What if dirt didn’t matter?
away his memories and forget for a moment who he was, but one of the rules of the Virtuality was that memories were magnetic. They accrete. Soon enough, they would find their way back to him. And Gates/Torvalds would be who he was again, two things that were both more and less than human.
The ground trembled.
Gates/Torvalds stirred and set down his drink. The pines still smelled as sweet, the wind was still as cool, the view of the Cascades from his deck just as breathtaking. But something was wrong.
The ground heaved and buckled. Gates/Torvalds felt the deck crumbling under him. He struggled to his feet and caught a glimpse of fissures opening, trees toppling, the entire world a blur.
Gates/Torvalds ran. He transferred to his Raymond Chandler-era house in Los Angeles, using an illegal provision in the Grid. He was great at tricks like that.
Running didn't help. Los Angeles was in the middle of the Big One. Buildings didn't just fall, they shattered and turned to dust.
Gates/Torvalds ran again, to a point outside that corner of the human Virtuality.
Humans pretty much exist as entities on the internet, only getting bodies when they want to experience sensations. Aliens have invaded, not the physical world, but the electronic one, and it's up to the hero to repel the invasion.
An interesting take on the man/machine co-evolution, with most of the technical details left out in favor of a clean plot. Unfortunately, I was always aware I was reading a story, rather than being absorbed by it.
An interesting premise, but the ending is lame.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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