The year is 1999. Michael Arcangelo's business is detecting and eliminating viruses, worms, and other computer-nasties from corporate files and operating systems. While attempting to cleanse a cutting-edge chess-playing program, he encounters a worm-- ``Wyrm''--that not only eats other viruses, but reconfigures other programs for greater speed and efficiency! He also meets Al Meade (she's in the same line of business), and the two strike immediate sparks. Further investigation shows that flexible Wyrm might well be intelligent and even self-aware. Problem? Well, the ubiquitous Wyrm has reorganized the entire computer net as a single massively parallel processor; worse, it's apparently planning a millennial apocalypse in which it will not only kill itself but take with it most of the human race by firing off nuclear missiles! The only way to attack Wyrm is through a vast virtual-reality role-playing game designed by computer genius Roger Dworkin--and Roger turns up dead. . . . Will any of this make sense to non-nerds? Let's just say that it helps if you can decode sentences like ``And the frobnule gives us full wizard privileges,'' and if you know your MUDs from your MOOs. A huge, ambitious roller-coaster of a debut, overstuffed with computer hackese, that tries--not always successfully--to meld the latest speculations in artificial intelligence with computer games, Monty Python, mythology, Lewis Carroll, and whatnot. Grab those wizard privileges and beware of hostile frobnules.