[ExI] SF - cyberspace and utopian narratives for meatless bodies

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Tue Feb 14 01:12:02 UTC 2012

On Mon, 13 Feb 2012, Natasha Vita-More wrote:

> Hi everyone, I received plenty of responses from extrobritannia on this, so
> no need to respond!
>  <http://www.natasha.cc/> Natasha Vita-More
> PhD Researcher, Univ. of Plymouth, UK
> Chairman, Humanity+ 
> Co-Editor, The Transhumanist Reader

No, please, don't give up on us :-).

Just because I have already searched my memories, and at worst it will 
be archived even if not quite useful for your goals, here goes:

- Philip K. Dick "A Maze of Death" - colonist ship is stranded somewhere, 
  crew cannot call home and to pass the time they engage in VR-based 


- Frederik Pohl "Heechee Rendezvous" - I am not sure about rest of 
  Heechee/Gateway novels, and this one is the first I can recall that 
  describes a concept that a billionaire can escape death as an upload to 
  alien computer. Heechees do this kind of stuff routinely, as they don't 
  need/want to write complicated software - instead, they use dead 
  Heechees' uploads to do complicated things (if I remember it well 
  enough) in a way that made me thinking about cyberslaves, or dead folk 
  turned into cyberspace zombies.


- Stanislaw Lem "Bajka o trzech maszynach opowiadajacych krola Genialona"  
  ("Tale of the Three Storytelling Machines of King Genius") - yeah, 
  indeed, would it be possible that I did not mention Lem? Anyway, this 
  story is not quite about cyberspace as other authors do. I will write 
  part of the story only. In short, Trurl, a great constructor and 
  inventor, travelled between the stars and came upon a barking comet.  
  Trying to make it go away, he thrown lots of things from the ship, and 
  he also thrown a pot. A pot landed on one moon with cosmic trash on it, 
  left from two civilisations that ended their existence in war against 
  each other. Landing on a heap of trash, pot caused a number of 
  coincidences which resulted in creation of electric robot, Maimas (Pl.  
  "Majmasz"). He stood up, looked around, seen himself in a nearby pool 
  and walked away singing hymn about Harmony. Accidentally, he misstepped, 
  failed and turned off. After about 300 000 years, some merchant passed 
  by, quarreling with his helper. A merchant threw his shoes at helper, 
  missed, shoes went throu spaceship's window and one of them landed on 
  Maimas, pushing his rusting body into water pool. Thanks to chemistry, 
  this contributed to making of electrolyte and since Maimas' head sat in 
  it, some current passed through his brain. Unfortunately, he only 
  managed to think "I exist" and again went off. 

  After some 1500 years, a bird flew over Maimas and made a poo. A poo 
  landed on his forehead. Again, Maimas started to think. His sensors 
  rusted and failed, so he only had his thoughts, and he went on creating 
  whole universe based on some logical assumptions about his own being.  
  Kind of I think therefore I am. If I am, but empty, therefore I need to 
  be filled up. So he invented all kinds of figures living in this 
  universe, wild peoples and romantic lovers. He understood that his 
  universe depends on him so he made his best to remember about 
  everything etc. Unfortunately, his physical body slowly sunk into mud 
  and finally, the abovementioned pot, directed by flow of wind, hit his 
  head, it broke and water entered the brain, putting an end to his 
  thinking and universe created by it. And, as a story says, nobody ever 
  knew about it all, not even those who started all events by accident.

- a bunch of usual suspects - Gibson, Stross - already mentioned by others

It is possible I will recall more about Lem, but let's leave it like it is 
now. My gelly works in circular and upredictable ways.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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