Warning:Something Else Is Happening by Lindsay Edmunds
WARNING is a dystopian fairy tale set in the waning years of the 22nd century.LindsayEdmundsSmallWarning
In Earthworld, people cope with an overstretched, unraveling government and Networld access that is becoming increasingly weird and unreliable.
In Networld many and various e-beasts are being born. They are creatures out of the dark night of fairy tales.
Cel, an intelligent and idealistic e-beast, sets out on a quest to restore good order to Networld.
Something else happens instead.
Inside the shack, arcs and crossroads lit up in a golden array. It was a hub, but a bewildering one. “All good,” it crooned. “All lights green now.” The gilded hub was so seductive that Cel became wary. Normal Networld roads did not act like this one. This one seemed to want to take you somewhere, whether you wanted to go or not. He began to search for Shadow.
“Here,” said a voice. Such a small voice! Cel found Shadow shrunk to infinitesimal size. He had not known it was possible for any Infimus to live so small. With a few frightening spasms, Shadow returned to full size. Cel saw at once that he was injured. Shadow resembled a tiny sphere with a bite taken out.
“What happened to you?” Cel asked anxiously.
“A collision,” Shadow said, “with something very expensive.” He scanned the hub and selected a path. “This one,” he said. “We must travel very fast now.”
The golden path led to a dark, forbidding landscape. At regular intervals, ravenous beasts chased them, but they could be easily outrun.
“We are not the ones they are looking for,” Shadow said when Cel asked why they were not being attacked.
Lindsay Edmunds lives a quiet normal life in southwestern Pennsylvania, except when she is writing. Her fiction reflects two longstanding interests: fantasy and the relationships people have with machines. The first computer she ever owned was a Mac Plus, circa 1988.
She was a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which for her money was the funniest show in the world.
She blogs at Writer’s Rest about movies and TV, books, machine intelligence, and life in southwestern Pennsylvania.