“I am always interested in versions of the truth,” notes Neila, the principal character of Games of the Strong, with characteristic understatement.
Neila’s world, the Complex, is a place where nothing can be accepted at face value; where no one is what he or she seems; a world of repression, computerese and propaganda. Neila, diffident, hesitating, is utterly alone — committed to resist the tyranny of the Complex and to find the answers to the questions which bedevil her, but dazed by the constantly changing perspectives revealed to her as she co-operates to survive.
Games of the Strong is quite the tedious novel. It’s a vision of a futuristic society that has many revolutions and a ton of bureaucracies. Glenda Adams likes to fill her stories with plot devices, creating entire cultures and governments that go to the level of tedium. She even creates brand new languages, reminiscent of George RR Martin’s scope.
Many of Adams’ stories look at institutions throughout history, but the idea is the same every time: it’s alienation inside a technological society. Many of the characters are isolated from each other – even the people in a relationship are tied up with their perception of the world. Games of the Strong is a complex story that commands your attention.