Re: The Spike

Damien Broderick (
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 12:08:51 +0000

At 07:37 PM 8/12/97 +1000, John Clark (otherwise known, in the pages of THE
SPIKE, as `Pelagius') wrote:

>>Unfortunately the book has not yet been published in less advanced parts of
>>the world, like the USA, if Damien knows how it can be ordered directly from
>>the Australian publisher I hope he lets us know.

and Patrick Wilken added:

>I'd also be interested where I could pickup a copy here in Oz. Is it
>available from all the main bookstores?

I *hope* it's generally available now in bookstores throughout Australia,
because I've been wearing my throat down to a croak with media interviews.
To my delight, most of my interrogators have expressed fascination (plus
the mandatory shivers of terror) at the prospects of radical change as we
approach a Singularity.

There have been the odd deplorable exceptions (I mean, ya gotta laff, ya
really gotta laff):

After I'd explained to one Perth radio interviewer that during the next 50
years the whole of the economy will be destroyed and remade by
nanotechnology, obliterating work as we know it, that the body would be
rewired and retrofitted by genetic engineering, and that the brain would be
augmented by artificial intelligence adjuncts smarter than humans, she
remarked thoughtfully, heading straight for the key issue:

`Hmm. And Damien, tell me, what will people be wearing in 2050?'

`Silver lycra unisex jumpsuits, you imbecile, surely everyone knows that,'
I didn't say.

Eliezer (and thanks for the nice comments, Eli, glimpsed through the
thorns) was worried by my stylistic method:

>Broderick doesn't harp on hubris the way Ed
>Regis does, but his occasional courtesies to his predecessor still get on the
>nerves. It's even worse because I know perfectly well that Broderick isn't
>shocked by any of this; he's been on this list long enough to lose it.
>Delight in the new, or occasional horror, yes. But shock? You can't make me
>believe it. Broderick isn't a technophobe, and I'd wish he'd stop trying to
>pretend he was.

I'm charmed by the idea that I might now have been reading extropian and
transhumanist posts long enough to have settled down out of my instinctive
terror of, like, you know, *really scary futuristic ideas*. I suppose I
need to point out, for the record, that I've been making my living writing
about extreme technologies since... well, since Eliezer was minus 17 years

That biographical detail aside, it's true that I've chosen in this
non-specialist book to adopt something of Ed Regis's faux-shocked tone in
easing into some of these topics. It's my experience that while this can
grate on us old troupers/troopers, it's just what the doctor ordered for
the many readers (the thousands and millions of them out there) who start
off wanting to know... what kinds of fashions we'll be wearing in 2050.

THE SPIKE can be bought by email (from anywhere in the world I assume) from
Dymocks at

But note that some genius has entered my name in their files as BRODERICK,
DAMIE, leaving off the terminal N. (No wonder I'm so anal-retentive about
spelling mistakes!) So until they fix it that's the name you need to enter
to find me - or maybe just key in SPIKE. They also provide such unreliable
factoids as listing my recent discourse-theory book about science and the
humanities, THE ARCHITECTURE OF BABEL, as `science fiction & fantasy' - not
true, or it would have sold about 100 times as any copies... :(

I hope you-all enjoy the book, and that it *gets out there* in a big way.

Damien Broderick