Death in the Promised Land
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Death in the Promised Land explores the potential dangers of becoming too closely involved in virtual reality. Parts of the story were later reworked into the novel Tea from an Empty Cup (1988), which had a sequel in Dervish is Digital (2001), both excellent examples of merging cyberpunk with the detective genre.
else—” “Egress,” Havelock said, nodding vigorously. “That’s it. Door out – egress. That’s what she called it.” “Who?” Konstantin asked, and then almost said the answer with her. “Body Sativa.” “Sun’s gonna come up,” Guilfoyle Pleshette said threateningly. She looked tired. Even her hair was starting to lose its lift. Still sitting at her desk in the minuscule office, Konstantin waved at her impatiently. “Sorry, Taliaferro,” she said into the phone while she scrawled notes in the archiver
caller? Please answer yes or no. “Who is it?” she asked and then added quickly, “Oh, never mind. Put them on.” There was a click and she heard the familiar cartoony tones of Guilfoyle Pleshette. “What are you doing?” “I don’t know,” she said. “Yeah, what I thought. Icons and passwords don’t do you a bit of good if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s an advanced ’suit I put you in. It doesn’t carry a pre-fab for you, you got to bring your own.” “My own what?” asked Konstantin worriedly.
coupled with elements that contributed to the power of suggestion. This was too authentic; she wondered if Tomoyuki Iguchi had had some kind of masochistic streak that he had indulged as Shantih Love – And suddenly, she wasn’t sure that it wasn’t happening for real. Maybe Shantih Love hadn’t been able to tell the difference there on the shore of the Hudson River, not until it was too late and he couldn’t feel how the real blood was flowing along with the virtual, even though he could see,
arms over the table, palms outward. It took another unmeasurable period of time for Konstantin’s eyes to adjust, but when they did, she saw that the surface of the table was more like a large video screen, or telescopic window. Or, as was more likely in the land of the Ouroboros coin, both. Konstantin realized that whatever it was, she was looking at another aerial view of post-Apocalyptic Noo Yawk Sitty, every square inch and pixel revealed. Eliot’s etherized patient after all, but prepared on
her head, laughing some more. “I’ll have my report in your in-box tomorrow.” She went up the hall, still laughing. “Well,” said the night manager, sniffing with disdain. “Some people ought better stick with what they know than mock what they don’t know squat about.” “My apologies if she offended your beliefs,” Konstantin said to her. “Is there some other way into that room that nobody knows about – vents, conduits, emergency exit or access?” Pleshette wagged her fuzzy head from side to side.