Now Reading

Now reading: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers.

Just Finished: The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner

I originally became interested in this book when I heard that it contained the earliest reference to a computer worm, that is, a program that eats its way through a network, much as a bookworm eats its way through the pages of a book. Interestingly enough, the data network in the book is so infested with "tapeworms" that it’s easier just to ignore the tapeworms than to try to destroy them. Much, it seems, as is the Internet of today.

Published in 1975, this book makes some good guesses about the future, such as that there will be a global information network (accessed by ‘veephones’ in the book) and that people will become nomadic, moving from place to place and job to job (somewhat true) and that a need for familiarity by the nomads will render cities virtually identical. (Does your town have a Starbucks, a Target, and a Carl’s Jr? Mine, too!)

I think I’d describe this book almost as a proto-cyberpunk V for Vendetta. There is no sense of cyberspace as a place to be visited, but rather as a thing that is tediously interacted with through button pushes. And of course there is nobody in a (literal) mask going around blowing up buildings.

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One thought on “Now Reading”

  1. I always love to see what you’re reading, Erik. I’m glad you share.
    I FINALLY finished Dauntless (which was good and left me wanting more, which there is) and have now started on “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Oh, it’s just… so… SOOOO… SO! good. I’d read Neil Gaiman’s shopping list with pure delight and you match him up with the Discworld guy and you cannot help but have the most original, entertaining story evar.

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