The Dueling Machine is the solution to settling disputes without injury. After you and your opponent select weapons and environments you are injected into an artificial reality where you fight to the virtual death… but no one actually gets hurt. That is, until a warrior from the Kerak Empire figures a way to execute real-world killings from within the machine. Now its inventor Dr. Leoh has to prevent his machine from becoming a tool of conquest. – The Dueling Machine, written with Myron R. Lewis, first appeared in the May, 1963 issue of Analog Science Fact & Fiction.
This is a classic sci fi story, dealing with a new technology and its effects on society. In this case, as the blurb says, it's a Dueling Machine, a virtual reality machine where two competitors meet to carry out a "safe" combat. In the virtual world the characters avatars select an environment and weapons and batter each other until one or other avatar dies. Of course the character is fine, just the virtual avatar dies... or do they.
The inventor of the Dueling Machine is called in to sort out the "problem".
It's pretty typical sci fi, and does not suffer it. I was interested in the story and eagerly started up the new episodes.
It's a fairly short novel, coming in only three parts, each over 40 minutes. the reader is one of my faves for sci fi, Gregg Margarite. A smooth voice and a great pacing makes for a cool listen.
Total : 7/9
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Listen to chapter one