ist's computer on the fifth floor and played them at night, hiding from the security guards. He popped down to visit Vampire a lot, and avoided Pringles and his office entirely.
"I'm on level 5," he said, "and I just can't get past the Roach."
"And you've still got the magic sword?" said Vampire, not looking up.
"No, I lost that to the Troll."
"You don't even have to go to the Troll," said Vampire, who never played video games but read the video game newsgroups religiously. "You can cross the Dread Bridge instead."
"I always die on the Dread Bridge when it breaks in two."
"You're not running fast enough," said Vampire. You've got to run as fast as you can, and jump at the last moment."
"It's tough," said Stan.
"How are things with you?" Stan asked.
"The patch for mod-ssl 18.104.22.168 is totally incompatible with the recommended build sequence for Apache on Solaris. Solaris is such crap."
"Oh," said Stan. "OK."
Too much foul language for me. I stopped reading after two pages.
Pilgrim's Progress meets California corporate and geeks out in a video game. This story is creative, fun and not the least bit annoying. Not recommended for those who have pedestrian tastes, though, since the world of real (read non-allegorical) characters and a firm plot are parsecs away from this author's canvas.
I heard this story on Escape Pod, a science fiction podcast. I thought it was pretty entertaining, but a lot of people there seemed to find it annoying.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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