Sunday, December 6, 2009

Greg Mellor's "Defense of the Realm" (short story, post-humanism, free): Human software avatars fighting their alien counterparts

Illustration accompanying the online copy at Cosmos magazine of the short story titled Defense of the Realm by Greg MellorActually not my kind of story - am posting this only because it features in an award list. Someone with a taste for "uploaded consciousnesses fighting in cyberspace" kind of stories might respond more positively.

Story summary.

Humans fought a war with aliens some decades back. Intruders were destroyed - at great cost to humanity. But they've left behind hardware nodes spread throughout Sol that are running a cyberspace that the alien software artifacts inhabit.

And it's now fashionable among the newer generation of humanity to let your body go & live rest of your life in cyberspace as an uploaded consciousness - an upload that can manifest in physical world via a kind of physical effigy.

This is the story of war between this new breed of humans in their cyberspace & the alien software entities in theirs. And each side's attempt to penetrate the other. A parallel story is of the emotional conflict between a dad who's still physical & his son who's uploaded consciousness - dad doesn't think well of uploaded existence.

Fact sheet.

First published: Cosmos, #25 (February/March (2009).
Download full text from publisher's site.
Rating: C.
Nominated for Aurealis Award 2009 in short science fiction category.