True Names
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True Names

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  107 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Disaffected computer wizard "Mr. Slippery" (True Name Roger Pollack) is an early adopter of a new full-immersion virtual reality technology called the Other Plane. He and the other wizards form a cabal to keep their true identities — their True Names — secret to avoid prosecution by their "Great Adversary" — the government of the United States.

The lines that define us are...more
Paperback, 153 pages
Published December 15th 1984 by Bluejay Books
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At its core, this is a good story. Concepts of AI, virtual reality, and computer-augmented intelligence that would be cliché today were cutting edge when Vinge introduced them here nearly 20 years ago. But I can only recommend this one to well established Vernor Vinge fans. The idea that the human mind would naturally interpret cyberspace as a medieval fantasy world (without any intentional design or construction) is laughable. I didn't find the writing itself to be at all "bad" as some reviewer...more
A novel about the pscyhedelic internet, cyberspace, before the comparatively drab reality of the World Wide Web became the most common way of interfacing with the ethereal. Though the internet portrayed here is a virtual fantasy landscape, it would be wrong to see only similarities between the world of True Names and MMORPGs such as Everquest or World of Warcraft: True Names offers an alternative vision of what using the internet might have been like, and, to a degree, still is. As Marvin Minsky...more
Read only "True Names", not the other stories in the collection. It's easy to see this as an archetype for the cyberpunk that was to come (written a couple years before Neuromancer and over a decade before Snow Crash). Nerdy Male Protagonist forced to hack against his will allies with Strong And Impossibly Beautiful Female Character against Some Invisible Enemy. Very inventive, especially considering when it was written. The writing itself is silly and really pretty bad but it moves the plot alo...more
A quick read, and a little dated--but hey, the book is as old as I am--but very interesting to see Vinge's ideas of the potential future of tech back in the 80's. A lot of the concepts here have been used by other authors since this was written and have been well-updated. That being said, I enjoyed this novella (short story?) and its discussion of AI and augmented human capabilities.

Rating: PG
Not the "be all-end all" my hubby claimed. I must have missed the window of opportunity for this one to be relevant.
Rs Vivs
One of my favorite books, early exploration of cyberspace before the whole cyberpunk movement really took hold
Jul 04, 2011 Marsha added it
Shelves: sci-fi
Besides horrible illustrations, story was really provocative, esp given that was written in 84.

I liked the first 3 stories. I think they were clever concepts.
While noticeably dated, this story is still excellent.
Nov 17, 2012 Shelby added it
loved it
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Vernor Steffen Vinge is a retired San Diego State University Professor of Mathematics, computer scientist, and science fiction author. He is best known for his Hugo Award-winning novels A Fire Upon The Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1999) and Rainbows End (2006), his Hugo Award-winning novellas Fast Times at Fairmont High (2002) and The Cookie Monster (2004), as well as for his 1993 essay...more
More about Vernor Vinge...
A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought, #1) A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2) Rainbows End The Peace War (Across Realtime, #1) Marooned in Realtime (Across Realtime, #2)

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“[He] was an insect wandering in the cathedral his mind had become.” 5 likes
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