cover image Myst: The Book of Atrus

Myst: The Book of Atrus

David Wingrove, Robyn Miller. Hyperion Books, $22.45 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-6159-0

In the acknowledgements to this first novel in a projected series, Wingrove is thanked by his coauthors, the Miller brothers, ``for accomplishing the impossible.'' Wingrove's achievement certainly is improbable, at least judging from the sorry results of other computer-game-to-novel translations, like the paperback spinoffs of Doom. For with Wingrove's help, the Miller brothers, who created the Myst CD-ROM, have created a rollicking adventure tale full of engaging philosophical contemplations about the interplay between art and science. The authors follow their hero, Atrus, from breech birth (and his mother's resultant death) into his uneasy relationship with Gehn, the father who abandoned him at birth and who now wants to recreate the culture of the D'ni, beings whose writings could conjure--or at least discover--worlds. The narrative avoids the excesses that plagued Wingrove's Chung Kuo series while imparting the passion that the Millers channeled into the Myst CD-ROM. The result is a thrilling tale that will appeal not only to gamers but to all those who enjoy absorbing, fast-paced, well-constructed fantasy. Fifteen two-color illustrations, not seen by PW. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Nov.)