Into the Future! The Making of <i>Beyond Cyberpunk!</i>


#1

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#2

Beyond Cyberpunk! sounds awesome, and it looked cool at the SXSW EFF party, but how do you get a copy now? It seems wrong to have it disappear down the bit-rot memory hole, when we have great things like the Internet Archive and people making emulators for old systems that run in your browser. There’s the web ported version (which was broken for a while, but seems to have been fixed), but the original still has a lot of value as a design item of a certain time.


#3

Borg Like Me looks very interesting. Is there any way you could post an excerpt or turn on the look inside feature at Amazon? I pretty much only read on Kindle these days and I’m afraid I’d be wasting my money because I suspect this is one of those books that only works on paper.


#4

Jeff: We are going to have the original stack up online in a few days. I’ll post the link here when it’s ready.

Chesterfield: It’s true that I put a lot of energy into the print book and in many ways wanted to emulate my zine roots with the look and feel of the book. I think it’s a particularly cool experienced in print, but the Kindle version is still worth your money, I think. And it has one advantage over print: All of the art is in color (that was rendered in color). The only thing we lost was the headline display font and we had to move the opening display images to after the intros (to have them make more sense in an ebook).


#5

I also have two audio files on YouTube of me reading chapters from the book, so you can get a little more flavor for the content:


#6

Hypercard was so awesome at first. A full development stack on your Mac. The language (HyperTalk) had a lot of syntactic sugar, but was easy to pick up and surprisingly powerful.

But it was Mac only, and worse, Apple neglected it entirely after version 1.0 and even started bundling only HyperCard Player with machines and selling the development environment separately. This pretty much killed HyperCard and now it exists only as a spinoff company with a very niche product. The worst part is that had they developed it a bit further (remote cards) they could have built the Web Browser years before Web Browsing was a thing. Granted, it would have been over AppleTalk and still Mac only, but it still would have been amazing.


#7

I’ve just uploaded a video page-through of the print edition of Borg Like Me, so you can get an idea of how lovely it is. Art contributors include William Barker (Schwa), Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man), Danny Hellman (bOING bOING print staple), Nemo Gould (found object artist), Lea Redmond (World’s Smallest Postal Service), Terri Weifenbach (fine-art photographer), and even Boing Boing’s very own Mark Frauenfelder (who also wrote a lovely Foreword). 30 illustrations in all.


#8

Thank you for posting this. I’ve added the book to my wishlist.


#9

And, BTW, I just checked, and the Look Inside feature for the Kindle edition does appear to be turned on. At least I can see it. Can others?


#10

I’ve still got my stack of BCP floppies, though I did lose my comic book somewhere during a move. It’s currently running on an old PowerBook 145b and I jacked in last night to show the kids.

This was one if the pivotal pieces of new media that propelled me to investigate new ways of communicating with technology back in the 90’s when the Net was still text-based and accessed through the boop-beeps of a modem.

Gareth, I’d love to see an update to your book Jamming the Media with use of current technologies.

Will this new book be on iBooks for sale?


#11

Thanks for your kind words on BCP and Jamming the Media. I always love to hear when people still have BCP running (and what an impact it had on them). One of these days I want to buy an early-gen PowerBook, install BCP on it, and put it on a pedestal in my living room as an art piece.

We DO have an EPUB edition of Borg Like Me (and a PDF). The EPUB is not on iBooks yet, but you can order it directly from me at http://sparksoffirepress.com/preorder/


#12

Gosh this article brings back memories. I was a geeky little proto-cyberpunk wannabe in the very early nineties, between the ages of 13 and 15. Just getting exposed to William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, a very weird magazine called Mondo 2000 and an even stranger little zine called boingboing. A weird cast of characters such as Mark and Gareth.

And shit, just freaking look at things now. On some levels it’s very much what we were all looking forward to, but it’s kind of different I guess, too. I finally got my VR headset, thank goodness, and that seems like it’s going to be totally mainstream tech inside of 5 years (for real this time). The internet, if anything, seems more, well, prevalent than I thought it would be. I constantly find myself wishing I could somehow show myself from 1992 a demo of an iPhone, and explain that it can pull data at up to 30+ Mbps through an ever-present cellular connection. I mean, between Google and Wikipedia we HAVE The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (even if it is sadly largely limited to this rock).

Good times, thanks Gareth for all your contributions over more than 20 years. You definitely had a role in rewiring my head!


#13

It’s not that bad.


#14

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