Re: How To Live In A Simulation

Date: Tue Mar 13 2001 - 20:00:39 MST

Jim Fehlinger, <>, writes:
> Long, long ago, in the summer of my 11th year, I
> whiled away some of my vacation reading the Bantam
> paperback of Daniel F. Galouye's _Simulacron-3_ (1964),
> which I google was the basis for _The 13th Floor_ (I haven't
> seen the movie). The paperback has the following
> lurid teaser on the front endpage:
> ...
> Hall switched the car to auto-guide and put his arm
> around the girl. They purred softly up a hill, into
> unknown countryside. Then, a blast of icy terror tore
> at Hall. He hit the braking stud--
> The road ended a hundred feet away!

Yes, this does sound like that scene from The 13th Floor, when the people
in the VR discover that it has a limited extent.

I remember reading a few short stories from that era with a similar idea
- not so much about living in VR, but more about being characters in a
simulated/engineered reality.

In one story, a guy was paranoid and convinced that the world was arranged
to try to fool him, that it was just a stage and behind the scenes nothing
was as it seemed. One time when he was young he remembered looking
out the front door and seeing a stormy cloud-filled sky, then looking
out the back door and seeing a beautiful day without a cloud present.
Of course the kicker was that it turned out to be true. This was perhaps
somewhat prescient of The Truman Show.

In another story, the main character always had bad luck. If there was
a banana peel, he'd trip on it. If a little kid went by eating an ice
cream cone, it would end up in the guy's face, etc. It turned out that
he was the comic sidekick in a story which aliens were creating using
earthlings as unwitting cast members.


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