Circuit Theory by Kirby Crow and Reya Starck

circuittheorycvrDante and Byron are avatars. Driven by human beings, yet still only digital representations of their ideal selves. In reality, they live far apart, but share most of their waking and working hours together in a virtual world called Synth.

In Synth, like in most code, the laws are infinitely more simple and infinitely more complex. Navigating the system rules of virtual lovers is like steering through a minefield of deceit, suspicion, heartbreak, and half-truths.

Under pressure, Dante makes a friendship that trips Byron’s warning bells, disrupting their carefully-ordered lives and calling into question the wisdom of trusting your heart to a man you can never touch in the flesh.

Kimi’s review:

This story is 47 pages of what is basically a take on a relationship existing solely within a Second Life type world. Dante and Byron have an existing virtual romance that they indulge in, neither having met the other save for how they represent themselves via their virtual avatars. What is really there and what is the reality that is wished for and carefully crafted within the virtual environment? These are waters that Dante traverses within Synth and they begin to run very deep indeed when he becomes friends with a woman who turns out to be THAT person. You know the one, we’ve all met some form of THAT person as the type lurks everywhere from message boards, forums, Facebook, you name it. The attention seeking “I have nothing to live for”  person who needs your attention ALL the time and if they don’t get it, well… “I have nothing to live for!” Sexxy clings, she becomes aggressive, she stalks… The woman is an emotional rollercoaster that is right off the rails. She throws chaos into the cocoon Dante and Byron have built around themselves within Synth and sows anxiety and discord within it. The ending is a HFN and boy, is it ever poignant. It pretty well sums up virtual life perfectly and left just the right amount of heartache.

Rating: 4