Jonathan Lethem, "How We Got In Town and Out Again"

Two drifters join a traveling virtual reality sideshow.

(from Wastelands) T

his is a weird little young desire story set in a time when society is fragmented and depraved, “Araby” meets Running Man. Okay not really. Things are a lot more tame in this world. This sideshow involves people running around in a virtual reality made of old games and pieces of code for the amusement of a paying crowd. Thing is, the guys running the show are jerks — of course, that’s a sci-fi sideshow tradition — but they don’t seem to be particularly cruel about it. The pay up, they provide food, they abide by the rules.
What Happened:
I dunno. Is this even the same reality as ours? We know towns are things to be snuck into, that food is scarce and money is hard to come by.
Destruct-O-Meter: 2? The degree to which the government and/or infrastructure has been compromised isn’t clear (which makes things really spooky).

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