Twenty-three years ago, my wife Carla and I came up with the idea to create bOING bOING, a zine that would cover comic books, cyberpunk science fiction, consciousness technology, curious phenomena, and
whatever else surprised and delighted us. That zine, which ran for 15 issues until 1997, evolved into the very website you're reading right now.
The first few issues of Boing Boing had print runs in the low hundreds, and the biggest was 17,500 copies. Today, the blog easily gets that many page views in an hour, so it's safe to say that the vast majority of Boing Boing readers have never read anything that appeared in those early zines. Today we're happy to announce that we've made available a free anthology of some of our favorite interviews from bOING bOING, the zine. You can access it for free with Microsoft's Office Web Apps on SkyDrive, whose sponsorship has made this project possible.
The anthology, called bOING bOING: History of the Future! is a collection of interviews with and articles by some of our favorite writers and thinkers – Robert Anton Wilson, Rudy Rucker, William Gibson, Kevin
Kelly, Marc Laidlaw, and Bruce Sterling.
In the coming weeks, we'll be running posts about the articles included in the bOING bOING: History of the Future anthology. The first piece in the new issue is an interview with author William Gibson, whose novel Neuromancer introduced me to the fantastic cyberpunk science fiction genre.
When I printed the first issue of Boing Boing in 1989, I located William Gibson's mailing address and sent him a copy. He wrote back with a complimentary letter, and I added him to the subscription list. I always appreciated receiving his occasional postcards, and reading interviews with him in other magazines where he mentioned bOING bOING as a zine he enjoyed.
bOING bOING's interview with William Gibson ran in bOING bOING #12 (cover at left) and was published in 1993 or 1994. In the interview, Gibson was asked if he thought the technology he'd envisioned in the 1980s would soon manifest itself in the real world. He said, "I don't think we're going to see anything too drastic happening culturally around computers until the user-interface evolves to the point where it's easy to use. I mean when you say 'hey, I do a lot of e-mail' or 'hey, I hang out on the Internet' — the reason that has a kind of elite buzz to it, is that the learning curve is still too steep."
In addition to this entertaining interview, bOING bOING #12 contained a two-page comic strip about the legal battle between Margaret and Walter Keane, who painted those famous big-eyed sad kids.
The document is in Microsoft Word format and you can view it for free with Office Web Apps on SkyDrive whether you have Word on your computer or not. And if you'd like to download it for local perusal or printing and don't have a recent version of Microsoft Word or one of the many other applications that can open the document, you can use the free Word Viewer for Windows or Quick Look built into Mac OS X .