Wyrm is a 1998 novel by Mark Fabi.Michael Arcangelo is a programmer who specializes in combatting viruses and worms. When hired by a team that programmed a revolutionary chess-playing AI to investigate problems with their computer, he discovers evidence of a sentient computer worm. This program, Wyrm, has already stealthily disseminated itself across the Internet. It falls to Mike and a motley collection of fellow hackers to stop Wyrm before it brings about armageddon.
This work contains examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot
- Accidental Aiming Skills: Done a couple times by Ragnar.
- Artificial Intelligence: Wyrm
- As the Good Book Says: Each chapter is headed with a quote from the Book of Revelation.
- Book Ends: "It ate itself."
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The gamers are annoyed that Dworkin used idiosyncratic names like "sword-dancer" and "shadow-stalker" instead of "Fighter" and "Rogue", making it hard for them to tell what class they're even playing as.
- Chess Motifs: Used in the Armageddon battle against Wyrm.
- Computer Virus: Computer viruses and worms feature heavily in the story, the most significant being Wyrm.
- Deep-Immersion Gaming
- Driven to Suicide: Beelzebub
- A God Am I: Wyrm.
- Gossip Evolution: Mike spends days tracking down the source of a rumor about Richard Dworkin only to discover he himself started it.
- Hell: A virtual version made by Wyrm.
- Instant A.I., Just Add Water
- Mechanical Evolution: Discussed, and the differences from biological evolution are noted.
- Millennium Bug
- Mind Probe: Wyrm to Beelzebub and Michael.
- Mind Rape: Wyrm, by the same means as the Mind Probe.
- Norse Mythology: There are a number of references to elements of Norse Mythology, including Jormungandr, Nidhoggr, and Thor and Loki in the Land of the Giants
- Omnicidal Maniac: Wyrm.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons of every conceivable type appear in the story.
- Recursive Acronym: TRAP. It stands for TRAP Recursive Acronym Program.
- Schrödinger's Cat
- Shout-Out: Lots, particularly to Monty Python and Lewis Carroll.
- Unusual User Interface: The NIL.