about PRESS START TO PLAY (and related subjects):
IGN Comics: You’re the co-editor of Press Start to Play. What are the origins of this project?
Daniel H. Wilson: My co-editor John Joseph Adams and I had collaborated on an anthology before called Robot Uprising. This time around we wanted to do an experiment. What happens when video games and science fiction collide? So we reached out to our favorite science fiction authors, like Hugh Howey, Andy Weir, Charlie Jane Anders. We also reached out to the people who write the video game narrative that millions of us play, Chris Avellone, Mickey Neilson, Rhianna Pratchett, and Marc Laidlaw. These are the people who wrote Half Life, Tomb Raider, World of Warcraft, the Fallout series. They have written narratives that have reached millions of people, and we wanted to know, what would it look like if they wrote science fiction inspired by video games?
Press Start to Play is now available!
IT’S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS.
You are standing in a room filled with books, faced with a difficult decision. Suddenly, one with a distinctive cover catches your eye. It is a groundbreaking anthology of short stories from award-winning writers and game-industry titans who have embarked on a quest to explore what happens when video games and science fiction collide.
From text-based adventures to first-person shooters, dungeon crawlers to horror games, these twenty-six stories play with our notion of what video games can be—and what they can become—in smart and singular ways. With a foreword from Ernest Cline, bestselling author of Ready Player One,Press Start to Play includes work from: Daniel H. Wilson, Charles Yu, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, S.R. Mastrantone, Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Black, Seanan McGuire, Django Wexler, Nicole Feldringer, Chris Avellone, David Barr Kirtley,T.C. Boyle, Marc Laidlaw, Robin Wasserman, Micky Neilson, Cory Doctorow, Jessica Barber, Chris Kluwe, Marguerite K. Bennett, Rhianna Pratchett, Austin Grossman, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Catherynne M. Valente, Andy Weir, and Hugh Howey.
Your inventory includes keys, a cell phone, and a wallet. What would you like to do?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Foreword—Ernest Cline
- Introduction—John Joseph Adams
- God Mode—Daniel H. Wilson
- NPC—Charles Yu
- Respawn—Hiroshi Sakurazaka (translated by Nathan Collins)
- Desert Walk—S.R. Mastrantone
- Rat Catcher’s Yellows—Charlie Jane Anders
- 1Up—Holly Black
- Survival Horror—Seanan McGuire
- REAL—Django Wexler
- Outliers—Nicole Feldringer
- <end game>—Chris Avellone
- Save Me Plz—David Barr Kirtley (reprint)
- The Relive Box—T.C. Boyle (reprint)
- Roguelike—Marc Laidlaw
- All of the People in Your Party Have Died—Robin Wasserman
- RECOIL!—Micky Neilson
- Anda’s Game—Cory Doctorow (reprint)
- Coma Kings—Jessica Barber (reprint)
- Stats—Marguerite K. Bennett
- Please Continue—Chris Kluwe
- Creation Screen—Rhianna Pratchett
- The Fresh Prince of Gamma World—Austin Grossman
- Gamer’s End—Yoon Ha Lee
- The Clockwork Soldier—Ken Liu (reprint)
- Killswitch—Catherynne M. Valente (reprint)
- Twarrior—Andy Weir
- Select Character—Hugh Howey
BUY THE BOOK
If you’d like to learn more about the book, read stories from the anthology for free online, or read interviews with the authors, visit the website for Press Start to Play at johnjosephadams.com/press-start.
If you’re going to PAX Prime this year, please check out our panel:
PRESS START TO READ: Stories Based on the World of Games
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM | Cerberus Theatre | WSCC Level 3
Video games have always been driven by stories. Granted, some of the earliest stories weren’t terribly sophisticated, but each new generation of games bring us deeper, more complex narratives within our games and stories that unfold just like great works of literature. Join the editors and authors of PRESS START TO PLAY, an anthology of stories inspired by and based on games, for a discussion on the relationship between games, literature, and what authors and developers can learn from each other.
Participants: John Joseph Adams (M), Daniel H. Wilson, Cat Rambo*, Chris Avellone, Django Wexler, Chris Kluwe
Also, we have a signing afterward!
7:30 PM | Autographing Area | Westin Hotel
Participants: John Joseph Adams, Daniel H. Wilson, Chris Avellone, Django Wexler, Chris Kluwe
*Not actually a contributor to the anthology, but awesome nonetheless.
Amazon currently has the trade paperback of PRESS START TO PLAY discounted to less than $8—that’s cheaper than the ebook! I’m not sure how long that discount will last, so grab it while you can! Note: That’s a pre-order—the book comes out August 18.
I don’t normally post updates about GoodReads reviews, but when you get a GoodReads review from Felicia Day…