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  1. #1

    Can you Help Identify This Novel?

    I read a novel back in 1996 which dealt a bit with telepathy and the internet. The main character cat/kat was a male ruffian picked up off the street by the police. They used his telepathic powers to connect directly into the internet to control cybercrime organizations (I think). It was a bit of a scifi, cyberpunk kind of novel. I think the author was a woman, but I could be wrong. If anyone has read anything similar please post. I have been trying to find this book for years. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Tom Dean
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    This sounds like one of the [*Cat] novels of Joan D. Vinge, but the synopses don't seem to match what you've given us here:

    "Psiren"
    Psion
    Catspaw
    Dreamfall

  3. #3
    This is the book! Thank you!

  4. #4
    Tom Dean
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    You're welcome!

  5. #5
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    Sounds like a good read.

    I learned UNIX from homeless bums using the internet in the public library to play games with each other, so it strikes a chord.

    Actually that was sort of pre-internet, come to think of it. Linked community networks, as I recalled. No graphics, just text. How could people have LIVED like that?

  6. #6
    Old Fogey Fan RimWorlder's Avatar
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    hah!

    it used to be FAR worse than that.

    Try no internet at all, no home computers and only 3 channels of black and white tv that stopped broadcasting at 1 or 2 am...

    telephones you had to DIAL (there's a reason they call it dialing when you're actually pushing buttons...)

    doing math with paper and pencil, or at best a sliderule

    MANUAL typewriters

    NO copiers - just multiple sheets of carbon paper!

    The Horrors!
    Last edited by RimWorlder; July 31st, 2007 at 12:29 PM.

  7. #7
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    Ah yes, I seem to dimly realize the world of which you speak. It seems like a bad dream now. Except for:

    No graffiti on everything
    No goddam ****ing rap music
    No Bush
    $35 a month rent
    A quarter a gallon for gas, a quarter for a hamburger, a quarter for a pack of cigarettes.
    A quarter for movies. Double feature with a serial, cartoon and newsreel.
    No television where I lived.
    No Paris Hilton

  8. #8
    A servant of Lord Arioch FitzChivalry's Avatar
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    Man you guys are old. Tell us the story about how you went to school with Lincoln.

  9. #9
    Old Fogey Fan RimWorlder's Avatar
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    Not Lincoln! Washington! We had to walk, bothways, barefoot, in the snow, just to get an education. They hadn't invented the internal combustion engine yet.

    And that Cherry Tree story? He lied. It was already chopped down when he got there.

    Yes, you are getting old when your life spans 5 or more decades.

    There were lots of things to recommend those days which, as is always the case, can only be appreciated by those who lived through them.

    I actually grew up listening to radio plays. It does wonders for the imagination. I grew up watching B&W television and movies. There's something about seeing the color in your head that adds a missing element; George Romero and Woody Allan knew it - the each made a film in B&W because that was the only way they could get the 'feel' they were looking for.

    Sure things were a lot less advanced technologically and culturally, but we definately had things then - good things - that don't exist anymore: how about not having to worry about locking your house or your car up? How about being able to let your kids roam the neighborhood because EVERYONE was keeping an eye on them?

    How about moon landings? Yep, we actually sent people to other planets back in those days... There were the original 7 astronauts, and then the second 7. (Not a one of them went psychotic...) Sure they fooled around and drove their cars while drunk (that's another thing - the cops took you home, not to jail...), but they were the american ideal and everyone could pretend they had something to look up to and be inspired by. The sense that the nation had just collectively saved the world and was moving on to the next great adventure was something palpable.

    Sure we had to hide under our desks during nuclear bomb air raid drills and we lived with the threat of the Red Menace, but if those Russians gave us half a chance, we were going to go somewhere.

    When a special alert news bulleting came on, it was because something really, really bad had happened and everyone paid attention.

    Now we're just marking time until the next man-made or natural disaster gives the cable channels an excuse to flash 'special alert' across the screen...

  10. #10
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    Ah, you had it easy. WHen I was your age I was twice as old.


    I didn't go to school with Lincoln. I went to school with Schwin, then Honda, then Triumph.

  11. #11
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    It's crazy how fast things happen any more.

    But consider my grandmother, born in 1900. She remembered seeing the first airplane in town, the first automobile, the first telephone.

    That's pretty basic. And it happened pretty fast, too.

  12. #12
    Old Fogey Fan RimWorlder's Avatar
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    all technologies seem to advance along the lines of the (whatever his name was) law - exponentially in terms of capability while halving the cost.

    In my life time:

    trans-atlantic commercial jet flight US-UK
    sub-orbital flights
    satellites
    manned space flights
    moon landing
    man-made object to leave the solar system (or just about to leave it)
    home PC (osborne 1 - we actually had one)
    touch-tone telephone service
    cable & satellite television
    communications satellites
    lasers
    handheld calculators
    major organ transplants

    to name just a few things that most folks rely on today without even thinking about them.

    I think the funniest comparison I can come up with is the idea of some teeny-bopper trying to text message with a rotary phone: 'No Way' -

    dial - click-click-click-click-click-click
    dial - click-click-click-click-click-click
    dial - click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click
    dial - click-click
    dial - click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click

    Things I miss:

    the milkman
    the corner drugstore-candy counter
    Walter Kronkite (and television news that was actually news, not someone's political agenda or newstainment)
    watching the no-signal beeeeeeep on tv when they weren't transmitting
    bazooka bubblegum - two pieces and comics for a penny
    JFK
    Captain Kangaroo & Mr. Greenjeans
    playing in the fog of the mosquito sprayer (yeah, DDT showers but we didn't know any better)
    Worrying about the Fulda Gap instead of terrorist attacks at home
    Last edited by RimWorlder; August 1st, 2007 at 10:06 AM.

  13. #13
    Registered User Eschatologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RimWorlder View Post
    (whatever his name was)
    Moore?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moores_law

  14. #14
    ^ Fay-lim. Ok, its Phill. Phellim's Avatar
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    ^ People come here for sci-fi and it seems we're lucky enough to watch someone travel back in time.

  15. #15
    Mice9
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    Wink We apologize for the previous apology.

    Sorry for the deviation from Sci Fi - Whoops too late! But here is the full text those guys are stealing the "back in my day" stuff from:

    MP: Aye. In them days, we'd a' been glad to have the price of a cup
    o' tea.
    GC: A cup of COLD tea.
    EI: Without milk or sugar.
    TG: OR tea!
    MP: In that filthy, cracked cup.
    EI: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a
    rolled up newspaper.
    GC: The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.
    TG: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.
    MP: Aye. BECAUSE we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money
    doesn't buy you happiness."
    EI: 'E was right. I was happier then and I had NOTHIN'. We used to
    live in this tiny old house, with greaat big holes in the roof.
    GC: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one
    room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the
    floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for
    fear of FALLING!
    TG: You were lucky to have a ROOM! *We* used to have to live in a
    corridor!
    MP: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of livin' in a corridor! Woulda' been a
    palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish
    tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting
    fish dumped all over us! House!? Hmph.
    EI: Well when I say "house" it was only a hole in the ground covered
    by a piece of tarpolin, but it was a house to US.
    GC: We were evicted from our hole in the ground; we had to go and
    live in a lake!
    TG: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty
    of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.
    MP: Cardboard box?
    TG: Aye.
    MP: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in
    a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o'clock in the
    morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down
    mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home,
    out Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!
    GC: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o'clock in
    the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to
    work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad
    would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we
    were LUCKY!
    TG: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox
    at twelve o'clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues.
    We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four
    hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we
    got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.
    EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night,
    half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump
    of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill
    owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home,
    our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves
    singing "Hallelujah."
    MP: But you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't
    believe ya'.

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