Cyberpunk Information Database
Science Fiction

True Names...and Other Dangers



Title: True Names...and Other Dangers
Author: Vinge
Year of publishing: 1987

About 20 years ago, before even IBM sold its first personal computer, Vernor Vinge published a collection of five stories that predicted and anticipated the cyberworld of technology as it exists today: Software bots, node-hopping, 3D chat rooms, warez, avatars, a hacker underground, and we are looking forward to neural browsers! Fast and easy reading stories in a vintage book, that's not easy to find, but worth it. Like a documentary that was written ahead of its time, cyberpunk science fiction is still yet to surprise us again.


True Names...and Other Dangers contains the following stories.

  • "True Names"
  • "Bookworm, Run!"
  • "The Ungoverned"
  • "Bookworm"
  • "The Ungoverned"
  • "The Peddler's Apprentice"
  • "Long Shot"


True Names

In a world of a not too distant future, virtual reality has completely replaced 2D operating systems so that talented computer hackers can virtually live in a mindpowered realm called the Other Plane. The very best are programmers who can mold their reality in real-time, for as long as they remain connected and do not return to the real world. The only thing to lookout for is the anonymity and the secret of their names. Against this backdrop, a counter-spy programmer is recruited to hunt out the mysterious new hack-gang-group "Mailman", who seems to be abusing the link between cyberworld programming and real-world mirroring, to gain power over the real world through cyberspace.

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