Baby, You Were Great!

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Wilhelm, Kate. "Baby, You Were Great!" In Orbit Two. Damon Knight, ed. New York: Putnam's, [1967]. Frequently rpt., including Women of Wonder. Pamela Sargent, ed. New York: Vintage, 1975. For translations and many reprints, see Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry here.[1]

Brain implants transmit emotions in a process similar to that which W. Gibson was to later call "SimStim" (see e.g. Neuromancer). Briefly summarized in V. Broege, "Technology and Sexuality," q.v. under Literary Criticism.

Placed in dialog, so to speak, with Damon Knight's "Semper Fi" (vt. "Satisfaction") and discussed as "Story of the Week" on the Library of America site by that name:

 One reviewer summarized his story as “a gentle projection of the step beyond TV, when everyone who has the money can live in a synthetic dreamworld.” We can’t be sure what about Knight’s tale stirred Wilhelm to write her own, but there’s nothing at all “gentle” about her deeply disturbing and harshly cynical vision of the future. The “gadget” in Wilhelm’s story harnesses visions by capturing the emotions of a live subject and distributing them as a form of mass media and, far from being a plaything of the rich, the technology becomes a voyeuristic opiate for the masses.[2]

RDE, initial, and finishing, 26Jun21