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

"What television does is rent us friends and relatives who are quite satisfactory. This is quite something, to rent artificial friends and relatives right inside the house."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

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
Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
Bot Tweets Venmo Drug Transactions

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

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

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.