Volume 1 Issue 1
Greetings, hyperspace traveler! If this is your first venture into Cyberia, please visit this hyperlink to learn a little bit about the WorldWideWeb (what is a hyperlink? Click here to find out! [not sure what this means? Get help]).
Welcome to the very first issue of CyberFrontiers! Whether you're a seasoned citizen of Cyberia or a newcomer to the world of the 'web, CyberFrontiers is an essential piece of zineware. We aim to stimulate your neurons into a new level of hyperconsciousness. Once you're jacked in to the virtual world, you'll never want to unplug!
Though this is our first issue, we intend to hit the ground running. The Information Superhighway is "no place for a slow pace," so we're going to dive fearlessly the outermost fringes of cyberspace to bring you the most exciting high-density newsware available anywhere in the metaverse. We'll tackle some of the hottest topics on the net: virtual reality, the future of cyberspace, new-wave sci-fi, and even the beautiful mystery of the fractal! Strap yourself in: it's going to he one H@LL of a ride!
-David Thorpe, editor
Have you ever wished you could 'hack' your consciousness? Prepare for your mind to be blow wide open, cybersailor: you're doing it right now. Whenever you see a hyperlink in cyberspace, you're breaching the boundaries of the thought-box that society has locked you into since birth. To the shackled mind, information is a top-to-bottom, left-to-right affair. It is linear, it is predefined, and it is the work of some untouchable authority.
At the speed of light, cyberspace is redefining the way our brain interfaces with information. The hyperlink takes us off the page and into a tapestry of information unlike anything we've ever seen before. I recently spoke with cyberguru and fractal artist extraordinaire Fractalwarp@Saturn about the phenomenon of the hyperlinked infoblast:
Cyberguru Fractalwarp@Saturn"It's a whole new way," says Fractalwarp@Saturn. "The text comes alive with these links. You can cite your references, even within the text. Footnotes become gateways, and it spirals into ever more infinite complexity and yet retains its volume, just like the fractals I love so well. We don't have to look at text as linear anymore, because it's all connected now. Information wants to be free. It wants to rape itself and bear its own children."
While FracSat might be getting a little pomo for your tastes, the core of his infobeat is as complex as the silicon chips that will be inside my eyes and brain within a year.
"It's just the beginning. The hyperlink makes text interconnected, but it doesn't end there. Information doesn't want to be on some slab like the stone age, it wants to pop out and come alive. We're conditioned to read books, which are just words on a page. Information doesn't want to be flat. Information is 3D; think about it. You can pick up a book and look at it from lots of angles, not just flat in front of you, right? Cyberspace is like taking a sheet of paper with writing on it, folding it in half, and cutting a hole in one half of it so you can see through the hole to the other side. It's a wormhole through the meaning. Now the text is four-dimensional.
"Soon, maybe even by the time you're reading this, every book in the world will fit on one single high-density CD-ROM, and we'll be able to tunnel through them in three dimensions. You can just put on your VR (virtual reality) helmet and browse them. Just grab one of the floating cubes. Say it has the word "house" on it. Is it the word "house" from 'The Catcher in the Rye' or is it from 'Dave Barry's Guide to Life?' It doesn't matter anymore, because you can rotate it at any angle and then blast it through your opponent's torso."
While the future of cyberspace and human thought may seem daunting to some, Fractalwarp@Saturn hasn't forgotten about life's simpler pleasures:
"It's the same with everything in life. Sex is 2D now, but by 1999 the average child will have 500 sexual encounters per year in cyberspace, and he'll never know who he's fucking, because he's fucking him through a hole in a folded piece of paper. And you can't do shit to me, because it's postmodern."
By David Thorpe
In his 1973 novel Crash, J.G. Ballard grabbed humankind by the hair and dragged us through the broken glass strewn on every highway in the Western world. He scraped our brains into a pulp, with bits of gravel and glass scabbing into our blood-matted hair with every turn of the page. He forced our wide-open eyes onto the still-spinning tire of a freshly wrecked car, the hot rubber excruciatingly scraping away our corneas until we arrived at a new vision: mankind had become reliant on a technology that was killing us at a rate of dozens of thousands per year. As our vomit began to ferment, clarity emerged. We are a society of technology unfettered by humanity… where can we go next?
CyberFrontiers: Thanks for agreeing to this interview, Mr. Ballard. So, where do you think this whole cyberspace adventure will take us next?
J.G. Ballard: It's my pleasure. I quite enjoy a good discussion of technology. You see, my only aim is to slide a glistening Image courtesy of Broulliard's Multimedia Cyberpediashard of rent metal across the eyeball of the human race, to bisect the eye, so that the warm fluid streaks down onto the human face and dries there, caked into a nightmare realization of the human subconscious. Where does man end and technology begin? We have built our own chromium prison of nightmare landscapes. Consider the erotic geometry of the toaster, gleaming like a chromium breast upon my kitchen counter, built only to be penetrated. When does humankind stop penetrating the toaster with bread and wake up to the new nightmare of erotic injury-toast? We see our toaster before us, rounded like the breast of a woman, and our hands are drawn to press down the plunger, to light the coils, and we watch in erotic agony as the coils turn red, then orange, glowing like the nightmare of toast and semen, and we must penetrate the toaster. The toast can no longer mediate our lust, and we must slide in one digit, then two, and the pain is an exquisite nightmare as our fingers slide past the chromium labia of the toaster's top and into the red-hot slots of erotic agony. We smell our own flesh burning, fusing with the metal, and our orgasm is the orgasm of nightmares. The chromium geometry of the toaster melts our agony into humanity, and we know then that we must penetrate the toaster further, and we grasp the blinding pain of the searing slot with our hand and we bring the toaster down to our pubis. We must penetrate the chromium labia with our phallus, and so we do.
Given our society's obsession with stalking and ridiculing celebrities, it's tempting to seek a life of anonymity. But beware: not being famous has its own hidden costs.
Mass Effect: Andromeda turns its nose up at the original trilogy's rigid morality. It boasts a more nuanced and intellectually compelling shades-of-grey approach in which a heart icon pops up when it's time to tell an alien to take their clothes off.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.