I remember having my mind entirely blown by William Gibson’s Neuromancer. Today I’ve been reading his latest book, and it’s set in the present. They scan much the same. Living in the Third World time warp one can forget, but the modern world is batshit crazy. I was looking around Wikipedia and I saw this random article on the main page, talking about the world I live in, just so so strange. According to the Wiks – “The Storm Botnet is a group of “zombie” computers, or botnet, controlled remotely. In September 2007 it was estimated to be running on anywhere from 1 million to 50 million computer systems linked by the Storm Worm, a Trojan horse that has spread through e-mail spam. The botnet reportedly is powerful enough as of September 2007 to force entire countries off the Internet.” Neuromancer was about these weird artificial intelligences that generated hallucinations and were becoming as powerful as nations. We’ve got zombies hopped up on V1agra spam. No hallucinations. No flying cars. Sometimes I feel like I live not in the future, but a prelude to a much greater age. Like living in 1900s. It’s kinda awkward and people will laugh at our facial hair.
And that’s just a flip through Wikipedia. I remember a time before instant encyclopedia, I remember those old Encyclopedia Brittanica in the basement of the Upper Arlington Public Library, near the microfiche. Mmmmm, microfiche. I remember getting my first cell phone in university, and never using a landline again. I remember being able to hear whatever song I wanted on Napster. Then I see all the young dudes and realize that this is now de rigeur.
The first line in Neuromancer is the best – “The sky was the color of a television tuned to a dead channel.”
Beijing shot by Ben Wendy