Once in a great while a science fiction story is so visionary, yet so close to impending scientific developments that it becomes not only an accurate predictor, but itself the locus for new discoveries and development. True Names by Vernor Vinge, first published in 1981, is such a work.
Here is a feast of articles by computer scientists and journalists on the cutting edge of the field, writing about innovations and developments of the Internet, including, among others:
Danny Hillis: Founder of thinking machines and the first Disney Fellow.
Timothy C. May: former chief scientist at Intel--a major insider in the field of computers and technology.
Marvin Minsky: Cofounder of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab.
Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer: Codevelopers of habitat, the first real computer interactive environment.
Mark Pesce: Cocreator of VRML and the author of the Playful World: How Technology Transforms Our Imagination.
Richard M. Stallman: Research affiliate with MIT; the founder of the Free Software Movement.
About the Author
Vernor Vinge has won five Hugo Awards, two of them for novels in the Zones of Thought series, A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. Known for his rigorous hard-science approach to science fiction, he became an iconic figure among cybernetic scientists with the publication in 1981 of his novella “True Names,” which is considered a seminal, visionary work of Internet fiction. His many novels also include Marooned in Realtime, Rainbows End and The Peace War.
“Many Net veterans cite True Names as a seminal influence that shaped their ideas about Net policy. It became a cult classic among hackers and presaged everything from Internet interactive games to Neuromancer.” —Wired