Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

Shockwave Reridden

Re-reading John Brunner's seminal The Shockwave Rider it occurred to me how much the novel owed the ur-internet of PLATO. The whole veephone interface is straight out of TUTOR, along with the programming model that Nick uses to build his worms - along with the privilege-escalating user ID model behind the novel's ID codes.

That's another tick in the box for one of my favourite novels, a book that seems to orbit the same countercultural gyre that I find myself looping in and out of...

Besides the obvious influence of Toffler's Future Shock so far I've noted that Precipice CA, the home of the Samaritans-like organisation Hearing Aid, is inspired by both the Portola Institute/Point Foundation and the Claremont Colleges (which seem to have lent their name to the town's predecessor organisation Claes College), while the novel's background Disasterville USA monographs seem to come out of CoEvolution Quarterly and the Whole Earth Catalogs.

An always fascinating novel, which unveils new facets on each re-read.
Tags: books, reading
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