Bots: A Love Story and a Dream

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Hemmingson, Michael. Bots: A Love Story and a Dream. Puck 11, Brian C. Clark/Permeable Press, 1995. Reprint Cybersex anthology, which see.

Contemporary story of mid-1990s, giving state of the art (and maybe a bit more) of computer operations on the advanced student level by students at a well-equipped American university. It can be read as a love story involving a kind of complex triangle with a young Japanese student at the apex, with her American physical lover at one vertex and her computers and what we'd now call Internet and Internet contacts and opponents on the third. Implicitly contrasts IRC ("Internet Relay Chat" [p. 12]) with IRL "In Real Life" (p. 20). Uses the term "Bots" (obviously), but defines it in the text — "short for robots" (pp. 12-13) — plus "cyberspace," but gets into the programming more than in, say, Neuromancer (1984) and many cyberpunk works. Note lines like "They killed my bots!" (p. 17) and other figures of speech implying war in cyberspace, with somewhat literal death.

Note in this realistic story section titles such as "A Posthuman Turn," and three endnotes, including one referring to "Wim Wenders' 1992 film, Until the End of the World, which see under the title BIS ANS ENDE DER WELT.[1]

Caution: There's masochism in this story of a realistic sort, not pornographic role-playing and/or fantasy; so there are patches of rough reading.

RDE, finishing, 24Jan23