Gamers and Gods: AES
By Matthew R. Kennedy
Published: November 2014
Genre: Science Fiction
Gamers and Gods is a trilogy about a war between two pantheons for control of mankind.
Book 1 of Gamers and Gods covers the battle of Asklepios (Aes) against the Devourer of Millions (Am-heh).
A demigod fights for Earth’s freedom — in the mind of a computer — as two pantheons fight for the right to guide the future of humans. But can Asklepios — Homer’s “Blameless Physician” — defeat the The Devourer of Millions?
AES is the story of a man who wakes up after 3,000 years to find himself thrust into a fight for the independence of Earth from the control of alien superbeings.
His battle is real and the stakes are real, but he will fight in a simulated battlefield — in the memory of an online gaming computer. He is as real as his comrades, but while they have real-world bodies, his self-driven avatar is all he has — an incarnation as living software. For the mortals who log in to help him, the prize is freedom from the aliens who want to control humanity’s development to further their own power. For Aes himself, the reward for success is his own apotheosis — the right to dwell with the superbeings of Olympus.
His only chance is the help of Darla Kaplan and her gamer friends. In this struggle for the freedom of mankind, the most powerful weapon of all may be the love of a woman for a man who is only a ghost in the machine.
The War is not over. The fight between two pantheons for Earth’s self-determination continues in the second volume of Gamers and Gods. Asklepios, the son of Apollo, known to the Romans as Aesculapius, incarnated in the PanGames computer and prevailed in his Covenant match. Aes has departed, gone to his reward in Olympus, but he left a unique gift behind. Darla, the gamer who helped him earn his apotheosis, has discovered that her *avatar* is pregnant. Machaon, the virtual son of Aes and Darla, will be the one chosen by Zeus to fight for Earth and the Olympians. But can a being who has never lived outside a computer – a being who has been nothing but living software since the moment he was conceived – step up to the challenge? He will have to face the ancient Egyptian terror known as the Destroyer of Rebellions. Also known as She Who Mauls and the Lady of Dread, the goddess Sekhmet is a killer whose strength is legendary. Will Machaon get to have a life before he fights to the death? Love is the most powerful weapon of all, but if he finds love, will it strengthen him…or will it be a forbidden distraction that will subject him to the wrath of the gods?
The conclusion of the War between pantheons. Zeus has bet it all on this one, making the final round winner-take-all. Alexanor, the grandson of Asklepios will battle Set, the god of chaos. Will young Alex be distracted by love, as his father was? Will he find and draw strength from it? How can he possibly defeat Set, who was fighting in Covenant matches before Alex’s grandfather Aes was even born?