Book Review

The Line Begins to Blur
Author Chuck Crabbe reviews 
The Virtual Life of Fizzy Oceans

The most striking and impressive thing about The Virtual Life of Fizzy Oceans is the voice it gives to one of the most fundamental problems of our age. Was technology intended by evolution or God or both (depending on your existential leanings) or is it an accident, an aberration that fate's guiding hand could not foresee or control? David A. Ross' position on this is clear: Digital existence is something fundamental, human, even spiritual, an impulse towards new life that our culture cried out for "in the voice that once moved shadow over the Face of the Deep." For Ross, virtual life is a key to transcendence, a field of potential capable of bringing back the dead, eliminating the boundaries of space and time, and a place you can have a hell of a lot of fun.

During her virtual travels Fizzy Oceans, the novel's heroine, takes us on a tour of our collective history and potential future that is disturbing, imaginative, informed, and most of all, limitless. One of the primary concerns of the novel is the environment and climate change, both of which are woven into the narrative in such a way that the reader feels like they are learning about the dangers and damage the world is faced with without being instructed on them. Ross uses a diverse and impressively rendered cast of characters that includes Mark Twain, Saddam Hussein, Gandhi, and Jacques Cousteau to explore ecology, religion, literature, history, and the dissolving line that separates physical and virtual life. While some of the subject matter might appear lofty Fizzy Oceans and her digitized companions are very much concerned with every day people and the issues they face. The physical life companions who animate them are all in deep trouble. They are beaten down economically, spiritually, and the water is rising fast. For many of them virtual life is a haven that holds a hidden promise that they are only just beginning to grasp.

The Virtual Life of Fizzy Oceans is a book for a day that hasn't arrived yet. It is an age we should fear, embrace, run from, and hope for. It is an age David Ross and Fizzy Oceans have brought us closer to, close enough that we might just be able grasp the promises of it for ourselves.

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Meet Fizzy Oceans—archivist, researcher, environmentalist and adventurer. On her travels she witnesses The Exodus, the Battle of Gettysburg and Hurricane Katrina and meets notable individuals including Gandhi, Mark Twain, Jacques Cousteau, 

About the author

David A. Ross is a writer, editor and publisher. From 1984-1985 he was a columnist and contributing editor for Southwest Art Magazine. His novels include The Virtual Life of Fizzy OceansXenosA Winter GardenStonesHow High The Wall and his award-winning first novel Calico Pennants. Also to his credit is the short story collection Sacrifice and the Sweet Life and the travel memoir Good Morning CorfuLiving Abroad Against All Odds.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, he presently lives on the Island of Corfu in Greece.
David A. Ross talks about The Virtual Life of Fizzy Oceans at 4 Bridges Book Club in Second Life