Online War by Frances Silversmith

online-war-coverContinuing my reading through the alphabet of short stories provided in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology:

Published: March, 2013 in The Grantville Gazette, Volume 36

Genre: science fiction

Length: 12 pages

Setting: near future Greece

Summary: Tensions are rising in Nicosia, and it looks like Greece and Turkey might go to war. If bullets start flying, it is likely nuclear missiles will fly next. Basil and Daphne are just two ordinary people (with some computer skills) who decide to do something to prevent a nuclear holocaust. Basil is able to hack into the neural interfaces (NIFs) of all the leaders in conflict. Daphne then locks their NIFs into a very realistic war simulation game her company has developed. They record the actions of the leaders and show it to the world.

Final thoughts: An interesting enough story. I liked the fact that Basil was able to hack everyone’s NIFs because he’s using old tech (a desktop computer) that is able to access all the underlying protocols to the apps the NIFs use. There was a bit of a love story developing between Basil and Daphne that I’m not sure I really bought. It was along the lines of “Let’s get some action before the end of the world” and it felt just as passionate. While the world was about to end in a nuclear disaster, I didn’t really feel the tension in the story. It felt more clinical than anything.

Title comes from: The war ended up being fought in an online app, and not in real life.

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