Rudy Rucker's posted an excerpt from his memoir-in-progress, Nested Scrolls
, recounting the early days of the cyberpunk literary movement, in which drugged-out weirdos from around America discovered each other and were abused by science fiction fans:
I’d meet the other canonical cyberpunk, John Shirley, two years later, when we were both staying with Bruce and Nancy Sterling in Austin, Texas, in town for a science fiction convention that was featuring a panel on cyberpunk. John was a trip. When I woke up on Sterling’s couch in the morning, John was leaning over me, staring at my face.
Early Days of Cyberpunk
“I’m trying to analyze the master’s vibes,” he told me.
The antic SF personage Charles Platt was there in spirit, he’d mailed Bruce a primitive Mandelbrot set program that he’d written in Basic. We’d set the program to running on Bruce’s primitive Amiga computer, and a couple of hours later we’d see a new zoom into the bug-shaped fractal–chunky pixels colored in blue, magenta and cyan.,
As we walked around Austin together talking, John had a habit of picking up some random large stone from a lawn, lugging it over to me, and putting it into my hands. Sometimes I’d be so into the conversation that I’d just carry the rock along for a few steps before noticing it.
Alan Turing and the codebreakers of Bletchley Park invented modern crypto and computers in the course of breaking Enigma ciphers, the codes that Axis powers created with repurposed Enigma Machines — sophisticated (for the day) encryption tools invented for the banking industry — to keep the Allies from listening in on their communications.
In 1948, the Institute of Applied Science commissioned an unknown illustrator to depict a fistful of squirming, terrified criminals caught in an authoritative fist, under the headline “CAUGHT BY THEIR FINGERTIPS” — they were advertising a home Criminal Investigation and Identification course.
Larkin Jones is a hardcore Pokemon fan who loses money every year on his annual Pokemon PAX party; he makes up the shortfall from his wages managing a cafe. This year, Pokémon Company International sued him and told him that even though he’d cancelled this year’s party, they’d take everything he had unless he paid […]
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