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When your reality shatters, what will you do to put it back together again?
Still reeling from the failure of his last project, videogame developer Peter Banuk is working hard to ensure his next game doesn’t meet the same fate. He desperately needs a win, not only to save his struggling company, but to justify the time he’s spent away from his wife and daughters.
So when Peter’s tech-genius partner offers him the chance to beta-test a new state-of-the-art virtual reality headset, he jumps at it. But something goes wrong during the trial, and Peter wakes to find himself trapped in an eerily familiar world where his children no longer exist.
As the lines between the real and virtual worlds begin to blur, Peter is forced to reckon with what truly matters to him. But can he escape his virtual prison before he loses his family forever?
File Under: Science Fiction [ Game Grumps | Whole New Virtual World | Headset Havoc | Lost and Found ]
About the Author
Ron Walters is a former journalist, college registrar, and stay-at-home dad who writes science fiction and fantasy for all ages. A native of Savannah, GA, he currently lives in Germany with his wife, two daughters, and two rescue dogs. When he's not writing he works as a substitute high school teacher, plays video games, and does his best to ignore the judgmental looks his dogs give him for not walking them more often.
"Walters' debut is an exhilarating roller coaster as he masterfully executes the feeling of icy dread, instability, and being unable to reconcile reality with memories."
"If extremely fast-paced, sci-fi tech thrillers are your thing, then Ron Walter's debut, Deep Dive, is a must get. It's Blake Crouch's Dark Matter, filled with Tal Klein's The Punch Escrow, rolled up and lightly dusted with Mythic Quest. This was a tightly crafted, super fun, and original take on the virtual reality rabbit hole, and I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough."
– Chris Panatier, author of The Phlebotomist
“Deep Dive, a fast-paced story about a man who tries out a virtual reality headset and emerges to find his actual reality—and what matters most—has melted away, will keep you turning pages until late into the night. Ron Walters is an author to watch!”
— Kristin Wright, author of The Darkest Flower
"Walters finds gold in the VR trope in this techno thriller about a man who wants to be a better Dad but is no longer sure if his children ever existed. The story is quiet and loud, slow and fast, in all the right places."
- R.W.W. Greene, author of Twenty-Five to Life and The Light Years
“A neat little slice of military-industrial paranoia that messes with reality - both virtual and actual - to good purpose. Liked it a lot.”
— Dave Hutchinson, author of the Fractured Europe sequence and The Return of the Incredible Exploding Man
"Ron Walters’ sci-fi debut, Deep Dive, packs an emotional punch while delivering believable, seamless world-building. For a parent, there’s nothing more cold-sweat-inducing than imagining a world where your kids are erased from existence; just a blip on your mind, and absent from everyone else’s.
But that’s exactly the horror facing Peter, who must find a way to reclaim a life only he seems to remember. A brilliant, quick-paced read."
– Gabriela Houston, author of The Second Bell
"Simultaneously, a heartwarming story of a father on a mission to get back to his family and a twisty technothriller, Deep Dive offers a mindbending peak into the frightening future of VR while asking the question: in a multiverse of possibilities, which reality do you fight to keep? A sci-fi treat!"
- Hayley Stone, author of Machinations
"A blistering, page-turning debut that's equal parts Inception and The Matrix, with a brilliantly heartbreaking concept at its core. You won't be able to put this book down."
— Dan Hanks, author of Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire
“Deep Dive is an imaginative, pulse-pounding sci-fi thriller with a poignantly relatable emotional core. The story is drawn so deftly and believably that I had a few goosebumps moments of ‘What if this could really happen?’ I couldn't read it fast enough!”
— Elly Blake, New York Times bestselling author of the Frostblood Series
"Through a suspenseful, fast-paced plot bursting with wit, humor, and genuine heart, DEEP DIVE explores the very real struggles of creative ambition versus work/life balance. Parents especially will relate to the conundrum between Peter's drive and desires, and his desperate quest to reclaim what matters most. I loved every page of this exciting, heartbreaking book."
– Eva V. Gibson, author of Together We Caught Fire and Where Secrets Lie
"An outstanding debut novel that explores the blurred lines between virtual reality and real life. It gave me Total Recall vibes in the best way. I couldn't put it down!"
– Michael Mammay, author of the Planetside series