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Subject: alt.cyberpunk Frequently Asked Questions list

This article was archived around: 09 Feb 1997 19:50:08 -0600

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Archive-name: cyberpunk-faq Last-modified: 12/18/1996
Frequently Asked Questions on alt.cyberpunk Assembled by Erich Schneider (erich@bush.cs.tamu.edu) Posted every two weeks This is a FAQ list for alt.cyberpunk. It is inspired by, but is not a direct descendant of, the previous unofficial FAQ, originally compiled by Andy Hawks, and later edited by Tim Oerting. I have been an alt.cyberpunk reader since 1988, and have seen many a FAQ get asked in my time. I am dedicated to answering your questions and keeping this document up to date and available. If you have comments, criticisms, additions, questions, or just general invective, send to erich@bush.cs.tamu.edu. (I especially welcome reports of "broken links", either in the ASCII or HTML versions.) Send to that address as well if you would like the latest version of this document. The latest archived version is available as "rtfm.mit.edu:/pub/usenet/news.answers/cyberpunk-faq". There is also a version that has been marked up with the HTML markup language, and is suitable for viewing with World Wide Web browsers like Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Explorer; the URL is "http://bush.cs.tamu.edu/~erich/alt.cp.faq.html". A vast number of the "answers" here should be prefixed with an "in my opinion". It would be ridiculous for me to claim to be an ultimate cyberpunk authority. (A note on filenames: files or directories listed as being available by anonymous FTP are in the format "hostname:filename". Thus, the filename above (for this FAQ list itself) indicates the host is "rtfm.mit.edu" and the filename is "/pub/usenet/news.answers/cyberpunk-faq". Filenames of this type will always be given in quotes, to avoid problems with trailing periods.) --- 1. What is cyberpunk, the literary movement? 2. What is cyberpunk, the subculture? 3. What is cyberspace? How does it relate to today's "net" and "virtual reality"? 4. Cyberpunk books 5. Magazines about cyberpunk and related topics 6. Cyberpunk in visual media (movies and TV) What about movies based on Gibson's stories? Gibson's _Alien 3_ script? 7. _Blade Runner_ 8. Cyberpunk music. What about Billy Idol's album? 9. What is [famous person]'s email address? 10. What is this "PGP" everyone is talking about? 11. Agrippa: what, and where, is it? 12. Other on-line resources --- 1. What is cyberpunk, the literary movement? Gardner Dozois, one of the editors of _Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine_ during the early '80s, is generally acknowledged as the first person to popularize the term "cyberpunk" describing a body of literature. Dozois doesn't claim to have coined the term; he says he picked it up "on the street somewhere". It is probably no coincidence that Bruce Bethke wrote a short story titled "Cyberpunk" in 1980, submitted it then to _Asimov's_ when Dozois may have been doing first readings, and got it published in _Amazing_ in 1983, when Dozois was editor of _1983 Year's Best SF_ and would be expected to be reading the major SF magazines. But as Bethke says, "who gives a rat's ass, anyway?!". (Bethke is not really a cyberpunk author; in mid-1995 he published _Headcrash_, which he calls "a cybernetically-aware comedy". Thanks to Bruce for his help on this issue.) Before its christening, the "cyberpunk movement", known to its members as "The Movement", had existed for quite some time, centered around Bruce Sterling's samizdat, _Cheap Truth_. Authors like Sterling, Rudy Rucker, and John Shirley submitted articles pseudonymously to this newsletter, hyping the works of people in the group and vigorously attacking the "SF mainstream". This helped form the core "movement consciousness". (The run of _Cheap Truth_ is available by anonymous FTP in the directory "ftp.io.com:/pub/usr/shiva/SMOF-BBS/cheap.truth".) Cyberpunk literature, in general, deals with marginalized people in technologically-enhanced cultural "systems". In cyberpunk stories' settings, there is usually a "system" which dominates the lives of most "ordinary" people, be it an oppresive government, a group of large, paternalistic corporations, or a fundamentalist religion. These systems are enhanced by certain technologies (today advancing at a rate that is bewildering to most people), particularly "information technology" (computers, the mass media), making the system better at keeping those within it inside it. Often this technological system extends into its human "components" as well, via brain implants, prosthetic limbs, cloned or genetically engineered organs, etc. Humans themselves become part of "the Machine". This is the "cyber" aspect of cyberpunk. However, in any cultural system, there are always those who live on its margins, on "the Edge": criminals, outcasts, visionaries, or those who simply want freedom for its own sake. Cyberpunk literature focuses on these people, and often on how they turn the system's technological tools to their own ends. This is the "punk" aspect of cyberpunk. The best cyberpunk works are distinguished from previous work with similar themes by a certain style. The setting is urban, the mood is dark and pessimistic. Concepts are thrown at the reader without explanation, much like new developments are thrown at us in our everyday lives. There is often a sense of moral ambiguity; simply fighting "the system" (to topple it, or just to stay alive) does not make the main characters "heroes" or "good" in the traditional sense. --- 2. What is cyberpunk, the subculture? Spurred on by cyberpunk literature, in the mid-1980's certain groups of people started referring to themselves as cyberpunk, because they correctly noticed the seeds of the fictional "techno-system" in Western society today, and because they identified with the marginalized characters in cyberpunk stories. Within the last few years, the mass media has caught on to this, spontaneously dubbing certain people and groups "cyberpunk". Specific subgroups which are identified with cyberpunk are: Hackers, Crackers, and Phreaks: "Hackers" are the "wizards" of the computer community; people with a deep understanding of how their computers work, and can do things with them that seem "magical". "Crackers" are the real-world analogues of the "console cowboys" of cyberpunk fiction; they break in to other people's computer systems, without their permission, for illicit gain or simply for the pleasure of exercising their skill. "Phreaks" are those who do a similar thing with the telephone system, coming up with ways to circumvent phone companies' calling charges and doing clever things with the phone network. All three groups are using emerging computer and telecommunications technology to satisfy their individualist goals. Cypherpunks: These people think a good way to bollix "The System" is through cryptography and cryptosystems. They believe widespread use of extremely hard-to-break coding schemes will create "regions of privacy" that "The System" cannot invade. Ravers: These are the folks who use synthesized and sampled music, computer-generated psychedelic ("cyberdelic") art, and designer drugs to create massive all-night dance parties and love-fests in empty warehouses. However, one person's "cyberpunk" is another's everyday obnoxious teenager with some technical skill thrown in, or just someone looking for the latest trend to identify with. This has led many people to look at self-designated "cyberpunks" in a negative light. Also, there are those who claim that "cyberpunk" is undefinable (which in some sense it is, being concerned with outsiders and rebels), and resent the mass media's use of the label, seeing it as a cynical marketing ploy. --- 3. What is cyberspace? How does it relate to today's "net" and "virtual reality"? To my knowledge, the term "cyberspace" was first used by William Gibson in his story "Burning Chrome". That work first describes users using devices called "cyberdecks" to override their normal sensory organs, presenting them with a full-sensory interface to the world computer network; when doing so, said users are "in cyberspace". (The concept had appeared prior to Gibson, most notably in Vernor Vinge's story "True Names".) "Cyberspace" is thus the metaphorical "place" where one "is" when accessing the world computer net. Even though Gibson's vision of how cyberspace operates is in some senses absurd, it has stimulated many in the computing community. The word "cyberspace" is becoming commonly used in the "mainstream world" in reference to the emergent world-wide computer network (especially the Internet). Also, some researchers in the "virtual reality" area of computer science are trying to implement something like Gibson's information space. However, "cyberspace" is also used to refer to any computer-generated VR environment, even if its purpose is not "accessing the net". --- 4. Cyberpunk books The following is intended to be a short list of the best in-print cyberpunk works. Note that quite a few works written before 1980 have been retroactively labelled "cyberpunk", because of stylistic similarities (like Pynchon's _Gravity's Rainbow_), or similar themes (Brunner's _The Shockwave Rider_, Delany's _Nova_). William Gibson's _Neuromancer_, about a cracker operating in cyberspace, a cybernetically-enhanced bodyguard/mercenary, and a pair of mysterious AIs, got the ball rolling as far as cyberpunk is concerned. It won the Hugo, Nebula, P. K. Dick, Seiun, and Ditmar awards, something no other SF work has done. Gibson wrote two sequels in the same setting, _Count Zero_ and _Mona Lisa Overdrive_. Gibson also has a collection of short stories, _Burning Chrome_, which contains three stories in _Neuromancer_'s setting, as well as several others, such as the excellent "The Winter Market" and "Dogfight". Gibson's two most recent works are _Virtual Light_ and _Idoru_; they share a setting (San Francisco and Tokyo, respectively, of the near future) and a few characters, but are otherwise independent. Compare to his first trilogy, the technology they posit is less advanced in some ways and they are more theme-driven than plot-driven, but they deal with many of the same concerns as other cyberpunk works. ("Idoru" is a Japanese borrowing of the English "idol", and refers to a media-company-manufactured pop-music star, a "virtual" example of which plays a prominent role in _Idoru_.) Bruce Sterling's anthology _Crystal Express_ contains all of the "Shaper/Mechanist" short stories about the future humanity and "post-humanity". Those short stories are also available with _Schismatrix_, a Shaper/Mechanist novel, in the combined volume _Schismatrix Plus_. Also to be found in _Crystal Express_ is "Green Days in Brunei", a story which shares the setting of Sterling's novel _Islands in the Net_. Both are near-future extrapolations in worlds very similar to our own. Sterling also has another collection in print, _Globalhead_. Sterling edited _Mirrorshades: A Cyberpunk Anthology_, which contains stories by many authors; some are questionably cyberpunk, but it has some real gems ("Mozart in Mirrorshades" being one). Sterling's latest novel is _Holy Fire_, set in a "gerontocratic" late 21st century Earth dominated by the "medical-industrial complex", and focuses on a group of young European artists, hackers, and intellectuals determined to go their own way in a world dominated by elderly wealth. Gibson and Sterling collaboratively wrote _The Difference Engine_, a novel called "steampunk" by some; it deals with many cyberpunk themes by using an alternate 19th-century Britain where Babbage's mechanical computer technology has been fully developed. _Snow Crash_, by Neal Stephenson, carries cyberpunk to a humorous extreme; what else can one say about a work where the Mafia delivers pizza and the main character's name is "Hiro Protagonist"? Larry McCaffrey edited an anthology, _Storming the Reality Studio_, which has snippets of many cyberpunk works, as well as critical articles about cyberpunk, and a fairly good bibliography. Other works of criticism are Bukatman's _Terminal Identity_ and Slusser and Shippey's _Fiction 2000: Cyberpunk and the Future of Narrative_. Some other good cyberpunk works include: Walter Jon Williams, _Hardwired_: a smuggler who pilots a hovertank decides to take on the Orbital Corporations that control his world. Walter Jon Williams, _Voice of the Whirlwind_: a corporate soldier's clone tries to discover what happened to his "original copy". Greg Bear, _Blood Music_: a genetic engineer "uplifts" some of his own blood cells to human-level intelligence, with radical consequences. Pat Cadigan, _Synners_: hackers and other misfits pursue a deadly new "virus" when direct brain interfaces first appear in near-future LA. (Some good out-of-print works to look for are Cadigan's _Mindplayers_, Michael Swanwick's _Vacuum Flowers_, Daniel Keyes Moran's _The Long Run_, and Vernor Vinge's short story "True Names".) --- 5. Magazines about cyberpunk and related topics Some magazines which are popular among cyberpunk fans are: _Mondo 2000_ P O Box 10171 Berkeley, CA 94709-0171 Voice (510)845-9018, Fax (510)649-9630 Editorials: editor@mondo2000.com Subscriptions: subscriptions@mondo2000.com Advertising: advertising@mondo2000.com HTTP site at "http://www.mondo2000.com/" Many cyberpunk fans have an uneasy relationship with _Mondo 2000_; their esteem for it varies according to the amount of technical content and affected hipness in the articles. Nonetheless, if anything could claim to be the cyberpunk "magazine of record", this is it. With the departure of many of those providing creative impetus (notably, R.U. Sirius), its days may be numbered. _bOING-bOING_ 11288 Ventura Boulevard #818 Studio City, CA 91604 Voice (310)854-5747, Fax (310)289-4922 mark@well.com HTTP site at "http://www.well.com/user/mark/" _bOING-bOING_'s status is uncertain; most of its writers now work for _Wired_, it has ceased newsstand distribution and no longer offers subscriptions. However, if one can get a copy, it's worth looking at. _Wired_ P.O. Box 191826 San Francisco, CA 94119 Voice (415)904-0660, Fax (415)904-0669 Credcard subscriptions: 1-800-SO-WIRED (1-800-769-4733) Information: info@wired.com Subscriptions: subscriptions@wired.com HTTP site at "http://www.hotwired.com" The magazine which, through aggressive positioning, has managed to become the "magazine of record" for modern techno-aware culture. It's aimed more at technically-oriented professionals with disposable income, but many cyberpunk fans like the articles on network- and future-related topics. _SF EYE_ P.O. Box 18539 Asheville, NC 28814 HTTP site at "http://www.empathy.com/eyeball". Described by some as the "house organ of the cyberpunk movement", founded by Stephen P. Brown at the urging of his friends Gibson, Shirley, and Sterling. Published semi-annually, and contains a regular column by Sterling. _Phrack_ 603 W. 13th #1A-278 Austin, TX 78701 phrack@well.com FTP site at "ftp.fc.net:/pub/phrack" HTTP site at "http://freeside.com/phrack.html" _2600 Magazine_ Subscription correspondence: 2600 Subscription Dept. P.O. Box 752, Middle Island, NY, 11953-0752 Letters/Article submissions: 2600 Editorial Dept. P.O. Box 99, Middle Island, NY, 11953-0099 2600@well.com FTP site at "ftp.2600.com:/pub/" HTTP site at "http://www.2600.com/" Two mainstays of the computer underground. _Phrack_ deals more with people and goings-on in the community, while _2600_ focuses on technical information. --- 6. Cyberpunk in visual media (movies and TV) What about movies based on Gibson's stories? Gibson's _Alien 3_ script? TV gave us the late, lamented _Max Headroom_, which featured oodles of cyberpunk concepts. The Bravo cable network and the Sci-Fi Channel are rerunning the few episodes that were made. TV also gave us the somewhat bloated _Wild Palms_, with a "cyberspace", evil corporations, and a cameo by William Gibson. Also shown on the Sci-Fi Channel is _TekWar_, a series based on William Shatner's "Tek" novels, which evolved from a set of TV movies based on those novels. While possessing some tranditionally cyberpunk elements and extended "cyberspace runs", they (or at least the TV movies) tend to boil down to good guys vs. bad guys cop stories. (_TekLords_ features a central plot element that those who have read _Snow Crash_ will recognize.) _Blade Runner_, based loosely on Philip K. Dick's novel _Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?_, is considered the archetypical cyberpunk movie. (Gibson has said that the visuals in _Blade Runner_ match his vision of the urban future in _Neuromancer_.) Few other movies have matched it; some that are considered cyberpunk or marginally so are _Alien_ and its sequels, _Freejack_, _The Lawnmower Man_, _Until the End of the World_, the "Terminator" movies, _Total Recall_, _Strange Days_, and _Brainstorm_. Cyberpunk stories can also be found in Japanese _anime_ films, including the _Bubblegum Crisis_ series and _Ghost in the Shell_. There is an hourlong documentary called "Cyberpunk" available on video from Mystic Fire Video. It features some interview-style conversation with Gibson, is generally low-budget, and the consensus opinion on the net is that it isn't really worth anyone's time. Gibson is apparently embarrassed by it. Regarding films based on Gibson stories: At one point a fly-by-night operation called "Cabana Boys Productions" had the rights to _Neuromancer_; this is why the front of the _Neuromancer_ computer game's box claims it is "soon to be a motion picture from Cabana Boys". The rights have since reverted to Gibson, who is sitting on them at the moment. Gibson's short story "Johnny Mnemonic" was made into a big-budget full-length motion picture. Gibson himself wrote the screenplay and was a close consultant to the director; the result "has his blessing", so to speak. As might be expected, there are many additions to the short story as well as outright differences. The film contains elements not only from the original story, but also from _Neuromancer_ and _Virtual Light_; there is much more violent action, and the ending is more upbeat. Very significantly, Molly does not appear in the film; her place is taken by a character named "Jane" (who has no inset eyeglasses or retractable claws) due to issues surrounding use of the Molly character in any future _Neuromancer_ production. (The film was not a critical or box-office success in the U.S., which Gibson has partly blamed on the post-production editing; he claims the longer Japanese release is the better one.) "The Gernsback Continuum" was adapted into a short (15 minute) film in Britain; it has been shown on some European TV networks, but I don't know if it's available in the US. Rumors also abound that "New Rose Hotel" will be brought to the big screen by various directors. Other rumors claim that _Count Zero_ will be made into a film titled _The Zen Differential_. William Gibson wrote one of the many scripts for _Alien 3_. According to him, only one detail from his script made its way to the actual film: the bar codes visible on the backs of the prisoners' shaved heads. A synopsis of Gibson's script can be found in part 3 of the _Alien_ Movies FAQ list, available as "rtfm.mit.edu:/pub/usenet/news.answers/movies/alien-faq/part3". The whole thing is available as "cathouse.org:/pub/cathouse/movies/scripts/alien.iii". --- 7. _Blade Runner_ There is a _Blade Runner_ FAQ which is available via anonymous FTP as "rtfm.mit.edu:/pub/usenet/news.answers/movies/bladerunner-faq", and at URL "http://www.uq.oz.au/~csmchapm/bladerunner/". It answers many of the more common questions. Here are short answers to the most common. a. There are several alternate versions. The original theatrical release in the US omitted the Batty-Tyrell eye-gouging sequence and a few other bits; these were added back in Europe and the video release. In 1992, a "director's cut" was released, now available on video, which omits the Deckard voiceover and the "happy" ending, and reinserts the "unicorn scene". Before that, however, a different cut (known as the "workprint") was shown at two theaters, one in LA, the other in San Francisco, for a brief period; this has a different title sequence and soundtrack, some different dialogue, no voiceover and no happy ending, but no unicorn sequence. (In my opinion, it was the best version.) b. The 5/6 replicants problem: This is widely accepted as an editing glitch which slipped through to the release. The film originally featured a fifth "live" replicant, "Mary", who was later deleted. In the workprint, the line "one got fried ..." is changed to "two got fried ...". Bryant does not include Rachel in the original six escaped replicants. However ... c. Internal clues, such as lack of emotion, the photographs, and the reflective eyes, do suggest that Deckard is a replicant. However, this is not _explicitly_ stated in any cut. The "unicorn scene" gives this theory more weight. An excellent resource for any fan is Paul Sammon's in-depth book _Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner_, which goes over the differences between the various versions in minute detail. K.W. Jeter has written two novels which are sequels to the movie: _Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human_ and _Blade Runner: Replicant Night_. One's judgement of the "appropriateness" of this may be influenced by the fact that Jeter was a good friend of Philip K. Dick's. The first sequel deals very directly with the "extra replicant" and "Deckard a replicant?" issues. The second sequel involves Deckard's participation in making a movie about his experiences hunting Roy Batty et. al. (as seen by us in the movie). More sequels by Jeter are apparently to come. --- 8. Cyberpunk music. What about Billy Idol's album? There is a bit of confusion as to what "cyberpunk music" really is. Is it "music that deals with cyberpunk themes", or "music that people in a cyberpunk future would listen to"? Those who claim there _is_ cyberpunk music usually say the fast, synthesized, and sample-oriented forms such as techno, rave, and industrial music are "cyberpunk". In late 1993 Billy Idol released an album called "Cyberpunk", which garnered some media attention; it seems to have been a commercial and critical flop. Billy made some token appearances on the net, in alt.cyberpunk and on the WELL, but his public interest in the area seems to have waned. No matter how sincere his intentions might have been, scorn and charges of commercialization have been heaped upon him in this and other forums. --- 9. What is [famous person]'s email address? William Gibson has no public e-mail address. In fact, he doesn't really care about computers all that much; he didn't use one until he wrote _Mona Lisa Overdrive_, and was thinking of kids playing videogames when he developed his "cyberspace". Some authors who _are_ on the net (and some of their works, if not previously mentioned): - Tom Maddox (tmaddox@halcyon.com) (_Halo_) - Bruce Sterling (bruces@well.com) - Rudy Rucker (rucker@mathcs.sjsu.edu) (_Software_, _Wetware_, _Transreal!_) - Vernor Vinge (vinge@vrinimi.com) - Pat Cadigan (cadigan@aol.com) - John Shirley (rickenharp@aol.com) (_Eclipse_ trilogy, _Heatseeker_) - Walter Jon Williams (walter@thuntek.net) For courtesy's sake, please don't abuse these addresses; most people have better things to do with their time than answer floods of fan mail. --- 10. What is this "PGP" everyone is talking about? "PGP" is short for "Pretty Good Privacy", a public-key cryptosystem that is the mainstay of the cypherpunk movement. "OK, so what's a public-key cryptosystem?", you now ask. A public-key cryptosystem allows one to send secret messages with the assurance that the receiver will know who the sender was. (This is important if, say, you are sending your credit-card number to buy an expensive item; ordinary e-mail is somewhat easy to fake.) The message is said to be "signed" by a "digital signature". Consider two people, Alice and Bob. Each has two mathematical functions, constructed via two "keys", A and B. A message encrypted with key A can be decrypted only by key B, and a message encrypted with key B can be decrypted only by key A. Key A is kept secret, known only to its owner, and is called the "private" key; key B is given to anyone who wants it, and is called the "public" key. Suppose Alice is sending a message to Bob. She first encrypts it with her private key, and then encrypts the result with Bob's public key. This is then sent to Bob. Bob decrypts the message using his private key, and decrypts the result with Alice's public key. The fact that he was able to decrypt using his private key means Alice inteded the message for him, and that only he can read it; the fact that Alice's public key decrypted the result means that Alice was the true author of the message (since only Alice has the required private key to encrypt). Thus, when you see a "PGP public key block" at the end of someone's Usenet posts, that's the "public key" that you can use to encrypt secret messages to them. --- 11. What is "Agrippa" and where can I get it? "Agrippa: A Book of the Dead", the textual component of an art project, was written by William Gibson in 1992. Gibson wrote a semi-autobiographical poem, which was placed onto a computer disk. This disk was part of a limited release of special "reader" screens; the reader units themselves had etchings by Dennis Ashbaugh which were light-sensitive, and slowly changed from one form to another, final, form, when exposed to light. Also, the text of the poem, when read, was erased from the disk - it could only be read once. On the net, opinion on the Agrippa project ranged from "what an interesting concept; it challenges what we think 'art' should be" to "Gibson has sold out to the artsy-fartsy crowd" to "Gibson is right to make a quick buck off these art people". Naturally (some would say according to Gibson's plan), someone got hold of the text of "Agrippa" and posted it to Usenet. A public copy can be found in the file "english-server.hss.cmu.edu:/English.Server/Fiction/Gibson-Agrippa". The author of this FAQ has a copy at "bush.cs.tamu.edu:/pub/misc/erich/agrippa", as well as a copy of a parody, "agr1ppa", in the same directory. They are available to all who ask for them. --- 12. Other on-line resources A good first place to check for information on just about anything is the Usenet FAQ repository at "rtfm.mit.edu:/pub/usenet/". It's also good to try one of the large WWW indices such as Yahoo ("http://www.yahoo.com/search.html") and Alta Vista ("http://altavista.digital.com/"). The Rutgers SF archive, at "sflovers.rutgers.edu:/pub/sf-lovers/", contains many general SF-related items. It can also be accessed via Web browser at "http://sflovers.rutgers.edu/Web/SFRG/". Some author-related sites: - Pat Cadigan info at "http://www.wmin.ac.uk/~fowlerc/patcadigan.html" - William Gibson web site at "http://www.vkool.com/gibson/", bibliography at "http://www.slip.net/~spage/gibson/biblio.htm" - Richard Kadrey's novel _Metrophage_ at "http://gopher.well.com:70/1/Publications/authors/kadrey/metro/". - Tom Maddox's novel _Halo_ at "http://gopher.well.com:70/1/Publications/authors/maddox/halo/". - Daniel Keys Moran info at "http://www.kithrup.com/dkm/" - Rudy Rucker's home page at "http://http://www.mathcs.sjsu.edu/faculty/rucker/rucker.html" - John Shirley info at "http://www.darkecho.com/JohnShirley.html". - Bruce Sterling info at "http://riceinfo.rice.edu/projects/RDA/VirtualCity/Sterling/index.html", "http://gopher.well.com:70/1/Publications/authors/Sterling/", FTP site at "oak.zilker.net:/bruces/" (includes an FTP-able copy of his nonfiction book _The Hacker Crackdown_, about the attacks on the "computer underground" in 1990). - Walter Jon Williams' home page at "http://www.thuntek.net/~walter/index.htm" A Web site containing pointers to information on the _Alien_ movies is at URL "http://dutial.twi.tudelft.nl/~alien/alien.html". More sites devoted to specific movies can be found by looking at those movies' entries in the Internet Movie Database at URL "http://us.imdb.org". "rtfm.mit.edu:/pub/usenet/news.answers/music/industrial-faq/" contains the two-part industrial music FAQ list from "rec.music.industrial". "hyperreal.com:/" has items of interest to ravers and about the rave scene in general. Survival Research Labs, that incomparable group of artists and hardware hackers, has an HTTP site at "http://www.srl.org/". Another SRL site can to be found at "http://www.construct.net/projects/srl/". "ftp.csua.berkeley.edu:/pub/cypherpunks/" has many cryptography items, including a directory containing the latest version of PGP for several platforms. RSA Data Security's FTP site at "ftp.rsa.com" also contains cryptography materials. FAQ lists covering cryptographic topics can be found in the directory "rtfm.mit.edu:/pub/usenet/sci.crypt/". An HTML page with pointers to these and many other references is Fran Litterio's "Cryptography, PGP, and Your Privacy" at "http://world.std.com/~franl/crypto.html". _Wired_ magazine's HTTP site (at "www.wired.com") has, among other things, complete contents of many back issues available online (at "http://www.wired.com/wired/toc.html"). Many files of relevance to the real-life "computer undergrond" and the hacking/phreaking communities can be found in one of the "Computer Underground Digest" sites. One of these is at "etext.archive.umich.edu:/pub/CuD/", and includes a complete set of issues of _Phrack_ magazine. The Digest itself has an HTTP site at "http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~cudigest"; new issues are posted to the Usenet newsgroup "comp.society.cu-digest". _Phrack_ issues can also be had via _Phrack_'s HTTP site, at "http://freeside.com/phrack.html". Happy exploring! --- End of alt.cyberpunk FAQ. -- Erich Schneider erich@bush.cs.tamu.edu http://bush.cs.tamu.edu/~erich "You are a true believer. Blessings of the State; blessings of the masses. Thou art a subject of the Divine, created in the image of Man, by the masses, for the masses. Let us be thankful we have commerce. Buy more. Buy more now. Buy. And be happy." - Confession booth blessing, _THX-1138_