Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"the [science fiction] writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you."
- Frederik Pohl

Interactive Suicide Note  
  A last message for the people you are leaving behind - that encourages their participation.  

Victor Apfel receives a phone call telling him to go into the house next door. He finds his neighbor, Charles Kluge, sprawled across the keyboard of his computer with part of his head blown away.

Investigators take a look at his computer.

PROGRAM NAME: GOODBYE REAL WORLD
DATE: 8/20
CONTENTS: LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT; MISC FEATURES
PROGRAMMER: "CHARLES KLUGE"

TO RUN
PRESS ENTER

"Has this console been checked for prints?" Osborne asked. Nobody seemed to know, so Osborne took a pencil and used it to press the ENTER key...

As the music played, a little figure composed entirely of squares entered from the left of the screen and jerked spastically toward the center... The little man extended his arms, which jerked up and down like Liberace at the piano. He was typing.

SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE I MISSED SOMETHING. I SIT HERE, NIGHT AND DAY, A SPIDER IN THE MIDDLE OF A COAXIAL WEB, MASTER OF ALL I SURVEY... AND IT IS NOT ENOUGH. THERE MUST BE MORE.

ENTER YOUR NAME HERE:

"Jesus Christ," Hal said. "I don't believe it. An interactive suicide note."

From Press Enter, by John Varley.
Published by Davis Publications in 1984
Additional resources -

If you are thinking that this is a quirky and imaginative story, you're exactly right. Go read it.

I note in passing that this story really nails the early 1980's computer environment; older readers will enjoy the details, and younger ones will gasp in wonder at the large computer fauna that once roamed the Earth.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Press Enter
  More Ideas and Technology by John Varley
  Tech news articles related to Press Enter
  Tech news articles related to works by John Varley

Articles related to Culture
Glad 2020 Is Over
'Black Friday' Online Shopping - In 1899!
What Does A Tesla Full Self-Driving Car See?
Satoshi Tomizu Creates Pocket Universes And Worldcraft Bubbles In Glass

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

DALL-E Makes Creative Images From Text
Okay, sf fans. If you could have some art created from a science fiction sentence, what sentence would you pick?

BladeBUG Robots Clean Massive Wind Turbine Blades
'There were the cleaners, with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length...'

Looms To Manually Weave Lunar Rover Wheels
It's fascinating to me how the Apollo program forced people to think outside their usual boxes.

IceBot Antarctic (Planetary?) Robotic Explorers Made Of Ice
'Some will combine in place to form more complicated structures, like excavators or centipedes.'

Glad 2020 Is Over
Maybe you missed one of these?

PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces
'the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.'

Study: Robots Encourage Humans To Take Risks
Not exactly Three Laws compliant.

Kinetic Buildings And Psychotropic Houses
'There was a dim whirring, and the spheres tipped and began to rotate...'

Jupe Urban Escape Pods Have Tesla, SpaceX Roots
'The houses are prefabricated units... and they sell at the flat rate of five hundred dollars a room set up.'

Best Robot Dance Video Of 2020
'I can Mashed Potato... I can do the Twist.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.