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     © Copyright William Gibson
     Из сборника CyberSpace - First Steps
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"Ride music beams back to base."
 He  phases  out on a vector of train whistles  and  the  one
particular   steel-engraved  slant  of   winter   sun   these
manifestations  favor, leaving the faintest tang  of  Players
Navy  Cut  and  opening piano bars of East  St.  Louis,  this
dangerous old literary gentleman who sent so many of us  out,
under sealed orders, years ago . . .

Inspector Lee taught a new angle--
 Frequencies of silence; blank walls at street level. In  the
flat field. We became field operators. Decoding the lattices.
Patrolling the deep faults. Under the lights. Machine Dreams.
The  crowds,  swept  with  con . .  .  Shibuya  Times  Square
Picadilly. A parked car, an arena of grass, a fountain filled
with  earth. In the hour of the halogen wolves . . . The hour
remembered. In radio silence . . .

Just  a  chance  operator in the gasoline crack  of  history,
officer . . .
 Assembled  word cyberspace from small and readily  available
components of language. Neologic spasm: the primal act of pop
poetics.   Preceded   any   concept   whatever.   Slick   and
hollow--awaiting received meaning.
All  I  did: folded words as taught. Now other words  accrete
in the interstices.
"Gentlemen, that is not now nor will it ever be my concern  .
. . "
Not what I do.
I  work the angle of transit. Vectors of neon plaza, licensed
consumers, acts primal and undreamed of . . .
The  architecture of virtual reality imagined as an accretion
of   dreams:  tattoo  parlors,  shooting  galleries,  pinball
arcades, dimly lit stalls stacked with damp-stained years  of
men's   magazines,  chili  joints,  premises  of   unlicensed
denturists,  of fireworks and cut bait, betting shops,  sushi
bars,  purveyors  of  sexual appliances, pawnbrokers,  wonton
counters,  love  hotels, hotdog stands,  tortilla  factories,
Chinese     greengrocers,    liquor    stores,    herbalists,
chiropractors, barbers, bars.
 These  are  dreams  of commerce. Above them  rise  intricate
barrios, zones of more private fantasy . . .

Angle  of  transit  sets  us down  in  front  of  this  dusty
cardtable  in  an underground mall in the Darwin  Free  Trade
Zone,  muzak-buzz  of seroanalysis averages  for  California-
Oregon,   factoids  on  EBV  mutation  rates   and   specific
translocations at the breakpoint near the c-myc oncogene...

Kelsey's second week in Australia and her brother is  keeping
stubbornly  in-condo,  doing  television,  looping  Gladiator
Skull  and  a  new Japanese game called Torture  Garden.  She
walks  miles  of mall that could as easily be  Santa  Barbara
again   or   Singapore,  buying  British  fashion  magazines,
shoplifting Italian eye-shadow; only the stars at  night  are
different,  Southern  Cross, and the Chinese  boys  skim  the
plazas on carbon-fiber skateboards trimmed with neon.
 She  pauses  in  front of the unlicensed  vendor,  his  face
notched  with  pale  scars  of sun-cancer.  He  has  a  dozen
cassettes  laid  out for sale, their plastic cases  scratched
and  dusty. "Whole city in there," he says, "Kyoto, yours for
a twenty." She sees the security man, tall and broad, Keviar-
vested, blue-eyed, homing in to throw the old man out, as she
tosses  the  coin  on  impulse and  snatches  the  thing  up,
whatever it is, and turns, smiling blankly, to swan past  the
guard.  She's a licensed consumer, untouchable,  and  looking
back she sees the vendor squinting, grinning his defiance, no
sign of the $20 coin . . .
 No  sign of her brother when she returns to the condo.  She
puts on the glasses and the gloves and slots virtual Kyoto .
. .

Once  perfected, communication technologies rarely  die  out
entirely;  rather, they shrink to fit particular  niches  in
the global info-structure. Crystal radios have been proposed
as  a  means  of  conveying optimal seed-planting  times  to
isolated agrarian tribes. The mimeograph, one of many recent
dinosaurs  of  the  urban office-place,  still  shines  with
undiminished samisdat potential in the century's backwaters,
the  Late  Victorian answer to desktop publishing. Banks  in
uncounted Third World villages still crank the day's  totals
on  black  Burroughs adding machines, spooling out yards  of
faint  indigo figures on long, oddly festive curls of paper,
while  the Soviet Union, not yet sold on throw-away new-tech
fun,  has  become the last reliable source of vacuum  tubes.
The  eight-track tape format survives in the  truckstops  of
the  Deep  South, as a medium for country music and  spoken-
word pornography.
 The   Street   finds  its  own  uses  for  things--uses   the
manufacturers   never  imagined.  The  micro-tape   recorder,
originally  intended  for  on-the-jump  executive  dictation,
becomes the revolutionary medium of magnetisdat, allowing the
covert  spread  of banned political speeches  in  Poland  and
China.  The  beeper  and the cellular phone  become  economic
tools in an increasingly competitive market in illicit drugs.
Other  technological artifacts unexpectedly become  means  of
communication . . . The aerosol can gives birth to the  urban
graffitti-matrix.  Soviet rockers press  homemade  flexidisks
out of used chest x-rays . . .

Fifteen stones against white sand.
The sandals of a giant who was defeated by a dwarf.
A pavilion of gold, another of silver.
A waterfall where people pray . . .
Her  mother  removes  the glasses. Her mother  looks  at  the
timer. Three
hours. "But you don't like games, Kelsey . . . "
"It's  not  a  game," tears in her eyes. "It's a  city."  Her
mother puts on the glasses, moves her head from side to side,
removes the glasses.
"I want to go there," Kelsey says.
"It's different now. Everything changes."
"I  want  to go there," Kelsey insists. She puts the  glasses
back on because the look in her mother's eyes frightens her.
The stones, the white sand: cloud-shrouded peaks, islands  in
the stream...
She wants to go there . . .

"The  targeted numerals of the ACADEMY LEADER were hypnogogic
sigils preceding the dreamstate of film."


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