True Names Epub ✓ Paperback

True Names 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 not always black and white, though There s a new wizard in the Other Plan and they re recruiting for a scheme to translate cyberspace domination into real world power [Read] ➱ Enna Burning By Shannon Hale – Kleankitchen.co.uk though There s a new wizard in the Other Plan and they re recruiting for a scheme to translate cyberspace domination into real world power


10 thoughts on “True Names

  1. Jason Pettus Jason Pettus says:

    I picked up this obscure 1981 novella by the insider loved science fiction author Vernor Vinge because of recently learning that it s demonstrably the very first story to define the trope we now know as cyberspace, and that the authors who eventually created the cyberpunk genre in the late 80s and early 90s William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Neal Stephenson, etc were all passionate fans of this book and basically used it as a starting place for their own stories And after reading it, I can I picked up this obscure 1981 novella by the insider loved science fiction author Vernor Vinge because of recently learning that it s demonstrably the very first story to define the trope we now know as cyberspace, and that the authors who eventually created the cyberpunk genre in the late 80s and early 90s William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Neal Stephenson, etc were all passionate fans of this book and basically used it as a starting place for their own stories And after reading it, I can attest that all this is very much true, and that you can see the seeds of all the cyberpunk novels that came after fully formed here in this one the internet as a 3D virtual reality space, connecting to it via biomech headgear that taps directly into your neurons, within a physical US that has become an endless sprawl of crappy exurban spaces hooking together all the major cities, which has led some people to enjoy the virtual version so much that they re happy to let their physical bodies entropy into immovable objects, and where the most talented hackers of this system achieve virtual godlike powers and battle entities that may or may not be self sentient AI programs run amok.But there s something really interesting going on here from a historical perspective too, which you can directly compare to another transitional period in literary history namely, the years in the early 1800s when the Enlightenment was falling out of favor as the main cultural force in the arts, and Romanticism was just beginning its ascendency For those who don t know, Mary Shelley published Frankenstein just three years after Jane Austen published Emma, 1818 versus 1815 and while both are great novels, one is definitely the last gasp of the previous age, while the other is the explosive beginning of the next And so too was True Names published in 1981, while just three years later Gibson published his debut novel Neuromancer, with both of them sharing many details but hugely different in tone and spirit for in what was perhaps the most interesting thing of all about reading this, Vinge s story is very much steeped in the murky countercultural s of such 70s authors as Philip K Dick and Roger Zelazny, with his hacker protagonist being a frazzled ex hippie living in the woods of northern California, the means to connect online relyingon EEG manipulation aided by meditation than computer graphics zapped straight into one s neural cortex, the virtual world he inhabits being a pretty faithful reproduction of a backwoods castle from J.R.R Tolkien s Middle Earth and with the hackers calling themselves warlocks instead of cyberpunk s cowboys , and the cabal of troublemakers he belongs to who refer to themselves as a coven having muchthe playful, chaotic spirit of old 60s phone phreakers and merry pranksters, there mostly to have fun and to gently Stick It To The Man, and all of them shocked and disconcerted when one of the people in their circle decides that it s time for them to seize some real power since, after all, the world s banks and military arsenals are on the same information web that they are.Gibson, Stephenson, et al take this jockeying for power and control as an act one given in their novels, their own protagonists being skittish rail thin speed addicts living in the grimy back corners of rainy London or a neon lit New York, their virtual reality not a fairyland of castles and elves but the sleek black glass of a Brutalist fever dream So even though True Names undeniably lays the groundwork for the cyberpunk novels that came immediately after, it s not even close to being a book you could categorize in the same genre, instead beingof a bridge that helped science fiction move from the hippie weirdness of the 70s to the slick grittiness of the 80s, exactly like how Joy Division, the Cure and the Smiths were doing so in the world of music in these exact same years That s why it s not getting a full five stars from me today, because you can t rightly call it a lost cyberpunk classic, and it simply can t stand as an equal in quality to those now beloved titles but if you re an aging cyberpunk fan like me, or simply someone who enjoys doing a deep and wide look at the genre s entire history, certainly this is a must read anyway, fascinating from a historical perspective even if the story itself contains flaws that were then corrected by the books right after it It comes with a limited recommendation in this spirit


  2. Thom Thom says:

    Originally published as a novella in 1981, this version of True Names contains illustrations by Bob Walters and an afterword by Marvin Minsky I read this back in 1984, and really enjoyed re reading it on a plane flight across the country Recommended While some of the tech is a little dated, Vinge keeps it mostly in the background At one point, the protagonist utilizes other computers to increase his power online, and this is not so different from networked computers participating in a DDOS Originally published as a novella in 1981, this version of True Names contains illustrations by Bob Walters and an afterword by Marvin Minsky I read this back in 1984, and really enjoyed re reading it on a plane flight across the country Recommended While some of the tech is a little dated, Vinge keeps it mostly in the background At one point, the protagonist utilizes other computers to increase his power online, and this is not so different from networked computers participating in a DDOS attack today For a story written in 1981, the author was remarkably prescient.Other aspects of the plot are also well done, and I found the female protagonist Erythrina well written Using fantasy metaphors for the imagined cyberspace works well The conclusion provides a satisfying and believable resolution to the story.This novella was republished a few years after that in a collection titled True Names and Other Dangers, which I need to read next I plan to hand this publication to a friend who absolutely hated Neuromancer, in an attempt to show that not all cyberspace is bad


  3. Tim Tim says:

    My first Vinge, even if A Fire Upon the Deep is still waiting to be read as well True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier is a re release of Vinge s same titled novella, caught between introductions, essays, and an afterword The introduction of this edition is by Hari Kunzru, whom I ve never heard of, to be honest He gives a bit of background on the novella and the period in which is was written Editor James Frenkel reminisces about his time as Vinge s editor at Tor Books and My first Vinge, even if A Fire Upon the Deep is still waiting to be read as well True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier is a re release of Vinge s same titled novella, caught between introductions, essays, and an afterword The introduction of this edition is by Hari Kunzru, whom I ve never heard of, to be honest He gives a bit of background on the novella and the period in which is was written Editor James Frenkel reminisces about his time as Vinge s editor at Tor Books and of course about the novella, obviously Then comes Vinge s own introduction He tells about how the novella came to be, what influenced him, what it s about, and so on The afterword is by Marvin Minsky, another unknown name to me Neatly put after the novella itself, he uses the events as basis for his view on the matter, on how the future might have look ed.The essays are by various experts in the field of information technology The themes range from cryptography, encryption, big data sort of , artificial intelligence, security software, In other words, lots of programming, to use one general term Not every essay is as accessible as the other, of course One must, in my opinion, have some knowledge on or be interested in the matter or computers in general to follow along Yes, the explanations and visions may be dated, but you have to keep in mind that these essays were written in the early to mid 1990s A lot has happened, a lot has changed since then Especially with regards to the internet and how we utilise it That said, it is interesting to read these guys experiences and insights of that period.The novella itself then It s a good 80 pages long and is about a hacking community, with mainly one guy Mr Slippery aka Roger Pollack having been tracked down Gone privacy, indeed The Feds want a huge favour from him Considering his skills, he s the perfect man for the job, i.e tracking down a certain Mailman, who seems to take control over the various networks The Feds apparently don t have the means or people to catch him, hence appealing to the dark side Both Roger and the Feds lead by one Virginia are in a luxury position Roger is the only one capable enough, but Virginia can keep his ass out of prison, since he s broken several laws so far as a hacker.And so, they reach an agreement under strict conditions and Roger sets to work His computer equipment is first quality, allows him to go farther than any regular computer user He meets up with his friends, a sort of coven, in a virtual world Based on the descriptions, it reminded me of Second Life, in a way Each having his her avatar, codes to access locations with different rooms , and so on If I m not mistaken, hackers used some kind of electrodes to go into the world and live there As Mr Slippery Roger executes his task, which is for the sake of all humanity, else the world will go down, Mr Vinge describes what s going on The story is fairly accessible, but of course you get your obligatory technical vocabulary I have to admit that some elements went over my head, but not in a way that I couldn t follow the story As you can imagine, all s well that ends well, but Roger still isn t a free man afterwards And the Mailman view spoiler A programma invented by the Feds back in the day, set up to run its own course, to develop on its own Goal Secure the system, no matter what Someone had let a copy of the programme loose It was actually doing it job, but was destroyed by Roger and co., because the Feds couldn t or didn t know how to clean up their own mess hide spoiler As the end of the story came near, you start to realise or you don t how important computers have become in our lives, in society, everywhere Airports, railway stations, radio, traffic, hospitals, schools, power supply throughout the country , communication, companies, space, And how you don t have any privacy any .Long story short An interesting and entertaining story about computers, about networks, about encryption and trying to stay under the radar privacy, not revealing your real name,The essays were a nice bonus, offering background on the elements used in the novella


  4. Eva Eva says:

    Before Neuromancer and Snow Crash, there was Vinge s True Names , written in 1981 Hackers meet in cyberspace, a virtual representation of data space they call the Other Plane Metaphors and symbols of magic are applied to this world they are warlocks and wizards, they cast spells modern day sorcery in a completely networked world There are battles in cyberspace, amassing computation power that goes to your head and makes you Gods, encryption schemes to trick those who control you beca Before Neuromancer and Snow Crash, there was Vinge s True Names , written in 1981 Hackers meet in cyberspace, a virtual representation of data space they call the Other Plane Metaphors and symbols of magic are applied to this world they are warlocks and wizards, they cast spells modern day sorcery in a completely networked world There are battles in cyberspace, amassing computation power that goes to your head and makes you Gods, encryption schemes to trick those who control you because they know your true name, there s the NSA, conflicts over good and bad and governing authorities, a dormant yet evolving AI, even upload of consciousness There s a lot in there and it s a rather slim book ideas that Vinge doesn t nearly get enough credit for I am glad I got here, finally


  5. Peter Garrett Peter Garrett says:

    The cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction was rooted in the work of New Wave SF authors such as Philip K Dick, Roger Zelazny and JG Ballard Its themes began to emerge in the late 1970s in SF comics such as Judge Dredd, and crystallized around the 1982 Riddley Scott movie Blade Runner, the Japanese manga series Akira, and, in particular, William Gibson s novel Neuromancer 1984.Gibson consolidated four elements that came to define the subgenre technology especially the internet, cybernetics a The cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction was rooted in the work of New Wave SF authors such as Philip K Dick, Roger Zelazny and JG Ballard Its themes began to emerge in the late 1970s in SF comics such as Judge Dredd, and crystallized around the 1982 Riddley Scott movie Blade Runner, the Japanese manga series Akira, and, in particular, William Gibson s novel Neuromancer 1984.Gibson consolidated four elements that came to define the subgenre technology especially the internet, cybernetics and artificial intelligence , society a dystopic near future extension of neo liberalism , an unending desolate urban landscape, and a hard bitten noir style, building on authors such as Raymond Chandler and William Burroughs and the gonzo journalism of Hunter S Thompson.The most striking aspect of Neuromancer was its prediction of the internet, which didn t exist when the novel was published Gibson, who knew very little about computers, called it cyberspace Placed in the novel s dystopic social and urban milieu and described in Gibson s attenuated language, the invention provides a disturbing and powerful fictional presence.Neuromancer wasn t the first novel, though, to predict the internet Versions were also described in The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner 1975 , and in Vernon Vinge s 1982 novella True Names.Despite its billing, though, True Names isn t genuinely a work of cyberpunk Only one of the four core themes is addressed in detail Vinge s cyberspace, known as The Other Plane, is reached through EEG readings and a little bit of transcendental meditation Full of magical tropes castles, dungeons, warlocks and spells , its atmosphere is evoked in a detailed and reasonably convincing manner.Vinge touches on twoof cyberpunk s core themes State security is pitted against subversive hackers, who, in a clever extension of the use of magical tropes, must keep their True Names secret for fear of being identified and penalised in the real world The natty teenage security agents who appear late in the book, slightly reminiscent of the John Travolta character in Pulp Fiction, are also a nice touch There s little, though, to transmit the feeling of menace that comes across in Neuromancer and, indeed, in earlier works such as Philip K Dick s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep the inspiration for Blade Runner In addition, a short descriptive passage about the urban landscape in Providence is slightly suggestive of scenes in Blade Runner It s said that Vinge was unable to sit through the movie because it reminded him so clearly of the landscape he had been attempting to realise in the novella If so, it s a pity that he didn t makeeffort to bring it to life.The element that is completely lacking, however, is style In Neuromancer, Gibson captures the reader immediately with an iconic first sentence The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel It s ironic that the image he intended to convey, the black and white static of an untuned cathode ray tube, would not have existed in the post modern world intended to evoke, but the power of the language is still undeniable.Gibson then continues in a noir style with short sentences that disdain nouns and even pronouns as subjects The effect, if this was a first person narrative, would be something like a hastily scribbled diary but, in the context of a third person account, the attenuated writing works to draw the reader into the perceptual framework of the protagonist, Case, so as to appreciate his experiences as if they were first hand In some of Gibson s later work such as The Peripheral, published in 2014 the technique becomes so attenuated as to become littlethan an irritating and confusing mannerism.In True Names, Vinge achieves nothing like this The narrative style, detached third person, is flat The tricks considered an essential part of modern creative fiction are largely absent the narrative point of view sometimes wanders from the protagonist, Mr Slippery, to other characters in particular, Erythrina , and there are large blocks of expostulatory dialogue unbroken by stage direction, so the reader finds it difficult to picture the speaker during these bouts of mansplaining The objective, authorial account of Mr Slippery s experiences is a hindrance to empathy His motivations and responses lack complexity, and we never really get to know him as an individual person.The same goes for the other characters despite their obvious physical differences, whether they re human or mechanical or, on The Other Plane, representations of people, robots, or fax machines, they re all pretty much indistinguishable The individual described in the most detail, Erythrina, lacks depth the revelation of the contrast between her virtual and real physical habitus seems banal rather than shocking, and the associated explanation for her brief uncharacteristic hiatus during an action scene, apparently a key moment in the plot, turns out to be an anticlimax The only character who strikes the reader as interesting is the tough tender cop Virginia A few nice touches hint atdepth to her character that we would like to hearabout, but, frustratingly, this isn t explored.True Names certainly deserves credit as a predictor of the internet It isn t, however, either a fully rounded work of fiction or a genuine example of the cyberpunk subgenre


  6. Prasanna Prasanna says:

    I was inspired to read this after reading Finn Brunton s Digital Cash and how it inspired the early Crypto anarchists, eventually leading to the creation of bitcoin and the vision for anonymous identities Some of the names seem archaic now but given that this was written in 1981, about 38 years from when I m reading, I think it holds up pretty well.The story follows a group of early adopters of a new full immersion virtual reality technology called the Other Plane they call themselves war I was inspired to read this after reading Finn Brunton s Digital Cash and how it inspired the early Crypto anarchists, eventually leading to the creation of bitcoin and the vision for anonymous identities Some of the names seem archaic now but given that this was written in 1981, about 38 years from when I m reading, I think it holds up pretty well.The story follows a group of early adopters of a new full immersion virtual reality technology called the Other Plane they call themselves warlocks in the story They resemble the curious hacker stereotypes that penetrate computer systems around the world for personal profit or curiosity They call their cabal, a coven , and must keep their true identities their True Names secret even to each other and especially the Great Adversary , the US Government Those who know a warlock s true name can force him or her to work on their behalf or cause a True Death by killing the warlock in real life.The protagonist is a warlock known as Mr Slippery in the Other Plane The government learns Mr Slippery s True Name and forces him to investigate the Mailman, a mysterious new warlock which it suspects of conducting a large scale subversion of databases and networks The Mailman has been recruiting others, such as the warlock DON.MAC, by promising great power in the real world, and claims to be responsible for a recent revolution in Venezuela Because he never appears in the Other Plane, preferring non real time communication, Mr Slippery and fellow warlock Erythrina begin to suspect that the Mailman may be an extraterrestrial invader, subverting global databases to gradually conquer the Earth while causing True Deaths of the warlocks he recruits Turns out that Mailman was a NSA AI that was left running and grew in power over time It hid its inability to emulate true human interaction by responding slowly to communications, i.e., non realtime Over time Erythrina and Mr Slippery manage to contain Mailman and certain attributes of Erythrina are imbued to Mailman to stabilize it The author hints at some beginning of global order because of this and that some part of Erythrina will live even after she s dead This is an interesting book not just in its foresight in a lot of things that have happened with technology, Virtual reality, but also the value of privacy and anonymity and how losing that in certain lines of work can mean true death


  7. Jacquet Jacquet says:

    I wasn t expecting to start reading the novel at page 190 Until then there are a series of articles to introduce the theme a set up the mood I honestly can t tell if I enjoyed the articlesthan the novel The article on remailers was amazing Having been in contact the works such as The Matrix, Strange Days, eXistenZ, Tron, etc, the universe presented by True Names doesn t have the wow effect it must have had in 1981 Overall the novel is enjoyable.I might read another novel by Vernor Ving I wasn t expecting to start reading the novel at page 190 Until then there are a series of articles to introduce the theme a set up the mood I honestly can t tell if I enjoyed the articlesthan the novel The article on remailers was amazing Having been in contact the works such as The Matrix, Strange Days, eXistenZ, Tron, etc, the universe presented by True Names doesn t have the wow effect it must have had in 1981 Overall the novel is enjoyable.I might read another novel by Vernor Vinge But right now my next cyberspace book is Neuromancer


  8. Brad Brad says:

    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


  9. Pete Pete says:

    True Names 1981 by Vernor Vinge is a very early work that depicts cyberspace It s an excellent novella that was visionary Before Neuromancer and all the other cyberpunk fiction this was first The story is also impressively good as well The characters are good enough for their purpose and the writing is decent I d been meaning to read it for years and it lived up to high expectations.


  10. Ramesh Ramesh says:

    While noticeably dated, this story is still excellent.


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