Thursday, February 12, 2004

William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" is out in paperback. Now's your chance. No excuses.

In Europe, cyberpunk icon and literary hero Bruce Sterling is living the future he helped create and completely digging it, a postmillennial Kerouac. (Have laptop, will travel.) As fellow Beyond the Beyond reader Chris Nakashima-Brown writes (to Sterling):

"Bruce, dude, your live journal over there at Beyond the Beyond is starting to really rock. The first truly 21st Century travelogue -- cyber-beatnik-noir, with ammo. The grizzled veteran of the Twentieth Century wanders the the [sic] near-future landscape he once imagined, battered laptop tapping the network through jury-rigged components of roadside detritus, anemic LCD glow the only illumination in the polluted rain . . ."

Can't put it much better than that. Although you might be able to approximate the experience by watching Wim Wender's "Until the End of the World" -- a film about the cyber-savvy brave new world of 1999 (a year which seems downright Pleistocene to me right now).

"Until the End of the World" begins with a stark voice-over that still makes my spine tingle:

"1999 was the year the Indian Nuclear Satellite went out of control. No one knew where it might land. It soared above the ozone layer like a lethal bird of prey. The whole world was alarmed . . . Claire couldn't care less. At the time, she was living her own nightmare. The same dream arrived each night. She was gliding over an unknown land, pleasantly at first, but then the gliding would turn into falling, the falling into panic, and then she'd wake up."