Presence: Launching My Science Fiction Novel

buy3I'm thrilled to announce the publication of my second book, Presence. It's a novel about the future of Virtual Reality. At the time I began the project, in early 2015, VR was poised for a breakthrough. Sure enough, in 2016 three major new VR headsets came onto the market: Facebook’s Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, and Sony’s Playstation VR. However, we're yet to see an equivalent breakthrough in software. That's why I turned to fiction to explore the future of this amazing technology.

I've looked well beyond the present day in Presence, which is set thirty-five years into the future. In my novel, I imagine what the Facebook of 2051 will look like. My guess is that we'll be doing a lot of our social and business networking inside virtual worlds by then.

“Presence is the magic of virtual reality. It’s the feeling that you are truly someplace else.” Palmer Luckey, inventor of the Oculus Rift, said that at the D.I.C.E. 2014 Summit. In my novel, I set out to explore what our world will be like when true presence has been attained.

Other themes include:

  • What will VR do to our identities, when we can seamlessly jump between the physical and virtual worlds?
  • Will VR and other emerging technologies, such as drones, create a society where privacy is non-existent?
  • If you think the current generation spends too much time online, what will happen to us when we're always "invirt"? (a term I coined for this book).

I had a lot of fun writing Presence, so I hope you check it out! You can purchase a copy now from Amazon.

PRESENCE by Richard MacManus

Your avatar must replicate your physical self.

The year is 2051 and Gats Holloway works for the world’s dominant social network, Doppel. After attending a mixed reality march in Washington DC, protesting against the government’s insidious Drone Defense Network (DDN), Gats makes a shocking discovery. Her best friend Adrian has been shot dead. Determined to find his killer, Gats explores the dark side of Doppel’s virtual world and begins to question the true identity of her friends.

Most disturbingly, she uncovers a link between Adrian’s death and the rise of a worldwide terrorist organization called the Freedom Federation. She must also overcome virtual clones, the DDN’s drone flies and a hacker group called Random. Can Gats navigate the increasingly violent Doppel and bring Adrian’s killer to justice?

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