Epic  - Conor Kostick
What if the quality of your life depended on how well you played a MMORPG? What’s a MMORPG you ask? It is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. Well, on New Earth that is exactly the way life is.

On New Earth, violence is illegal. Epic (the MMORPG) was created for people to clip up, enter the world of Epic, and take out their agression on fictional characters rather than doing harm to a real person. However, over the years, the purpose of the game shifted and became the determining factor for what kind of job you had, where you were able to live, and what supplies you received. Central Allocations, a small group of people in charge of all the decisions, controls everything.

Erik’s family is having a tough time. They have had some solar panels break and aren’t able to produce enough olives to meet their quota. Their attempts at getting replacement solar panels have been unsuccessful and the family is afraid Central Allocations will require them to move to the salt mines for punishment. In addition to the family problems, Erik isn’t doing well in the game himself. In order to have a chance to go to University you must accumulate wealth and status in Epic. Erik just continues to get his characters killed because he trys to kill the same dragon everytime he enters the game. His last “death” is the final straw though. Out of frustration he does something he has never done before. Erik creates a character that is female instead of his usual male character that resembles him in real life. Instead of going by his own name he chooses one he thinks befits a beautiful character - Cindella. Immediately upon entering the game as Cindella, things begin to look up. Characters that are a part of the game begin talking to her and giving her things. Soon she realizes the characters are pointing her toward a quest.

With his newfound status in Epic, Erik uses his accumulating wealth and the help of his friends to take on Central Allocations - once and for all. They are up against the most dangerous players of all. Ones with more wealth and experience. But, if Erik can defeat Central Allocations, he’ll be able to save his family and possibly create a better life for them and those of his friends - possibly even the world.

EPIC is an interesting story. There is no problem keeping up with the “real” world and the “Epic” world. The author does a great job of distinguishing the two. If you enjoy Fantasy or Sci-Fi, then you’ll enjoy this story. There is a sequel called SAGA that has already been released.