Self-chaining Simulated Worlds, Recursive Virtual Reality
It is difficult to give a preview of a short story without giving away more than the reader might wish. For this reason we only include the first few lines…
They burned ancient continents to manufacture the smoke hanging over their heads. To produce the illumination lighting their meeting vast forests trembled with flame. In thirty-eight seconds the ritual would begin. Locked in the gut of the inner biomorph, listening to the roar of alien voices, Luke Andreski waited for the first signs of metamorphosis. No human being had ever witnessed this extraordinary process: the transmission of consciousness from the mature Ip Noi to the larva curled in its gut. Now the event would at last be recorded, the act of self-consumption lived, as Ip Noi and the pseudo-Ip Noi in which Luke hid tore themselves open and devoured the remains.
      Luke counted: ‘Thirty-five. Thirty-four. Thirty-three…’
      There were more than seven hundred of the aliens. They stood in a circle on the bulldozed plain, their wings tucked beneath the damp cloaks of their free-falling epidermis, their arms held before them in something approximating prayer. Their pose emanated resentment. Two levels deep in a microcosm of deceit – inside the pseudo-larva, itself plugged into the pseudo-Ip Noi – Luke studied the sombre figures around him, waiting for some signal he would probably misunderstand.
      ‘Twenty-eight. Twenty-seven.’