I got the idea for Dark Siren after
playing the online virtual reality
game Second Life© back in 2007.
At the time there were lurid
accounts in the press of Russian
gangs using it to launder money,
Islamic terrorists exploiting virtual
scenarios to train recruits and practice
attacks, and spouses deserting partners
for secret virtual friends. But the
clincher was a 2007 UK Sunday Times
article claiming that both Europol and
the Australian Hi-tech crime agency
AHTCC were taking the crime aspects
seriously. I had the genesis of a plot.
Enterprising readers will find that the author and
some Dark Siren characters exist as avatars
in Second Life. Since the management of
the game is depicted in my book, I have
thinly disguised it as Avataria and
consequently would emphasise that
its personnel, offices and policies
bear no intentional resemblance
to those of Linden Labs Inc.
Having said that, seasoned SLTM
residents will soon recognise that the
protocols and routines of the virtual episodes
are remarkably similar to those of Second Life.
Clifford Wycliffe, May 2009