Arctic Rising author Tobias Buckell has a new story in the first issue of a "multigenre fiction and comics magazine" called Fireside — and you can read the whole thing online at Wired. In "Press Enter to Execute," a hired gun is taking a very radical approach to the people who flood your email inbox with spam. Until it looks like this super-killer has been double-crossed, and he has to go on the run and find out who's been playing him.
There are so many clever ideas in Buckell's story, and the result is a very Strossian story of crowdsourcing, A.I.s and killers. Here's how it begins:
Fall From Grace
My new target might have been wearing Armani and some ridiculously overpriced pair of shades, but he was certainly not comfortable in them. Not sure how I sniffed it out, but those things came easy to me.
I guess it was the whole Beverly Hillbilly thing. Maybe it was just because I always felt uncomfortable and felt a kinship with such folk.
The first issue of Fireside magazine also features stories by Ken Liu, Chuck Wendig and Christie Yant, plus a comic written by Harvey and Eisner-award winners D.J. Kirkbride and Adam P. Knave.
New money or not, he stared me down with a "who the fuck are you" sort of glare that I had to kind of admire. Him being unarmed and so on. He kept that look up until I took the blue can out and set it on the table.
"Shit," he said, with resignation. "Shit."
I waved the gun at him. "Sit down." Tossed the duct tape over. "Strap yourself into that comfortable-looking chair."
After he taped his legs and one of his wrists to the chair, I moved closer and took care of the other wrist, then took a moment to enjoy the surroundings.
"How much this room cost?" I asked, opening the sliding doors and stepping out onto the balcony. In the distance the Miami skyline glittered silver in the sun.
Several more decks of balconies were stacked below. Then the great hull of the cruise ship plunged down toward the dark water.
"It … five hundred a night."
"It looks worth every penny," I told him, walking back inside. Then, shaking my head. "Six thousand people are taking their vacation on this? The town near where I grew up was smaller than that. I had a girlfriend once who wanted to get on one of these things, but I read a story about flu breaking out on a ship like this. Tried to stay away ever since."
I sat on the couch and unrolled my kit.
"You're going to kill me?"
I nodded. "I'm very sorry, Mr. Till. But I'm going to have to. But don't worry, I'm not going to shoot you. I have a more painless solution. I'm not a sadist. I have come to change my ways over time."
He started to cry as I pulled out the syringe.
Read the rest at the link. [Wired]