Page Fault, a high-concept mash-up of cyberpunk, fantasy, post-apocalyptic, and noir fiction. I can't take sole credit for the high-concept idea, though.
Two years ago, I taught a George R.R. Martin author study course at the Orange County School of Arts. As you might expect, the class was great fun. We read Martin's early horror and sci-fi, read one of his Dunk and Egg novellas, watched a few episodes of Beauty and the Beast from his television writing days, and even got a visit from the man himself for a private lecture.
Seeing as how the class was for the Creative Writing conservatory, though, I also wanted to include a writing component to the course. So one day the students and I round-tabled to come up with a shared world in which we could all write stories, a shared world inspired by Martin's writing across the genre spectrum. The result of our collective imaginations was Soteria—a computer generated world that harbored the majority of Earth's population in a post-pandemic future. The students were great, and by the end of the day we had an entire codex written for our shared world.
Page Fault was my contribution to the subsequent short story collection the class wrote; it started off as an introductory vignette for the collection, but there was something about the vignette that called for more, so I revisited it and expanded it once the course was over. The resultant story is the three part novella you have before you now. It's a story I'm very proud of, and one I couldn't have written without the rich imaginations of all my students. So here's a big shout-out and thank you to all the students from that author study course. Cheers!