There's an article here http://io9.com/why-m...-for-1442116599 about James Dashner's new book, The Eye of Minds.
The Eye of Minds is a pretty edgy YA book — it starts with a kid committing suicide in virtual reality (hacking her own neural interface so the death will be permanent in the real world, too) and just keeps twisting the knife.
In Dashner's near-future setting, there are super-popular VR games, which include full sensory immersion — but an evil hacker named Kaine has come up with a way to trap people in the VR world, so they can never wake up, and they eventually become brain dead in reality. The only way out... is to kill yourself.
So a young gamer named Michael gets recruited by the VR cops on a special mission: Track down Kaine and find out his secrets. To reach Kaine, Michael and his friends have to go through a bunch of tests and deathtraps, with increasing levels of horror and insanity.
The good news is, Dashner takes full advantage of the Matrix-esque potential for asking "what is real," and the weird paranoia of this novel is pretty infectious.
Dashner says he's been influenced by The Matrix and Inception, and that he wants to see science fiction taking a leap in YA fiction.
VR has been looked at before.. I enjoyed Stray by Monica Hesse, where children from a troublesome background live their childhood in a virtual world, experiencing what is thought to be the perfect upbringing. It's also in the latest book from Patrick Ness.
So could VR be the next big thing, taking over from dystopia? Or is it science fiction in general? Katya's World by Jonathan L Howard is a favourite of mine, and the publishers Strange Chemistry have another excellent sounding science fiction book coming, The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard.
YA readers, do you enjoy science fiction, and would you be interested in more? And how about VR, how does that grab you?
YA authors, is it much different writing science fiction for teens, and do you think there's more to come?