A fascinating exploration of the history, development, and future of virtual reality, a technology with world-changing potential, written by award-winning journalist and author David Ewalt, stemming from his 2015 Forbes cover story about the Oculus Rift and its creator Palmer Luckey.

You’ve heard about virtual reality, seen the new gadgets, and read about how VR will be the next big thing. But you probably haven’t yet realized the extent to which this technology will change the way we live. We used to be bound to a physical reality, but new immersive computer simulations allow us to escape our homes and bodies. Suddenly anyone can see what it’s like to stand on the peak of Mount Everest. A person who can’t walk can experience a marathon from the perspective of an Olympic champion. And why stop there? Become a dragon and fly through the universe. But it’s not only about spectacle. Virtual and augmented reality will impact nearly every aspect of our lives—commerce, medicine, politics—the applications are infinite.

It may sound like science fiction, but this vision of the future drives billions of dollars in business and is a top priority for such companies as Facebook, Google, and Sony. Yet little is known about the history of these technologies. In Defying Reality, David M. Ewalt traces the story from ancient amphitheaters to Cold War military laboratories, through decades of hype and failure, to a nineteen-year-old video game aficionado who made the impossible possible. Ewalt looks at how businesses are already using this tech to revolutionize the world around us, and what we can expect in the future. Writing for a mainstream audience as well as for technology enthusiasts, Ewalt offers a unique perspective on VR. With firsthand accounts and on-the-ground reporting, Defying Reality shows how virtual reality will change our work, our play, and the way we relate to one another.


"David M. Ewalt is a great writer with a gift for merging his personal account and the broader story. A self-proclaimed ‘stereotypical 1980s nerd,’ he seems authentically excited to share his journey into virtual reality. He presents a brilliant and energetic history of virtual reality that anyone (even those not into VR) will find riveting and clever." —DANIEL LEVITIN, New York Times–bestselling author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

"A brisk read that’ll tell you the science and science fiction of augmented and virtual reality, moving from its prehistory to the cutting edge to the fantastic (and frequently creepy) future." —ZACH WEINERSMITH, New York Times–bestselling coauthor of Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything

"This breezy foray into an emerging technology is like a beach book for tech enthusiasts—it’s quick and never dull." -PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

"Virtual reality is the true next big thing according to this enthusiastic and convincing account... Ewalt interviews entrepreneurs and brilliant nerds, tries their inventions, and leaves beguiled readers in no doubt that something wonderful is in the works." -KIRKUS REVIEWS

Please contact Beth Parker for review copies or publicity requests.