Looking for an OMNI Magazine short story about unlimited class car racing - called "Formula Zero" or "Formula X" in the story.

Main character is a cyborg, jacks into his vehicle when racing.

He's in a relationship with an activist who is trying to shut racing down. He agrees to have a 'meme bomb' implanted in himself to this end.


1 Answer 1


This appears to be "Grand Prix" by Simon Ings, published in Omni's June 1993 issue. It is also apparently published in the anthology "Off Limits: Tales of Alien Sex" edited by Ellen Datlow.

From the text:

Formula Zero is a race for cars, not drivers. It is a vicious testing bed for crackpot ideas, the way Formula One used to be till the nineteen-seventies and the iron rule of Jean Marie Balestre.

Formula One’s rule book ceased to reflect technical progress around that time. Formula Zero was conceived in the nineties as a way round the role book and into the twenty-first century. Anyway, crashes are good for business. My eyes are full of lignocaine. Underlids count off the seconds. I tense my arse and spool the revcounter into the red, just out of my line of focus. I pop the clench plate into my mouth and bite down. The throttle glows green. I blink. The visor snaps down. It’s made of Kevlar. A projector micropored to my head beams eight external views onto the inner surface of the visor then setttles for center-forward.


I’m in a different place. A green hillside. The track is a smooth black nothing under my wheels, swirrling round the hill. I follow it with cybernetic eyes. Gentry in the Ferrari is a blue proximity-danger icon on my left near-side. He cuts me up on the first corner. I’ll use him as a pacemaker. I’m so far ahead of the league table I’d be happy to let him win. But if I don’t pass the post first, then Catharine’s meme-bomb sits in me, waiting for the next victory. It only triggers if I’m race champion. A kind of sick fascination is driving me. That and a hope that the Progamme’s attack on the machismo-oriented Grand Prix might dovetail with my own wish for vengeance on Maureen Havers.


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