Monday, July 13, 2009

Gwyneth Jones' "Cheats" (as by Ann Halam) (short story, computer games)

A cocktail of many themes, some of them the kind I avoid: description of a multi-player online game played via an immersive virtual reality interface, probably with direct plug into brain; mind dump; rebuilding a body out of this mind dump; & instantaneous "real" star travel while in this digital state! Sort of, combine Poul Anderson's "Call Me Joe", Clifford D Simak's "Desertion" with Gibson's "Neuromancer" & probably Algis Budrys' "Rogue Moon", & plus other stories.
Note: I've not read "Rogue Moon" but its descriptions talk of duplicating a human body, with a copy on moon.

Two kids playing the game get digitized by already digitized volunteers, end up traveling with them to a far off world, & getting duplicate bodies on this far off world!

Collected in.

  1. David Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer (Ed)'s "Year's Best SF 14" (2009).

Fact sheet.

First published: Jonathan Strahan (Ed)'s The Starry Rift (2008).
Rating: C.


Anonymous said...

As far as I understood, the bodies does not travel, only the information (comprising the minds and body particulars of the protagonists), then real "analog" bodies are made on arrival to the new planet based on the information contained in their virtual avatars. Of course instant travel of information violates the relativity laws.
Interesting points: opens the possibility of a maybe "eternal" existence after death in another planet
Flaws: many, specially how did the kids return home?, what really happened to the boy? (seems to be very ill after return)

Tinkoo said...

Oops - I've long since forgotten the details of this story.