Whom The Gods Would Destroy, They First Give Computers

Submitted by Christopher Wright on

There are a lot of reasons why a computer will die on you, and I think I may have experienced most of them. The truly frustrating thing about it—for me, anyway—is that so many of those reasons look exactly the same at the beginning. A hard drive dying can screw up applications the same way that bad ram can screw up applications the same way that a cracked motherboard can screw up applications the same way that a bad video card can screw up applications. When you take the time to troubleshoot the problem, you can with time and effort figure out which problem it is—either by swapping out components until it starts working again, thus winnowing out the bad component (“aha! Everything started working when I removed Windows!”) or by running a very fancy program that tests everything for you, and three days later tells you the problem is expensive.

Yes, those are your only two choices. All the other possibilities are variations of those two choices.

Curveball Audiobook Podcast: Issue Two

Submitted by Christopher Wright on

Curveball Issue Two in mp3 format, as narrated by the author.

Curveball Issue Two: Homecoming

Duration: 52:03

File size: 47.8mb

In the wake of Liberty's murder, family gathers in preparation for his funeral. Meanwhile, darker forces meet in an attempt to learn what he knew, and who else might know it now.

The Drums of War: Part Five

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
July 20, 1992

The old man hangs in the air, frayed white linen hanging from his gaunt, feeble frame like the last drooping fronds of a dying willow. He’s lost track of how long he’s been there—months? Years? Long enough that he can barely remember anything else. The power that suspends him also sustains him—it is a prison, not a tomb—but it provides only enough sustenance to prevent his death.

Each day he struggles to master his hunger and his thirst, steeling himself to meet his captor, and each day they go through the same ritual. His former mentor and friend accosts him, threatens him, makes demands he cannot possibly fulfill—and, when the day nears its end, he threatens to do worse the day that follows. But for his captor that day never comes: he’s still trapped in the death-throes of the island, and when the island resets, so does he. And so the next day the old man is forced to do it all again, and the next day, and the next, a never-ending stream of being re-introduced to the man who betrayed him and the entire world.

Except that each new day brings even greater hunger and thirst, and each day it becomes harder to master. It cannot last.

The Drums of War: Part Four

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Farraday City Bunker

“Found it!”

Jenny pushes back in her chair, staring at her laptop screen in satisfaction.

CB’s head appears past the edge of the doorframe. “Yeah?”

Jenny nods. “Yeah.”

Moments later CB is standing over her shoulder, peering at the screen. “Where is that? Can you zoom it out?”

Jenny does. “It’s past the north end of the boardwalk. You see that cluster of buildings there? Looks like old warehouses and office buildings.”

“Oh,” CB says. “I know where that is. It’s a Superfund site. Nobody goes there because of all the poison.”

“Somebody does. That’s where the trace stops.”