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"All fiction is propaganda, and the fiction we like is the propaganda we believe in, and the fiction we don't like is the propaganda we don't believe in."
- Samuel R. Delany

Worldcraft Bubble  
  An incredibly detailed mechanical simulation of a world.  

"'Own Your Own World' ... quite a slogan."

The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...

Lora turned on the bubble. It glowed, winking into brilliance...

She increased the magnification, bringing the microscopic central planet into focus...

Again Lora increased the magnification. The central planet grew, showing a pale green ocean lapping faintly at a low shoreline. A city came into view, towers and broad streets, fine ribbons of gold and steel. Above, twin suns beamed down, warming the city. Myriads of inhabitants swarmed about their activities...

The inhabitants of the city came into sharp view. They hurried about their business, endless thousands of them. In cars and on foot. Across spidery spans between buildings, breathtakingly beautiful.

From The Trouble With Bubbles, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by If in 1953
Additional resources -

This idea is an interesting prediction of the current fascination with artificial, computer-generated worlds in games like Spore.

We couldn't leave Terra so we built our own worlds right here. Sub-atomic worlds, in controlled containers. We start life going on a sub-atomic world, feed it problems to make it evolve, try to raise it higher and higher... It's certainly a creative pastime. Not a merely passive viewing like television..."

Compare to the Neoterics from Theodore Sturgeon's 1941 novella Microcosmic God and the Kingdom in a Box from Stanislaw Lem's story collection The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Trouble With Bubbles
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to The Trouble With Bubbles
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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