Dogfight (short story)

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Author Michael Swanwick and William Gibson
Language English
Genre(s) Cyberpunk
Published in Omni
Publication date July 1985
Preceded by "The Winter Market"

"Dogfight" is a science fiction short story by American writers Michael Swanwick and William Gibson, first published in Omni in July 1985. The story was also included in Gibson’s 1986 short story collection Burning Chrome.


A lonely ex-shoplifter who suffers from a neural block preventing him from returning to his hometown of Washington, D.C., finds a female friend, whose parents have set a neural block on her to protect her virginity – a sort of a mental chastity belt. He becomes enthralled by a new video game – Fokkers & Spads – where he engages in dogfights as a World War I fighter pilot and, with help from his female friend (a gifted hacker of both hardware and software) becomes one of the best fighters. To beat the very best fighter, though, he betrays and hurts his newfound friend only to find himself alone again after his victory over the crippled war-veteran Tiny.

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