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The Brave New World of Computing in Post-war American Science Fiction

The Brave New World of Computing in Post-war American Science Fiction

Chapter:
(p.168) Chapter 9 The Brave New World of Computing in Post-war American Science Fiction
Source:
American Mythologies
Author(s):
David Seed
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780853237365.003.0010

This chapter discusses the emergence of a ‘positive myth of the machine’. It reviews a wide range of texts starting from the early Cold War era and shows how different reactions to the promise or threat of technology developed in the science fiction of this period. The focus is on representations of the computer – from the large-scale machines depicted in Vonnegut's Player Piano (1952) and Barth's Giles Goat-Boy (1966), for example, to the intricate systems of microchip computing presented in such cyberpunk novels as Gibson's Neuromancer (1984) and Sterling's The Hacker Crackdown (1992).

Keywords:   positive myth, machine, technology, science fiction, computer

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