Back in August 2006 here at xirdalium I wrote ↵an entry [worthwhile, lots of associations] on Gareth Branwyn’s and Peter Sugarman’s 1991 HyperCard classic ‘↑Beyond cyberpunk‘ [← that’s a link to the complete web version]. Now Gareth has published his book ‘Borg like me’ (Branwyn 2014a) containing a treasure trove of his writing from the past three decades, including an essay (Branwyn 2014b) on the making-of of ‘Beyond cyberpunk’. Boingboing has ↑said essay online, and here are some excerpts [water on my mills]:
Peter [Sugarman] and I [Gareth Branwyn] began having regular phone conversations about hypermedia and how it might change the nature of storytelling, media delivery, and information organization and navigation. I’d always been struck by [anthropologist and] cyberneticist ↑Gregory Bateson‘s idea of forever being mindful to balance “rigor and imagination” in one’s pursuit of knowledge. It seemed to Peter and me that hypermedia provided a perfect environment to pursue ideas deeply and rigorously, while engineering in fun, whimsy, and a sense of the unexpected—a kind of orchestrated chaos, a vibrant little media ecology. We began kicking around ideas for a collaborative HyperCard project we could do together. […]
At the time (1990), the Internet was not yet in the media spotlight. So-called cyberculture (where these near-future speculative worlds met the bleeding edge of real-life technoculture) was in its heyday, but known only on the cultural fringes. We could sense that all things “cyber” were about to bust into the mainstream and we wanted to chart the course cyberculture had taken, from its sci-fi and early hacker roots, through the Internet, and soon, we suspected, into everyday, mainstream life.