“Crusoe.com” is a 2000 speculative fiction short story by Matt Whyman. It is about a couple of men stranded on a desert island with nothing but an internet connection.
A Web of Islands
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. – John Donne
As someone who has lived on some teeny, tiny islands in the Pacific I can tell you that things can get pretty monotonous and boring. Of course, I lived there before the World Wide Web, and I wasn’t alone either. Here is a great little story that is reminiscent of both Robinson Crusoe and Cast Away. Can you imagine being stranded on an island with nothing but a laptop and an internet connection? I know – to some that is probably and idyllic setting! But not so for the characters in this story – who use every electronic means available to try and get rescued!
When his yuppy, investor cruise ship sinks, our protagonist finds himself washed up on a small, deserted island with only a pair of glasses and a functioning laptop computer. You are probably thinking “What good is that?”, but it does prove useful in this story because another survivor has also washed up, but with some networking equipment! So between the two of them (and your ever expanding suspension of disbelief) they are able to get an internet connection! But there are a few problems: one is that it is difficult to convince people that they really are stranded on an island, and another is attracting enough e-attention to themselves to be rescued. Then, to top things off, they discover there are even bigger problems with their situation: they aren’t the only survivors – nor are they the most devious ones!
My Two Cents
- Story: – I really enjoyed reading this mashup between Robinson Crusoe and the internet, but I really had to stretch my disbelief a few times in order to buy into the story.
- Writing: – The writing style was great! It was a snappy and easy read while at the same time being descriptive and humorous – well done!
- Fun Factor: – An overall great story – even if it was hard to swallow in a few places.
Where To Find Crusoe.com
- This story was first published in the turn-of-the-century anthology The New English Library Book of Internet Stories.
- You can read “Crusoe.com” for free online at The Register.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you liked “Crusoe.com” then you might also enjoy “Wolf Island” by Stephen Graham Jones – about two survivors of a ship wreck who wash up on a deserted island where strange things happen.