Information About 2021 Update
Welcome. After updating our Museum sites (and my entire webplex) to Secure Socket Layer (SSL), I found that many of the links were broken. Some file extensions seemed to require update (e.g., from htm to html). I am pushing through a minimal renovation project in June 2021, hoping to keep the turn-of-century charm of this historic magazine site as close to the original as possible. Thanks for your patiencemore info soon. [JTC]
Also, Adobe canceled its Flash image systems recently, which terminated Al Sirois' clever banner animation (with star ship engine sounds) showing a little green man treading in amazement through the bowels of a futuristic propulsion chamber). While renovating in June 2021, I was overjoyed to find a fully wide (999px or so) banner Al had created for us in 2004. The 2004 banner was superseded by the little green man, but with him gone to Flash heaven, I was happy to put Al Sirois' atmospheric, otherworldly banner in its place.
Little Green Man! Even better: in the bowels of old file folders I located an early test model Al Sirois sent me around 2005 or so. This is a still (gif) of the Flash animation with sound that he sent us, which we posted proudly as a top decorative banner for our index page at Far Sector SFFH, until the death of Flash in 2020. The word Yoyodyne is a reference from my own personal favorite novel of all time, the 1965 The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. Thanks, Al. I appreciated that then, and still do now. Intellectual Property Notice: This Far Sector SFFH banner image of the Little Green Man is Copyright © 2004 by A. L. Sirois. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, steal, or defenestrate. [JTC]
The Crying of Lot 49 Speaking of Yoyodyne: the term originated in Thomas Pynchon's great 1965 novel (cover image below). YOYODYNE at Wikipedia (ref. circa 1963-1967 but whatever; their own info lists the novel as 1965, as does the info in my copy). I have an original edition of the novel with this classic cover illustration that speaks of the 1960s. I'll add an image here for fun. Don't forget to look at the Little Green Man banner below.
See this Wikipedia article about Pynchon's novel (borderline fantasy, but brilliant), which has nothing and everything to do with what has made me a believer, along with Ridley Scott's wonderful 1982 Blade Runner movie and more things. If you understand those things, you'll understand novels of mine like This Shoal of Space (1990 Virtual Reality novel by yours truly, a decade before The Matrix made the concept of VR popular). Speaking of VR, I don't claim to have invented it, although I did originate my own concept independently from work with mainframe computers and 'virtual paging' or 'memory paging' (Virtual-real operation or V=R in the 1980s. The literary concept in real form, if not in name, has been around for a long time. Ray Bradbury wrote a famous short story with VR, titled The Veldt, c1950. Jorge Luis Borges employed VR-like methods in his fiction (e.g., The Circular Ruins) (1940). I also think we can find early traces of it in Edgar Allan Poet's short story Eleonora (1842) among other AEP works. [JTC]
The Crying of Lot 49