Short Story: The Game

The Game
by Richard Holliday

958 words

“The Game is a pervasive, always-online entertainment experience,” the Avatar chuckled confidently, but also noticeably insincerely to the darkened room of investors, “and it fe… we feel it’s got a lot to bring to your company!”

But what really was The Game? Taking thoughtful, slow paces around the conference table, the Avatar snapped the plastic buckles on each headset closed. In a flash the potential investors were absorbed. The experience the headsets were the gateway to was totally captivating – the lack of bodily movement while the headsets were active indicated as such.

For years virtual reality had been that – a reality that was all-too virtual. Too rough around the edges, and too limited in scope and power – limited merely to the whims and arbitrary boundaries imposed by a designer. With The Game, all that changed in favour of a reality much more vivid than the dull, humdrum existence that actual reality offered to most people. Children ran wild across never ending plains and rolling hills that stretched as far as the eye could see – and as far as a server could render. Whatever a user wanted to experience was there, powered by their own thoughts – fed into what was called the Imagination Engine.

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Short Story: Starstruck

Starstruck
by Richard Holliday

2,557 words

A curled palm shifted from beneath the warm, comfy duvet and smacked the clock, silencing the piercing beep of the alarm. 8:30.

“Great.”

Adam slowly extracted himself from his warm and comfy duvet. This was early for a Saturday but he’d been dreading this day for weeks. A glance at the calendar on his wall only confirmed it further: the day of the Winter Festival.

The Festival wasn’t something to be afraid of; indeed, Adam had been many times. This year though Adam was more scared by who’d be there. Brittany would, and this was Adam’s last chance to tell her how he felt before they all dispersed into colleges across the country. Having grown up with her, being thousands of miles apart without confessing his feelings felt like a totally alien concept.

“Ahh, showtime…” he sighed and prepared to count away the hours staring from the window at the crisp, cloudless blue sky. Totally clear and aquamarine, it matched Adam’s eyes. “Showtime indeed.”

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Announcing Rememories

At the end of January 2014 I hope to be releasing an anthology of my short stories from 2013 which I have entitled Rememories! Included will be:

Rememories

The Boreal Singularity
The Lone Star Express
Simulacrum
Medusa Dawn
The Jump
Awaiting Instructions
Criticality
The Cloud
Transference

First of all, the original editions of each of the stories will remain available on their respective pages from when they were originally published; however, I am going to be taking away the more explanatory text there and incorporate it into a foreword to each story.

Secondly, I will redouble my efforts to give each of the stories a thorough edit and cleaning up for presentation in Rememories; hopefully addressing any feedback that may have arisen and also to take advantage of experience gained writing the later stories to spruce up the earlier ones. Writing them was a complete learning experience and one I hope to continue!

I’ve not yet made a decision as to whether Rememories will be a paid download; I’ll keep you informed! Let me know what you think!

In the meantime, you can check out all my short stories by following this link! :-)

Short Story: Transference

Transference
by Richard Holliday

“Another cup of tea, Professor?”

The old man’s head turned slowly in the chair, the stiffness of which irritated the Professor. With a smile, Professor Jericho laughed. “No, but thank you.”

“You’re welcome, Professor. Can I make you more comfortable?”

Professor Jericho coughed hoarsely. Across the room, Aibo’s face fell to one of utmost concern, studying the movements of the Professor carefully. After a few seconds, the ill man composed himself enough to answer his… friend’s question. Could his mind be wrenched from this addled body that had aged before its time? No, of course not.

“Yes. I’d like to go to bed now,” the Professor answered finally.

“Very well, Professor.”

Aibo left the room to prepare Jericho’s sleeping quarters. It was the same every night: seven minutes to warm the bed and move it to a position most acceptable to Jericho’s frail body. Aibo was no longer just a mere servant crafted from metal and silicon; it was the Professor’s last true friend. A lifetime of human colleagues, acquaintances, friends and lovers had either left him or died in prior times. Even Jericho’s only son, whose personality and features had inexorably been fused into Aibo was long dead, in human form anyway.

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