IF NOT YOU, WHO ELSE? As the mighty alien fleet from the very latest computer game thunders across the computer screen, Johnny prepares to blow them into the usual million pieces. And they send him a message: We surrender. They're not supposed to do that! They're supposed to die. And computer joysticks don't have 'Don't Fire' buttons ...But it's only a game, isn't it. Isn't it?
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(198mm x 129mm x 14mm)
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
An author's note explains that this volume, the first in the "Johnny Maxwell" trilogy, was written during the first Gulf War, though this is its first publication in the U.S. Johnny Maxwell is like many boys, spending his time after school busily blowing up alien ScreeWee fighters in his new computer game. Until one of the ScreeWee talks to him. She is Captain of the ScreeWee fleet, and she has asked Johnny for safe conduct back to ScreeWee space, because "[w]hen we die, we die. Forever." Juxtaposed against Johnny's inexplicably real involvement in a computer game-when he dreams, he enters game space and can wake up only when he "dies"-are the televised events of the first war in Iraq, when the nightly news showed missile's-eye views of the remote bombing of Baghdad. This offering doesn't pretend to subtlety at all, but the premise is so very intriguing, and so well-presented (in characteristically wry Pratchett fashion), that Johnny's cry for the essential humanity of all to be recognized, whether English, Iraqi or ScreeWee, loses none of its poignancy-or timeliness. (Fiction. 10-14) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Terry Pratchett
Sir Terry Pratchett is one of the most popular authors writing in the UK today. He is the acclaimed creator of the Discworld(R) series, the first title in which, The Colour of Magic, was published in 1983. Worldwide sales of his books are in excess of 65 million, and they have been translated into 36 languages. He has written a number of titles for younger readers, including The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, which won the Carnegie Medal in the UK, and Nation, which was a Printz Honor Book in the US. He was awarded an OBE in 1998, and a Knighthood in 2009 for his services to literature.