Not many people know that the second Tome of gamedec saga was written before „Limits of Realiy” were published. Of course it was not ready, but the first draft existed indeed. It all became with a story “Pandora” (a common thing, I hear), but soon I realized it had a novel potential. It had to be something about taking down the curtains of probability to gain the truth eventually. Frankly saying that metaphor became the main thought of GamedecVerse (let’s hope it would not be as the Celts saw it: when one removes the last curtain he sees an old shed where an ugly old woman sits and plays chess. That person is the goddess ruling the world, and the playing pieces are us…)
Back to the topic, the novel existed. When I was writing it, I was struggling with the unknown. It wasn’t that I did not write novels before, but the difference was that they were not published. There was something wrong with them, the publishing houses did not want them (“Copulopolis”, “A few words”, Eleven Chapters and an Epilogue” were their titles). Although I was entering a dark wood, I wanted to impress the reader, I wanted to stun him with the amount of ideas, multilevelness of intrigue. I created the metaphor of “ironclad fist”. That were and are for me “Salesman of Locomotives”. The book appeared in bookstores two years after the first part (in may 2006). The delay was good, because I took advantage of the time given, and improved as much as I could.
After the first story, Nowa Fantastyka published next ones: „The Professional”, „Adelheim Syndrome”, „Hunt”… Five together. I broke a record. One could even hear rumors, that I am “Parowski’s pet”. Soon I had ten texts, and it became obvious it is a book material. Maciek was certain of that too, and decided to publish it, together with Nowa Fantastyka of course. Alas, at that time (maybe now as well) the magazine did not publish books, but it could cooperate with some publishing house. Anyway, the talks started and Maciek asked me to wait. His negotiations with potential business partners were long and tedious. After six months I asked: “Maciek, may I?”, and he answered resigned: “Yes, you may”. He looked as if he let a treasure go. I did not know then why, but I soon found out.
I didn’t have any doubts about where to go. I wanted SuperNOWA to publish my first book. I liked them for thoroughness, texts selection, white covers, for everything. I made an appointment, and prepared some autopromotional speech: “It’s a cyberpunk”, “Warsaw in the future”, “S-f and philosophy, but not too hard”, etc. I walked through the door, and was met by nice people. Danuta Górska (editor), Mirek Kowalski (main editor), and Marzena Kłos (publishing house locomotive). They asked me to sit, offered tea, cookies, and said they would publish the omnibus. I didn’t even speak! “How can you decide that knowing just five my stories?”, I asked. “We will read the rest, and call you in three days. Do not contact any competitive publishers, because it is not a good custom in this milieu”. After the visit I called Maciek: “Is it true that I shouldn’t contact their competition?”,“Yes. You don’t bid on two horses.”. Okay, if he sais so, it is so. In three days I received a phone call, as they promised. Till the end of the process I wrote two more stories, and “Gamedec. Borders of Reality” was published in may, 2004.
Summer 2002. I walk among Chotomów meadows. I look at the sky and think what could I do to show computer games as something more deep than just an entertainment. I conceive of game detective, think up his profession, find his name, create surname. At that time I am fascinated with Archimedean Dynasty computer game. Especially with the voice of the main character, Emerald “Dead Eye” Flynt. I have his narration on a cassette and listen to it when I drive my car. Instead of music. I especially like the nostalgic atmosphere of the intro (and outro, but that’s a different story). Dead Eye fails and wonders why, what did he do wrong. I decide that the first gamedec story must be about the failure. Defeat is romantic and profound. Success causes shallow joy and doesn’t teach much. I walk around the house for the first couple of days, constructing the plot, then I sit and write “Monkey trap” during one day (asking my wife Ann not to disturb me). I rewrite it several times, and write “Vicious circle” in the same rhythm. I send both texts to “Nowa Fantastyka” and “Science Fiction” magazines. After three days Maciek Parowski calls me. I hear his fast speech for the first time: “We will print it, it’s interesting, it will have to wait a little, but not too long, we will print it”. Couple of days later I meet him near the old Nowa Fantastyka abode. “When were you born?” he asks. “68”, I answer. „Oh, good, good, the after 70 folks are mere children”, he sais and laughs. I like him at the first sight. He walks with me into the editorial staff rooms. They are big, hence located in a huge flat of an old Warsaw mansion. I can see a lot of papers, old desks, smiling people. Maciek introduces me to everyone treating me with great reverence. “It’s an author” he sais pointing at me. We approach Marek Oramus. „This is Marcin Przybyłek, computer games expert”, sais Maciek. Marek smiles: „Ah, we sure could use such an expert”.
I remember that visit till today for obvious reasons. I was received with honors, though I wasn’t even a debutant. In November 2002 New Fantastyka published my “Monkey trap”. Science Fiction did not answer…