Every morning from 6 until 7 am, Joyce Williams plays a video game called LifeMaster. This game is embodied in a small, square, ruby colored crystalline cube.
Using the game, Joyce plays through all the events of his coming day. At the end of the playing hour, his day gets locked in.
Joyce then goes out and lives exactly what happens to him in the game he’s just played.
He’s an average player. He lives a normal, average life. No big highs, no big lows. Strictly straight down the middle. Good enough for Joyce.
Then one day lightning hits a gas main, destroying Joyce’s apartment and his LifeMaster cube.
No problem. LifeMaster customer service issues him a new cube.
When he tries to play it, his LifeMaster console labels it VOID and spits it out.
The rigid and unsympathetic LifeMaster bureaucracy refuses to replace his cube a second time.
Joyce is forced to live his life in the dreaded and risky default mode. He doesn’t play the game himself. Instead, the LifeMaster system uses complex mathematical probability theories to generate his daily activities. Since he’s not personally playing his game, he doesn’t know beforehand what the day will bring, what’s going to happen to him. It’s a terrifying prospect for somebody who’s never lived that way.
Joyce pessimistically expects his life will stay the way it was or get slightly worse.
To his delight and amazement, it goes the other way. His life gets better. Way, way better.
He gets promoted big time at work.
He starts hanging out with pro basketball sports hero Scooter Kale who nicknames him Jay. When they play basketball one-on-one, Jay always wins.
To Jay’s amazement, he gets taller, thinner, stronger. He even gets better looking.
At work, he moves up again, this time to his company’s super secret Special Ops Division. There he’s partnered with Herculisa, a costumed, crime-fighting superheroine.
Jay becomes the brave and fearless crime fighter JayHawk. He gets his own superhero costume. He goes on amazing, dangerous, and exciting missions battling dire forces of evil. He always triumphs.
Jay has it all. Wealth, excitement, success, and a gorgeous girlfriend.
He can’t believe how much his life has improved since he started playing life in the default mode.
Then, without warning, his perfect world comes crashing down.
He loses his superhero status, his wealth, his spiffy new penthouse, his girlfriend. He ends up sad, lonely, destitute, friendless.
Joyce eventually figures out why his life got better. And then with stunning swiftness fell apart.
He wasn’t playing in the default mode. His life was hacked. Some stranger was using his supposedly lost cube, playing his game, living his life for him. When the hacker got bored and stopped playing, Joyce’s life fell apart.
To get his life back, Joyce must find the mysterious hacker and persuade him to undo the misery he’s caused.
That turns out to be easier, and yet much, much harder than Joyce ever imagined.
Typical Day introduces a cleverly original new story concept from Gary K. Wolf, the creator of Roger Rabbit. The world he portrays here is as strange and wondrous a place as Toontown. A world where the normal rules don’t apply. Where nothing is what it seems.