Alien Beer Podcast – ZWORDPLAY.EXE

For this episode of the Alien Beer Podcast, I thought I’d do something a bit different. The story I have for you is another one of my Bradbury Challenge stories. I was in a rather experimental mood when I wrote it. Perhaps some of you will recognize the format. Rather than spoil it here in the introduction, I’ll save my explanation for after the story is done being told. I’ll also add a content warning: this story contains a loss of agency. See you after the end.

Whiteboard Wednesday rendition of ZWORDPLAY.EXE

(after text, highlight to read)

Hello again, dear listener. As promised, here’s my explanation.

When I wrote this story, I had the idea of telling it in the form of an old text-based interactive fiction computer game like, Colossal Cave Adventure, Zork, or Infocom’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. If you haven’t experienced this form of interactive fiction before, I hope you still enjoyed this presentation of the medium.

Of course, it’s not an interactive story, it’s only written in that style. When I thought about reading the story to you, I thought it might be difficult to convey the feel of a computer game in my reading. So, as you can tell, I employed a text-to-speech converter on the website, “” using the “Alice” personality. I rather liked the effect, and I hope you did, too.

Thanks for hanging in there with me on this experimental story, told in an experimental way.

Speaking of computer games, have you checked out my Kindle Vella offering yet? I teamed up with Red Tash and Kat Bradbury to create a science fiction adventure serial, under the collective pen name of Kaye Elsie. It’s called “SPI Girls Kick Ass!” It’s like Charlies Angels meets The Matrix, and I hope you’ll check it out at

About ecgarrison

Author. Brewer. Gamer. Geek. Trans.
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