The Vinestead Universe

Everything you need to know about your favorite alternate reality in easily digestible blog posts.

Flashes from the Verse: Anjali Will See You Now

white and gray metal armless chair

There had been rumors about VNet circulating around the message boards and chat rooms, stories about a virtual world that felt more real than reality. And while some of the claims were wild and their sources questionable, one common thread always seemed to come up—the idea that when the two services were put side-by-side, it was VNet where the user felt more present. The Net was home to many wonders, but some claimed those wonders were at arm’s length, especially after having walked a few paces...

Cipher Dens

From Xronixle Cipher dens sprang up in the large office buildings, taking advantage of the networking infrastructure already built in. They usually operated in teams of five or six, spending all of their time locked together in a converted meeting room, jacked in and coding nonstop, their minds intertwined, processing at unthinkable speeds in a drug-induced haze. They lived their entire lives digitally, never jacking out or opening their eyes. They were ghosts, non-entities, atrophying bodies...

State of the Network 2009

A collective groan filled Conference Room B in the Umbra Tower. Nearly 1,500 people had crammed into the 900-capacity room for a Q&A with leading tech players, and many of them stood in one of two snaking lines to the left and right of the main stage. They had come from all over the country to Umbra, California for the annual State of the Network conference, and after several days of presentations and workshops, they now had the opportunity to post questions directly to the very people who ran...

A Night at Version 6

Somewhere along the way, the music shifted from an upbeat heart attack of hardcore techno to the mellow and near comatose strains of an unknown ambient artist. A low beat thumped in the room, resonating in G's chest almost to the point of sickness. A forlorn trumpet scraped along the bottom of the treble clef, piercing the cloud of muted conversation, of glasses tinkling behind the bar, and of the low, satisfied moans of the couple in the next booth.

A Capricious Welcome

For the first time, Ken could see the ceiling of the construct, hazy like a light-polluted sky at night. Instead of stars or a moon, a single gash of white light stretched across the dome. In the center where it was thickest, the light moved like a fog—anti-ether gathering to provide illumination for the construct below. With its aid, Ken saw beyond the gates to an expansive lawn that stretched for a hundred yards or more. Russet flagstones cut a path through small gardens of red brick and...

The Engagement

Jane couldn’t stop staring at the stubby fingers her client had draped over the side of his polished dress shoe. Everything about Randall Cochrane suggested a middle-aged man with just enough wealth to afford his bespoke suit and pressed shirts. He had short, salt and pepper hair cut close to his head; wireframe glasses sat atop a slightly crooked nose.

You are cordially invited to...



The Vinestead Universe