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By P. Youngquist

Cyberfiction: After the long run explores an international the place cybernetics units the phrases for all times and tradition - our global of ubiquitous info-tech, on the spot capital flows, and immanent disaster. Economics fuses with expertise to create a brand new form of speculative fiction: cyberfiction. Paul Youngquist unearths the ways that J. G. Ballard, Philip okay. Dick, Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and William Gibson, between others, map a territory the place details reigns superb and the longer term is changing into a specific thing of the previous.

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Notice again the call for reader participation that Gernsback made a mark of the pulps. Campbell extends its reach, urging his readers to join not only in producing science fiction, but more profoundly in producing the future. By exercising “that dormant future-curiosity” his readers will grow accustomed to change, maybe becoming bold 26 C y be r f ic t ion practitioners. They might make the future happen, participating in the imperative of science that the old order not only does change, but must.

It is no coincidence that the years between 1894 and 1914 saw the publication of three major symptoms of this shift: H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine (1894), Albert Einstien’s “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” (1905, the famous relativity paper), and Rudolf Hilferding’s Finance Capital: A Study of the Latest Phase of Capitalist Development (1914). These works consolidate culturally what speculation advances economically. The first two, in vastly different ways, illustrate as they enact the fungibility of futures.

Dollar, the standard of value for foreign currencies, free from gold. The old Bretton Woods system, which fixed rates of exchange and restricted capital flows, fell apart as foreign governments uncoupled their currency from the dollar, allowing the market to determine its value. These are the circumstances that David Harvey associates with the emergence of a global economic system dominated by the operations of finance capital: The formation of a global stock market, of global commodity (even debt) futures markets, of currency and interest rate swaps, together Spe c u l at i v e F u t u r e s 21 with an accelerated geographical mobility of funds, meant, for the first time, the formation of a single world market for money and credit supply.

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