Most 200{0,1} prescient SciFi author?

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From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Sun Dec 31 2000 - 10:01:59 PST

Clarke gets a big boost for inventing the Clarke orbit, but negatives for
"2001: A Space Odyssey". 2010, 2068, and 3001 were better books with more
coherent stories, but not very prescient. As far as interesting explanations
of human life on earth, I liked "Protector" better (I think that was what it
was called).

William Gibson, for "Neuromancer" (in 1974!), is pretty impressive even though
we don't yet have fully interactive 3D interfaces for everyday use. We're
there for gaming in Quake Arena et al. The hacked Doom to allow you to kill
Unix processes by shooting at them is pretty cool.

Bruce Sterling and Neal Stephenson have some very telling examinations of
current and near future sociotechnical society, but nothing like the lead that
Gibson had.

I met Gibson once. According to reports, he used a manual typewriter for all
or most of his career so far. In addition, he is said to view his futures as
more of a dystopian horror than anything. I think we Internet nuts see the
redeeming value of a better Internet. Or at least see that it will be more

I wonder if Bill Joy, writing recently about the horrors of nanotech
availability and abuse, among other things, has read the Sterling and
Stephenson books on the subject. (Snow Crash, Diamond Age, Holy Fire). We're
making amazing progress toward all three 'ages' in these great stories
(Cyberpunk, nanopunk, biopunk). I really don't think that Cyberspace is that
much of a threat, based on the development so far, but nanotech and biotech
could both get really interesting. Of course Gibson's Cyberpunk included
almost as much biopunk as cyber.


Stephen D. Williams         Insta, Inc./Jabber.Com, Inc./CCI
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax  Dec2000

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