The Acts of Caine (series)

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Stover, Matthew. The Acts of Caine series. SF/F series: Heroes Die (Act of Violence) (1997), Blade of Tyshalle (Act of War) (2001), Caine Black Knife (Act of Atonement, Book One) (2008), Caine's Law (Act of Atonement, Book Two) (April 3, 2012).[1]

Heroes Die. New York: Del Rey 1998.[2]
Blade of Tyshalle. New York: Del Rey, 2001.[3]
Caine Black Knife. New York: Del Rey 2008.[4]
Caine's Law. New York: Del Rey, 2012.[5]

Caine Black Knife is the subject of a "minireview" by Edward Carmien, SFRA Review #286 (Fall 2008): p. 15.[6]

In this third “act of Caine,” Stover revisits his callous, terrifically vulgar antihero, Caine. Born [...] on a future Earth locked into a strict caste system, he becomes an actor for a worldwide audience for full-immersion fantasy adventures. His stage is Overworld, an alternate Earth where magic works and creatures of legend are real, and he plays the role of Caine, an assassin-adventurer curiously present at most of the significant events in recent Overworld history. By this third novel in the series, Caine has made himself unpopular on his home world and no longer acts for an Earth audience but instead plays to an emperor (who has the technology to “read” Caine’s perception broadcast) and to a god of Overworld who, in Overworld’s alternate reality, can and sometimes does talk back. [* * *]

Not for the squeamish, the Acts of Caine [...] is both pulp and antipulp, and it’s worth a look to those interested in society’s love affair with violence as entertainment. (Carmien p. 15)

See for "full-immersion" VR, for which most immediately compare and contrast the Sagas in Arthur C. Clarke's 1956/57 work The City and the Stars, and for the technology to tap into a "perception broadcast." Note the media technology that allows entrance to what we interpret as a fantasy world. For that "love affair with violence as entertainment," cf. and contrast A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (film) and THE RUNNING MAN (film).

RDE, finishing, 17Jan21