Read True Names by Vernor Vinge Bob Walters Marvin Minsky Online


Disaffected computer wizard "Mr. Slippery" (True Name Roger Pollack) is an early adopter of a new full-immersion virtual reality technology called the Other Plane. He and the other wizards form a cabal to keep their true identities — their True Names — secret to avoid prosecution by their "Great Adversary" — the government of the United States. The lines that define us areDisaffected computer wizard "Mr. Slippery" (True Name Roger Pollack) is an early adopter of a new full-immersion virtual reality technology called the Other Plane. He and the other wizards form a cabal to keep their true identities — their True Names — secret to avoid prosecution by their "Great Adversary" — the government of the United States. The lines that define us are not always black and white, though. There's a new wizard in the Other Plan and they're recruiting for a scheme to translate cyberspace domination into real world power....

Title : True Names
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312944445
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 153 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

True Names Reviews

  • Negativni
    2018-11-18 22:47

    Roman True Names se smatra začetnikom cyberpunk žanra. Vinge je ovaj roman napisao 1981., tri godine prije kultnog Neuromancera Williama Gibsona i dvije godine prije kratke priče Cyberpunk Bruca Bethkea gdje se izraz prvi put i pojavljuje.Radnja je smještena u svijet nama bliske budućnosti gdje mnoge državne i financijske poslove obavljaju samostalna računala. FBI otkriva glavnog lika, "kompjuterskog čarobnjaka" koji radi sitne prekršaje u virtualnoj stvarnosti i regrutiraju ga da im pomogne u otkrivanju hakera koji je neprimjetno promjenio mnoge kritične postavke državnog sustava i skoro ga stavio pod svoju kontrolu.Unatoč temi i godini izdavanja roman i nije toliko zastario. Vinge je dobro prikazao opasnosti prevelike automatizacije bilo kojeg sustava. Mudro je izbjegavao većinu računalne terminologije pa je priča razumljiva i onima koji nisu programeri, što je prava rijetkost u cyberpunk žanru. On koristi poznate simbole da bi objasnio komplicirane koncepte, na primjer kada glavni lik dolazi u siguran dio virtualnog svijeta gdje je njegova ekipa, taj dio je prikazan kao dvorac, a na ulazu je čuvar koji traži lozinku da bi spustio most. Neuroznanstvenik Marvin Minsky je u zanimljivom pogovoru napisao da i naš mozak na sličan način obrađuje informacije i stvara sliku o svijetu. Dotaknuo se i identiteta, svijesti, umjetne inteligencije...Uglavnom, kratak roman koji je zabavan i brzo se čita, a ipak nije plitak.

  • Thom
    2018-12-02 22:46

    Originally published as a novella in 1981, this version of True Names contains illustrations by Bob Walters and an afterword by Marvin Minsky. I read this back in 1984, and really enjoyed re-reading it on a plane flight across the country. Recommended!While some of the tech is a little dated, Vinge keeps it mostly in the background. At one point, the protagonist utilizes other computers to increase his "power" online, and this is not so different from networked computers participating in a DDOS attack today. For a story written in 1981, the author was remarkably prescient.Other aspects of the plot are also well done, and I found the female protagonist (Erythrina) well written. Using fantasy metaphors for the imagined "cyberspace" works well. The conclusion provides a satisfying and believable resolution to the story.This novella was republished a few years after that in a collection titled True Names... and Other Dangers, which I need to read next. I plan to hand this publication to a friend who absolutely hated Neuromancer, in an attempt to show that not all cyberspace is bad.

  • Eva
    2018-11-23 20:06

    Before Neuromancer and Snow Crash, there was Vinge's "True Names", written in 1981. Hackers meet in cyberspace, a virtual representation of "data space" they call the "Other Plane". Metaphors and symbols of magic are applied to this world - they are warlocks and wizards, they cast spells - modern-day sorcery in a completely networked world. There are battles in cyberspace, amassing computation power that goes to your head and makes you Gods, encryption schemes to trick those who control you because they know your true name, there's the NSA, conflicts over good and bad and governing authorities, a dormant yet evolving AI, even upload of consciousness. There's a lot in there (and it's a rather slim book) - ideas that Vinge doesn't nearly get enough credit for. I am glad I got here, finally.

  • Brad
    2018-11-28 20:05

    A quick read, and a little dated--but hey, the book is as old as I am--but very interesting to see Vinge's ideas of the potential future of tech back in the 80's. A lot of the concepts here have been used by other authors since this was written and have been well-updated. That being said, I enjoyed this novella (short story?) and its discussion of AI and augmented human capabilities.Rating: PG

  • Pete
    2018-11-16 00:58

    True Names (1981) by Vernor Vinge is a very early work that depicts cyberspace. It's an excellent novella that was visionary. Before Neuromancer and all the other cyberpunk fiction this was first. The story is also impressively good as well. The characters are good enough for their purpose and the writing is decent. I'd been meaning to read it for years and it lived up to high expectations.

  • Vivs L
    2018-11-25 21:43

    One of my favorite books, early exploration of cyberspace before the whole cyberpunk movement really took hold

  • Ramesh
    2018-11-14 20:49

    While noticeably dated, this story is still excellent.

  • T Worwood
    2018-12-11 17:03

    Published in 1981, Vinge's vision of the future of technology is again amazingly accurate. the story is short and interesting.

  • Jacquet
    2018-11-25 22:51

    I wasn't expecting to start reading the novel at page 190. Until then there are a series of articles to introduce the theme a set up the mood. I honestly can't tell if I enjoyed the articles more than the novel. The article on remailers was amazing!Having been in contact the works such as The Matrix, Strange Days, eXistenZ, Tron, etc, the universe presented by True Names doesn't have the wow effect it must have had in 1981. Overall the novel is enjoyable.I might read another novel by Vernor Vinge. But right now my next cyberspace book is Neuromancer.

  • Ed Terrell
    2018-11-22 00:02

    A must read for anyone interested in science fiction preceding reality. "True Names" was written in 1980 so it predates Gibson's "Neuromancer" (another must read). How do we imagine things that do not yet exist? Characters predate the Matrix like environment by about twenty years. So if you want to keep your thumb on the pulse of the future, read the writings of those whose best works are dated in the pre- machine learning, pre Facebook and pre Internet past. Kudos for those who figure out who the Mailman is.

  • Mikael
    2018-11-14 21:55

    The novella itself by Vernor Vinge is absolutely top notch. The essays that accompany it are, however, a very mixed bag.

  • Chiara
    2018-12-06 23:05

    Assolutamente visionario per essere stato scritto nel 1981.Ci si possono ritrovare dei concetti assolutamente attuali, esposti benissimo.Breve, si legge in mezza giornata.

  • Adam Fisher
    2018-12-09 01:03

    Wow - absolutely excellent. Rarely is a concept executed so succinctly. Tight writing leads to a surprisingly deep story despite the lack of length.

  • Diego Flores
    2018-11-24 00:39

    I think this is a great novella that feels remarkably complete for the amount of space that he uses. I could see lesser authors spending 500 pages to tell the same story.

  • Printable Tire
    2018-12-03 16:57

    A novel about the pscyhedelic internet, cyberspace, before the comparatively drab reality of the World Wide Web became the most common way of interfacing with the ethereal. Though the internet portrayed here is a virtual fantasy landscape, it would be wrong to see only similarities between the world of True Names and MMORPGs such as Everquest or World of Warcraft: True Names offers an alternative vision of what using the internet might have been like, and, to a degree, still is. As Marvin Minsky of M.I.T. explains in his excellent Afterward, "an icon's purprose is to represent a way an object or a program can be used... the idea of a use is in the user's mind- and not connected to the thing it represents." Icons on computer desktops are symbols, the World Wide Web is symbol, an analogy or shared group belief system because its real functions are too complicated to understand.Food for thought indeed. The novel, however, is bad. It is strong on action and ideas but has no style or character development. The pictures make it seem like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, and indeed the writing is only a step about the prose you'll find in such books. I am also leery of books that paint too rosy a picture of transhumanism, or propagate a fairly rudimentary idea of artificial inteligence, which is for some reason always naively conveyed as a computer evolving human traits (meanwhile, of course, humans evolve computer traits, and that is seen as a good thing). I always thought artificial design would not be limited to our somewhat limited idea of humanity, but would be a transformation into something strange and new (or, as is the reality, bureaucratic and boring).I liked how Providence was in the story though.

  • Jason
    2018-11-29 19:45

    At its core, this is a good story. Concepts of AI, virtual reality, and computer-augmented intelligence that would be cliché today were cutting edge when Vinge introduced them here nearly 20 years ago. But I can only recommend this one to well established Vernor Vinge fans. The idea that the human mind would naturally interpret cyberspace as a medieval fantasy world (without any intentional design or construction) is laughable. I didn't find the writing itself to be at all "bad" as some reviewers have said, but being a rabid Vinge fan, I was already looking beyond the silly naturally-fantasy premise that may have already given some readers a bad taste they couldn't get past.Worth mentioning but not factored into my rating:-Bob Walters' illustrations. The cheesy, pulpy sketches dated this book more than any of the actual text could have. Worse, the illustrations often contradict what the actual story describes. A man wearing a leather jacket is show in a t-shirt. A dark skinned woman with Asian-eyes is drawn with neither attribute.-Marvin Lee Minsky's afterword. I can't really judge the afterword, as I got bored quickly and ended up only skimming it. It may be good reading for someone who needs to be convinced of the possibility of artificial intelligence ever being as "alive" as human intelligence, but for me he was preaching to the choir. This isn't to say I wouldn't enjoy (and learn volumes from) any of Minsky's full length works; this afterword's fault for me was mainly its top-level, introductory nature.

  • Bobby
    2018-11-13 01:05

    Quick read, but excellent. A cautionary novella that left me thinking and questioning the world in which we live.

  • Jacob
    2018-11-20 19:03

    This is actually pretty good as a story about hackers in a virtual reality. The hackers choose to view the virtual reality as a fantasy world (with magic), although there's actually a lot less of that depicted than I would have thought. Even though it was written in the mid-80's, the descriptions of computation are still decent. James Dashner desperately needs to read this to get a better handle on how to write programming and how someone would describe their experience in a virtual reality before he writes another entry in the The Eye of Minds series. It's also interesting to compare to Ready Player One, although it has less time spent describing the virtual reality and none of the product placement (the 70's and 80's culture love-fest that Ready Player One is known for). The concept of True Names is the focus, although in the end it doesn't make as much of a difference as it probably should for being made the title of the story. Nevertheless, I'd recommend it for any (classic) science fiction fan.

  • Bbrown
    2018-11-25 23:51

    A fine little cyberpunk story, though pretty by-the-numbers by today's standards. Vinge gives us a story of a virtual-reality version of the internet that is similar to the Sprawl and the Metaverse, though with a slightly different interface and rationale. In practice, it's not all that different though, there's a bit too much time spent on explaining the technical side of how it works, and the time spent in the fantasy-esque virtual world doesn't add all that much. However, the concern with anonymity among a group of internet vandals, far more tech-savvy than the government that tries to stop them, is very well done and still interesting and relevant today. The later part of the story, where access to information allows the protagonists to essentially gain godhood, portrays human consciousness in a way that is not that uncommon but still always bothers me and always rings untrue. The ending lifts the story a bit by again focusing on anonymity and what that means. Overall this is definitely not a story to knock your socks off, but if you're looking for an early cyberpunk story this will do nicely.

  • Luka Rajčević
    2018-12-01 18:49

    I chose to read this because it was one of the inspiration books for the "Cypherpunks" movement (at least that is what I read somewhere). Knowing that, expectations were a bit high, and unfortunately were not fulfilled. The storyline is really weird, and while some parts are extremely interesting and fun, at times it was very slow and boring.

  • Tahsin Alam
    2018-12-06 23:59

    I don't quite know how I was a sci-fi fan (and a computer geek to boot) for such a long time without having read this classic till this year (2016) ... I rate it right up there alongside Dune, Foundation series, best of Heinlein, Ender's Game, .... But perhaps it was a good thing that I read it only recently - we are now so much closer to the pervasively networked technology dependent world it envisions that it reads now like a slightly caricatured reality-based cautionary tale than the long shot speculative fiction it may have seemed 35 years ago when it came out. So if you haven't read it yet, I suggest reviewing some of the TED talks and/or articles on technological singularity together with reading this book for most impact.

  • Kyle
    2018-11-29 22:48

    Read only "True Names", not the other stories in the collection. It's easy to see this as an archetype for the cyberpunk that was to come (written a couple years before Neuromancer and over a decade before Snow Crash). Nerdy Male Protagonist forced to hack against his will allies with Strong And Impossibly Beautiful Female Character against Some Invisible Enemy. Very inventive, especially considering when it was written. The writing itself is silly and really pretty bad but it moves the plot along at a good clip.

  • Jack Hwang
    2018-11-11 17:38

    A future cyber age that uses Fantasy symbolism plus global cyber war plus species evolution through technology. Vinge mixed all these elements seamlessly into this novella that has all what are needed for a cyberpunk. The rest is history.

  • Kfhoz
    2018-11-28 19:48

    This book broke new ground, and was mind-expander when these ideas were new. A 5-star back in it's day, but more recent books have taken this type of theme forward.

  • Charlie
    2018-11-11 18:50

    collection - "the opening of the cyberspace frontier"

  • Marsha
    2018-11-26 19:41

    Besides horrible illustrations, story was really provocative, esp given that was written in 84.

  • Phil
    2018-11-17 19:46

    Not the "be all-end all" my hubby claimed. I must have missed the window of opportunity for this one to be relevant.