Becoming “Reality Hackers”

 

His (Sterling’s) famous introduction for that book (Mirrorshades), describing what cyberpunk was doing in fiction — seemed to express precisely what a truly contemporary transmutational magazine should be about.

the transition from MONDO 2000 to Reality Hackers — excerpt from Freaks in the Machine MONDO 2000 in late 20th Century Technoculture (yes… still in progress)

R.U. Sirius

Some time in 1988, we made a rash decision. Despite High Frontiers relatively successful rise within the ‘zine scene (where 15,000 in sales was solid), we decided to change the name of the magazine itself to Reality Hackers.

It was my idea.

We’d been hipped to cyberpunk SF and I’d read Gibson’s Neuromancer and Sterling’s Mirrorshades collection. His famous introduction for that book, describing what cyberpunk was doing in fiction — seemed to express precisely what a truly contemporary transmutational magazine should be about.

Here are some parts of it: “The term, (cyberpunk) captures something crucial to the work of these writers, something crucial to the decade as a whole: a new kind of integration. The overlapping of worlds that were formerly separate: the realm of high tech, and the modern pop underground.

“This integration has become our decade’s crucial source of cultural energy. The work of the cyberpunks is paralleled throughout the Eighties pop culture: in rock video; in the hacker underground; in the jarring street tech of hip hop and scratch music; in the synthesizer rock of London and Tokyo. This phenomenon, this dynamic, has a global range; cyberpunk is its literary incarnation…

An unholy alliance of the technical world and the world of organized dissent — the underground world of pop culture, visionary fluidity, and street-level anarchy…

For the cyberpunks… technology is visceral. It is not the bottled genie of remote Big Science boffins; it is pervasive, utterly intimate. Not outside us, but next to us. Under our skin; often, inside our minds.

Certain central themes spring up repeatedly in cyberpunk. The theme of body invasion: prosthetic limbs, implanted circuitry, cosmetic surgery, genetic alteration. The even more powerful theme of mind invasion: brain-computer interfaces, artificial intelligence, neurochemistry — techniques radically redefining — the nature of humanity, the nature of the self. The Eighties are an era of reassessment, of integration, of hybridized influences, of old notions shaken loose and reinterpreted with a new sophistication.

Cyberpunk favors “crammed” loose: rapid, dizzying bursts of novel information, sensory overIoad that submerges the reader in the literary equivalent of the hard-rock “wall of sound.” Well, then… Read more “Becoming “Reality Hackers””

What’s It Like Being God? Pull Quotes from High Frontiers Issue #3

Pull quotes… from High Frontiers issue #3 for you to chew over. (High Frontiers was the predecessor to MONDO 2000.)

HF: What’s it like being God? Rosalie Blue: It’s like Doonesbury suddenly getting up off the paper and seeing that he’s always been flat.

 

 

They had to have a new domestic enemy and, of course, drugs are the perfect scapegoat. People that use drugs tend to be dissident.  Timothy Leary

 

 

…they were working on a combination L-dopa/parlodel on Parkinson’s patients in their 70s and 80s. The old ladies and old men started fucking like fiends. Durk Pearson

 

 

The human brain is 50,000 years out of date. It evolved in a nontechnological world where the basic tasks were hunting, gathering, agriculture.  Anonymous Unit

 

The machines produce immediate effects. I don’t think that they are as powerful and noticeable as the effects you might get from a chemical dose. Michael Hutchison

 

In the electronics field, when you put something out, you are protected only by your speed in putting the next thing out. Lee Felsenstein

 

Fringe scientists are interested in time travel, telepathy, psychokinesis, tantric sex, hypnosis, psychedelic drugs, wild card models of mind, God and universe  Nick Herbert Read more “What’s It Like Being God? Pull Quotes from High Frontiers Issue #3”