You’ll find this in the collection, Deep Navigation.
I get the distinct feeling with this short story that Alastair was just having some fun with an idea. And why not?
Basically, there’s a game that involves some newly discovered, alien lifeform that the solar system’s best gamers are invited to play. There’s also a bit of politics involved, with the goodies v baddies, evil corporation thing going on in the background as well.
It’s ok, only 4 stars for this instead of Alastair’s usual 5, but like i said, this one just seemed like he decided to have some fun for a change.
Next up on the Alastair Reynolds timeline, from 1998, it’s On the Oodnadatta.