January 27, 2006

cyberspatial reading

Since we're on such a tear about this cyberspace stuff, can I recommend some good background reading? Cyberspace: First Steps by Michael Benedikt, ed. It's a collection of papers and essays by a wide variety of authors on the subject of - what else? - Cyberspace, circa 1991. As such, it is a mixed bag of work where some things turned out to be classics (Morningstar & Farmer, 'The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat', for example) and others turned out to be sloppy mumbo jumbo.
From a perspective 15 years hence, it's an instructive read from cover to cover, beginning with William Gibson's quick but evocative 'Academy Leader' and concluding with a proposal for 'Making Reality a Cyberspace'. Anyway it's out of print but available super cheap from the used bookies.

Assembled word cyberspace from small and readily available components of language. Neologic spasm: the primal act of pop poetics. Preceded any concept whatever. Slick and hollow - awaiting received meaning. All I did: folded words as taught. Now other words accrete in the interstices... I work the angle of transit. Vectors of neon plaza, licensed consumers, acts primal and undreamed of...

- William Gibson, Academy Leader

Posted by Gene at January 27, 2006 11:53 PM