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Colin Johnson’s blog

Archive for the ‘Retrofuture’ Category

Unplanned Obsolescence

Monday, May 25th, 2009

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” When I read that opening line from Neuromancer in the early ’90s, it conveyed a powerful image using a technology-grounded metaphor that set the tone for the whole book. Now, just 25 years after it was published, it is in need of a footnote: the reader reading that book today, and increasingly so in a few years time, will still get a powerful image, but the image is completely the wrong one! Instead of a bleak, fuzzy sky, the image is of a deep saturated blue, with correspondingly different figurative implications.