Which dreamt it?

· Miscellany, Salon Bloggers

Before it disappears, go and read Literary Devices by Richard Powers, published in cooperation with Zoetrope.

Borges suggested that the reader writes Dante, Shakespeare, Cervantes. The software that drives battle scenes in the Lord of Rings trilogy approaches the kind of interactive storytelling landscape presaged in this witty, utterly engrossing tale.

An excerpt from near the beginning:

E-mail alone has some while ago turned us all into cyborgs in ways that are increasingly difficult to feel and name, now that the medium has completely assimilated us. It’s the rare week when I don’t get the kind of communiqué from strangers that simply would never have existed back when the only means of contacting other people did not involve avatars. It’s the perfect channel for those who enjoy playing themselves — confessional, projective, instant, anonymous. Nathanael West would have had a field day with the form. Nevertheless, snail-mail throwback that I am, I still take pride in answering all messages to me that don’t, on their face, seem demonstrably dangerous.