A collection of 30 essays, interviews, and free-form monologues on a host of wired subjects, Clicking In
reflects both the scope and unevenness of the Internet, while offering similar pleasures of serendipitous discovery as you leaf through the offerings. The essays range from a straightforward primer on computer viruses, to medical discussions of brain/computer interfaces, abstruse musings on the paradoxes of virtual reality, and reflections on life in a world where the things of greatest value have no physical existence. It's an unabashedly intellectual book with a brittle digirati edge, but one in which many readers will find contributions that inform and stimulate.
From Publishers Weekly
Like the reports of the three blind men who touched and then described parts of an elephant without understanding the whole, the 30 essays and interviews presented in this anthology offer tantalizing peeks at many aspects of cyberspace without capturing its full contours. The authors and interviewees corralled by Leeson (in many cases, by reprinting material she found on the Net), a professor of electronic art at UC-Davis, form a partial who's who of digital life. Much-anthologized cybercowboy/philosopher John Perry Barlow shows up with two essays; his "Selling Wine Without Bottles" includes a particularly provocative look at the nature of information. Jason Lanier waxes poetic on virtual reality; R.U. Sirius, interviewed by Leeson, warbles nearly incomprehensibly about the same; and Sherry Turkle once again presents her ideas about the fate of personal identity on the Net. There's a fearful piece by Mark Ludwig on the possible malevolent evolution of computer viruses, and a final flurry of essays on digital art, the weakest section of the book. These are hot links, as the subtitle says, not a definitive or all-encompassing whole (commercial aspects of the Net are short-shrifted; the emphasis is on the socio-philosophical implications of cyberspace). But with its all-star cast eager to speak its many minds, the book provides as wide-ranging and exciting an introduction to digital culture as a year's subscription to Wired.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.