Greg Mellor's "Defense of the Realm" (short story, post-humanism, free): Human software avatars fighting their alien counterparts
Actually 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.
Nominated for Aurealis Award 2009 in short science fiction category.