Tuesday, March 13, 2012

VRIN - John Michael Hileman

Welcome back, John! I loved Messages so much that I had to go looking at what else you have out there. VRIN was a wonderful find. I'm so glad that you've brought it back so more people can enjoy the world you created within its pages.


Jason Tardin is trapped within a virtual world. He is sure of this- because he has seen the program.

But if this is a computer generated world, how can he reconcile the complexity of its strange inhabitants, people capable of frustration, joy, and pain? Are they computer simulations- or more? 

And what about the power which allows him to create or control whatever he wishes? Is he a god, as the people of Vrin believe? Caught up in the politics of this mysterious world, haunted by a conversation with scientists on the outside, and stalked by a mad god, Jason Tardin must unravel the mystery to save a world- that is not his own. Woven with rich characters, and inextricably filled with secrets about dreams and the afterlife, ten mortal gods is a glimpse into the complex nature of human suffering, and the inescapable reality of eternal truth. 


At the edge of lawn a line of trees danced in the wind. As I stood staring at them a strange feeling washed over me. As if I were a part of the dance. I began swaying back and forth to their slow rhythm. And the wind grew stronger. Nature itself was moving to the beat of my heart and the world was alive around me. I could feel its power soaking into my skin and permeating my senses.

I longed to be walking along the path which twisted away just beyond the flower beds when suddenly a burst of energy coursed through me and I found myself surrounded by thin blue strands. They traveled away from me in every direction. Oddly enough, however, I was not shocked by their presence. Somehow I knew it was my will that had brought them to life, and instinctively I knew their purpose.

Caught up in the chain of events, my body responded to the force of my will, my essence melted into the strand that would bring me to the path, and with a crackle of energy, I found myself standing on the spot I had wanted to be. The wind brushed harder against my face. The sweet smell of flowers filled my nostrils.

I turned and looked back up at the balcony. The strand I had used was still floating in the air. The others had vanished, but this one still had a glow to it.

It seemed Mr. Barrows had been correct, I did possess some sort of power. I wanted to be on the path and the threads had reacted to my will. I looked around. Could I consciously control the threads? I spotted a small rock. Be an egg, I thought. There was no response. I increased my concentration and felt another energy burst. It started from behind my eyes and worked its way down to my hands. I waved my arms back and forth. Although I couldn't see the threads, I knew they were there; my arms tingled as they passed through them. Then all at once the web was alight once again.

I looked down at the rock. Like everything else it got its shape from the blue threads, which acted like an internal skeleton or a wire cage. The colors and textures of the rock were wrapped around this framework. Using the energy emanating from my hands I tried to bend the wire structure. I touched a nearby thread, closed my eyes, and pictured a sphere. Energy left my hands and when I looked down, the rock was completely round. 

The web faded away-- and there I stood, smiling at my creation.

"Deep in thought?"

I looked up to see a beautiful young Asian woman, perhaps in her late teens or early twenties. Immediately I found myself drawn into her eyes. They were exquisite, like two blue embers casting a soft film of sapphire across her lovely features. They were similar to my own, only much brighter. My gaze drifted downward. Her tiny form was distinct under the thin colorful fabric of the dress which fluttered slightly in the wind. She was absolutely breathtaking.

"Who..." was all I managed to utter, followed by open mouthed speechlessness.

A chuckle escaped her lips. "Who am I?"

"Yes, ah... That was what I was hoping to say." 

"Well. Who are you?" she asked playfully.

"N- no one of consequence." 

She straightened and gave a smirk. "Humble-- for a god."

"A god. Yeah..."

She began to back away.

"About that..."

"You should not be in such a rush to find answers. You may miss the moment. And this moment is going to be like nothing you have ever experienced." Her eyes sparkled. "Want to have some fun?"

She did not wait for an answer, but turned and bolted down the path. "Follow me!"

There seemed to be no other option. I looked back at the mansion. No one else was around. She was my best chance to find answers. I burst into a run. 

Her braided ponytail swung gracefully behind her and her soft black shoes made padded thumps on the stone pathway. Each side of the path was adorned with manicured shrubs which acted as walls. In some spots they formed archways crossing overhead. I was surprised to find myself enjoying the exercise; her playfulness set me at ease.

When we emerged from the path we found ourselves on the edge of a steep cliff overlooking a large expanse of blue ocean. Far below, a village sparkled on the water's edge. Millions of tiny reflections danced on the distant waves, like fireflies playing in the moonlight.

"That's Trinador!" The wind blew at her words. "It is my village! I built it from the power of the web! Would you like to see it?" She looked absolutely magnificent silhouetted against the night sky, her delicate oriental curves were highlighted in the soft moonlight which played upon her garments as they rippled in the wind.

I couldn't imagine wanting to be anywhere else but with her.

"Sure! Why not?" I hollered back. "How do we get down there?" 

Her eyes twinkled. "Fly, silly!"

And with that she fell backwards over the edge.


VRIN is a wonderful combination of fantasy/sci-fi, and maybe even a little bit of thriller tossed in for good measure.

With the leading man's amnesia it leaves us on our own to figure out what this world is really all about - if it's in fact a real world. The author does a great job of making it all believable because the world of VRIN is so full of human flaws. From pride to political intrigue, to godlike powers, this story has a little bit of everything.

Without a doubt, if you like fantasy and being drawn into new worlds where anything is possible, you will enjoy this story!

VRIN can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/VRIN-ten-mortal-gods-ebook/dp/B003KN3Z8S/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1331611118&sr=1-3

1 comment:

  1. Welcome, John, I'm wishing you many new readers with this reissue of your story!