Leonardo: I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts

Leonardo on this essay collection by Mark Dery: "There's much of the grand old tradition of Tom Wolfe's shimmering surface of asides, cultural citations, winks and facial expressions coming through the page."

Dery_Bad coverI've been a fan of Mark Dery for 20 or so years, ever since he quoted something I said on the WELL's forum on teledildonics (computer-mediated sex) in his book Escape Velocity.  Dery cordially requested permission to do so—back when civility was expected, or certainly valued, in all online discourse—and then, after publication, invited all his correspondents in the region to gather and drink together when he hit San Francisco on his ensuing book tour.

This essential, but sweetly old-fashioned, gentlemanly courtesy in an age of disembodied electronic communication occupied Mark Dery.  He had earlier edited an anthology Flame Wars, which contained Julian Dibbell's provocative "A Rape in Cyberspace" report on significant abuse in a role-playing game.  After Escape Velocity, Dery went on to assemble an entertaining collection The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium, a title first given to Coney Island amusement parks, freshly bedecked with electric lights, at the beginning of the 20th century.

Read the full review here.

Published in: Leonardo Reviews
By: Mike Mosher