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Otaku (Hardcover)

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Ashley Akachi lives in Ditchtown, a city of skyscrapers that exists in the ruins of what used to be Florida. Between the rising ocean levels, and the tragedy known as the Water Wars, tensions are high. The Church of Christ Ascendant maintains tenuous control of the area, hoping to avoid further conflict with the Silicon Zone Egalitare. Things in Ditchtown are rough, but that's where Infinite Game, a virtual world of seeming perfection, comes in. In there, Ash is Ashura the Terrible, top of the leaderboards and followed by millions around the world. However, when conflict begins to brew back in the real, it seems that only Ashura and her crew, the SunJewel Warriors, have what it takes to save the world. This book is incredible! Fast paced and highly intense, I could not put it down! 


— From Gary's Picks!


Otaku is the debut novel from former NFL player and tech enthusiast Chris Kluwe, with a story reminiscent of Ready Player One and Ender's Game.


A city of skyscrapers, built atop the drowned bones of old Miami. A prison of steel, filled with unbelievers. A dumping ground for strays, runaways, and malcontents.

Within these towering monoliths, Ashley Akachi is a young woman trying her best to cope with a brother who's slipping away, a mother who's already gone, and angry young men who want her put in her place. Ditchtown, however, is not the only world Ash inhabits.

Within Infinite Game, a virtual world requiring physical perfection, Ash is Ashura the Terrible, leader of the Sunjewel Warriors, loved, feared, and watched by millions across the globe. Haptic chambers, known as hapspheres, translate their every move in the real to the digital—and the Sunjewel Warriors' feats are legendary.

However, Ash is about to stumble upon a deadly conspiracy that will set her worlds crashing together, and in the real, you only get to die once…

About the Author

Chris Kluwe is the author of the acclaimed non-fiction collection Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies, a contributor to Press Start To Play, and the lead designer of the tabletop card game Twilight of the Gods.

A former NFL player, Kluwe has received wide attention for his TED talk about the future of technology, virtual reality, and empathy, and has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today.

Praise For…

Praise for Chris Kluwe
“An impressively nasty future Miami, with a smart female protagonist, and plenty of action, both real and virtual.” —William Gibson on Otaku

“An ideological sledgehammer—a thrilling tale full of the kinds of heroes we both need and deserve.” —Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency, on Otaku

“Ass-kicking and desperate, bleakness and rebellion arm-wrestling for all the marbles in a slim, sharp narrative—Otaku speedruns the future.”—Max Gladstone, author of How to Lose the Time War

“Otaku is an energy drink in book form: brightly colored, refreshing and designed to be bolted down for effect.”—The New York Times

“The most interesting man in the N.F.L. ”—The New York Times

“Author and former NFL player Chris Kluwe's first novel will grip readers with its riveting pace, fierce heroine and intense focus on combating social injustices.”— Shelf Awareness

“Parts sf, mystery, and romance, this high-adrenaline thriller captures the intensity of in-game encounters in a postapocalyptic world, with a fiery protagonist who holds nothing back—whether fighting monsters or relentless misogyny. Recommended for fans of dark gaming stories, with a side of violence.”—Library Journal

"The quirky and sometimes pugnacious ex-punter for the Vikings reveals a little more about his views on social issues, and a lot more about himself, his career and how his frenetic and far-ranging mind works....Kluwe proves himself to be, indeed, a man for all season—not just football season." —The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"In a league (and sports climate) which has become one, long, repetitive sound bite, a guy who will actually say something meaningful." —

"Chris Kluwe is a glimmering sparklepony of candor (and not afraid to dive fearlessly into the marriage equality debate)." —Mother Jones

"It's a strongly worded, profanity laced political and philosophical manifesto from an unlikely new pundit: pro football player Chris Kluwe ... Mr. Kluwe's particular talent as a prose stylist lies in his creative use of inventive swear words." —The Wall Street Journal's "Speakeasy" on Beautiful Unique Sparkleponies

"Kluwe is a genuine iconoclast.... Kluwe's writing makes for an entertaining read. He's as adept at the art of the take-down... but he is capable of toning it down when he has to.... His words present compelling arguments on myriad deep and unsolvable, yet relentlessly fascinating problems." —The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Beautiful Unique Sparkleponies

"Intelligent and thought-provoking, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies is relentlessly honest; Kluwe pulls no punches, spares no language and writes a rip-roaring debut." -- Shelf Awareness

"A lively collection. In mixing the profane with the prophetic while using a variety of literary devices, the author succeeds at being both entertaining and enlightening. An intriguing assortment of work from an athlete with a lot on his mind." —Kirkus on Beautiful Unique Sparkleponies

"Kluwe is a brainy loudmouth dyspeptic idealistic pessimistic utopian punter/gay rights activist/champion of free speech/family guy who plays guitar. He's sort of Charles Barkley meets Bill "Spaceman" Lee—but with more gravitas." —

"Kluwe's combination of passion and intelligent self-deprecation has resulted in some must-read stuff....Kluwe is a talented writer with plenty to say. He just happens to kick footballs for a living." —The Maine Edge on Beautiful Unique Sparkleponies

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250203939
ISBN-10: 1250203937
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020
Pages: 352
Language: English