“Into the Future! The Making of Beyond Cyberpunk!” on Boing Boing


Boing Boing is running an excerpt of Borg Like Me. It’s the full story of how we came to create the ground-breaking 1991 hypermedia electronic book, Beyond Cyberpunk!

Building a Cyberpunk “Data Bucket”

While Peter and I were anxious to get our hands dirty with hypermedia, I discovered a rather exhaustive list of cyberpunk sci-fi novels on The Well BBS and thought that might be a perfect subject for our stack. I’d been reading as much of this sci-fi subgenre of near-future worlds and high-tech low-lifes as I could get my hands on, so it was perfect fit. The idea was originally to create a “data bucket” into which we could just toss all of the information on cyberpunk that we found while surfing the Net. But, like a lot of hypermedia projects, once we started seeding our little pocket universe, Beyond Cyberpunk! quickly began teeming with lots of unexpected life. We soon decided to go all out, to make it as exhaustive as possible, and release it as a commercial product. At the time (1990), the Internet was not yet in the media spotlight. So-called cyberculture (where these near-future speculative worlds met the bleeding edge of real-life technoculture) was in its heyday, but known only on the cultural fringes. We could sense that all things “cyber” were about to bust into the mainstream and we wanted to chart the course cyberculture had taken, from its sci-fi and early hacker roots, through the Internet, and soon, we suspected, into everyday, mainstream life.

Read the rest of the piece.

And pick up your copy of the book here.

Published by Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

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