Mark Fabi Wyrm

ISBN 13: 9780553578089

Wyrm

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9780553578089: Wyrm

As the new millennium approaches, cults, sects, and crackpot prophets flood the worldwide media. But for Michael Arcangelo none of their catastrophe theories are more frightening than the Goodknight virus. Michael suspects it is the work of a mysterious programming genius, who designed it to create a computer role-playing game so real it can kill. Now Michael and his team of techno-wizards must descend into a harrowing and convoluted world of reality and fantasy. But what they discover is even worse than they could have ever imagined. For the so-called game is already out of hand, the virus has taken over the Internet, harnessing the power of the millennial frenzy already sweeping the world. And if they don't find and defeat the twisted mastermind responsible, humanity will wake from its worst nightmare to find the end of the world is truly here.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

From the Publisher:

"Impossible to put down."
--The Press, Philadelphia

"Wyrm is a hugely enjoyable book. All hackers should have this book; so should anyone interested in artificial intelligence, the Internet, computer viruses, role-playing games, mythology, science fiction, Lewis Carroll, or Monty Python. Anyone not in this group has my sympathies."
--Charles Sheffield, author of Tomorrow and Tomorrow

"A plot so wicked and intricate it should be illegal...Very, very cool."
--Sci-Fi Universe

"The real thing, [a] straight-bracing science fiction of ideas...[that] has the feel and delivers the jolt of a good fantasy quest."
--The Orlando Sentinel

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

We spent the evening in our hotel room, enjoying each other's company over a room-service dinner.  After dinner we moved on to satisfying other biological needs.

After a time, or maybe a few times, we were sitting in bed propped up on pillows, fighting over the TV remote control and generally having a grand time.

"I can't believe they don't have the all-cartoon channel," Al griped.  "Ren and Stimpy is usually on now."

"See what's on the all-game-show channel," I said, trying to snake the remote away from her.

She switched it to her opposite hand and held it out at arm's length, continuing to flip through the channels.  "I hate game shows, especially the hosts.  Ooh, they have the all-talk-show channel."

I rolled my eyes.  "And you think game-show hosts are bad? These people should be publicly disemboweled."

"Shhh! Look, this is interesting."

This particular gabfest featured a panel of people representing various cults, united by their conviction that the year 2000 would mark The End of the World as We Know It.  There were adherents of some obscure Christian fundamentalist sects, a few far-out Eastern mystics, and one man from a satanic cult who believed the bad guy was going to win this round.  "I can see why this might be interesting to somebody who was a psychology major.  I have to admit that my main interest in crazy people is staying as far away from them as possible."

"Is that what you thought you were doing this weekend?"

"Touché."

We watched the panelists babble about their loony ideas, goaded by one of those smarmy hosts who would have to be considered the spiritual heirs to the tradition of the circus freak-show barker.  The host's pandering was a little hard to take, but I have to admit there was a peculiar fascination aroused by these oddballs, beyond even the obvious suspense about which one of them would be the first to start frothing at the mouth.

"Al, do you remember what Marlon Oz said about religions being human-information viruses?"

"Yes.  Why?"

"Did you buy any of that?"

"Well, I have to admit that it made a certain amount of sense."

"I thought so too.  You know, I just had a really strange thought."

"Do you want to tell me now, or shall we wait and try to get you on this talk show?"

"Thanks, but my craving for public humiliation has already been satisfied this weekend."

"Okay, seriously, what is it?"

"Well, we've been worrying about the possibility that there's an intelligent computer virus out there.  Or maybe a worm or a Trojan, or a combination of all three."

"So?"

"Well, if a computer virus could theoretically become sentient, couldn't a human-information virus do the same thing?"

"I'm not sure I follow you there.  People are already intelligent.  Well"--she glanced at the TV screen--"maybe not all of them."

"I'm not talking about individual people.  How can I explain this?  Okay, our hypothetical worm becomes sentient by using a little bit of the capacity of millions of computers, right?  Suppose something like a religion could, by using some of the capacity of millions of brains, develop a kind of independent intelligence of its own?"

"All right, I'm starting to see your point."

"Didn't somebody say we use only five percent of our minds? What if something else is using some of the idle capacity?"

"William James said it.  Although, to tell you the truth, I don't think there's any real scientific basis for that figure.  Still, Freud certainly showed that a lot of mental processes are unconscious."

"I wonder what a religion would do if it was sentient."

"I don't know.  Probably start by getting rid of all the other religions."

"It's been tried."

"Yes, it has, hasn't it? You know, you could probably make a case for your idea operating in things like the Crusades, especially the Children's Crusade.  Think of it: Thousands of kids spontaneously decide that they're going to march off and liberate the Holy Land."

"I see what you mean, although that doesn't sound like a very good example of intelligence."

"Then how about this: In the early fourteenth century there were eight great Gothic cathedrals built in France.  They were all dedicated to Notre Dame--the Virgin.  Centuries later it was discovered that if you project the geographic locations of the eight cathedrals into the sky, you have the constellation Virgo."

"Is that really true?"

"Well, I haven't checked it out personally, but I read it in a textbook when I was in college."

"While majoring in what? Astronomy or medieval architecture?"

She smiled.  "Psychology, actually.  It was in a textbook on human behavior.  But think about it: The individual builders of the cathedrals didn't know about the overall pattern they were creating.  You could certainly make an argument that they would have to be directed by someone or something that did know the pattern, and had the necessary influence."

"Speaking of astronomy, what about Stonehenge, and places like that?"

"What about them?"

"Well, it's always seemed a little strange to me that primitive people would have such precise knowledge about things like equinoxes and so on.  What if the individual people involved really didn't have the knowledge but were guided by--what would you call it?"

"I don't know, maybe an overmind or something."

"It's kind of like a daemon, because it's running in the background all the time."

"How about a 'human group network intelligence daemon'?"

"Good, but it doesn't have a catchy acronym.  How about a group overmind daemon?"

"Oh, that's cute.  And a little scary."
    

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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