a review by Nalini Haynes
Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw begins with Jim, in second year college learning combat magic. A neighbouring college attacks in the hope of acquiring a non-existent artifact. During the ensuing slaughter, Jim is killed, experiences heavenly bliss until he is rudely resurrected by a necromancer, Lord Dreadgrave.
Between unsuccessful attempts at suicide, Jim finds contentment working in the rat pit for Dreadgrave who is a thoughtful employer. That is, until Lord Dreadgrave is deleted by programmers racing to meet a deadline to release their massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). (Yahtzee says a lot of those letters are extraneous, hence his reduction to MOG world.)
Jim has made friends of a sort, Meryl and Thaddeus. Together they narrowly escape the deleters and set out on a quest to die, find alternative employment and convert sinners respectively. They learn that 50 years previously people stopped aging, became sterile and when killed they resurrected in new bodies in churches. This resulted in an extremely high suicide rate as well as some casual pillaging to ease the boredom and maintain the economy. Two ‘gods’ (programmers) also vie for dominance, with reality (including emails) infringing on this MMORPG.
Yahtzee talks about Mogworld and the authors who influenced his writing style. Mogworld reflects the influence of Douglas Adams without being as surreal, as well as Terry Pratchett without being as strong social comment. Personally I think it also has shades of Peter David’s Apropos of Nothing, but is not quite as dark.
Mogworld will appeal to MMORPG gamers who disconnect for long enough to read (Tuesday nights, guys!), to anyone who makes a hobby of hating MMORPGs (a gift for the girlfriend?) and to anyone who loves authors such as Adams, Pratchett and David.
This review was previously published in Dark Matter issue 1, October 2010, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.