This book is an exotic plant with roots sucking nutrients from the skulls of the most interesting people on the planet. Prepare to be pollinated. --Mark Frauenfelder, founder of boingboing.net
The prophetic aspects of Roy Christopher's Follow for Now: Interviews with Friends and Heroes
are often more conceptual than could be found to be accurate. The book probably won't be in any canon, and it won't stay around because it's pretty (although its cover is worthy of some attention, provided below). But Follow for Now
is likely to stick around, if only due to its efficiency. Christopher has long been regarded as an insightful (and sometimes inciteful) inquisitor of Internet-age antics. He produced eight years of interviews with the illuminati on six main topics including science, technology, media, music, culture, and literature for his former website frontwheeldrive.com
. In Follow for Now
, he provides a powerfully selected, edited, and organized collection of forty-three of those interviews. The result is notably impressive and concise despite its broad reach.
The interviews are nominally organized by those same six topics, though Christopher acknowledges (xii) that many selections could fit in more than one section. They cover seven years, beginning in 1999, as the excitement of the five-year-old Internet Boom peaked and its financial tides shifted. Most stray far from anything computerized, and some bear no explicit connection to anything Internet related. They vary almost as widely as Howard Bloom's suggested list of possible interests: "pop songs, ancient Egyptian graffiti, Shirley MacLaine's mysticism, neurobiology, and the origins of the cosmos" (37). Nonetheless, or perhaps because of it, they represent a time period when everything seemed fast, connected, and in flux, and billions of individuals were each at their own center of it all.
The snapshot includes voices ranging from Howard Bloom (a pop music PR star who's become a biological science fanatic) and DJ Spooky (an aspiring science fiction writer who's become a hip hop music star), to Howard Rheingold (the virtual anthropologist who interpolates the present through a futuristic lens) and Bruce Sterling (the etymological founder who extrapolates the present into futuristic fiction). Follow for Now thus drops sufficiently many known and intriguing names in its table of contents (and on its cover) to stay on the shelves of both snooty philosophers and free-thinking subculturalites for decades. But the nuggets those names provide are intriguing enough to justify that stay, on those shelves and others. In short, the content is as intense as the cast... --Ellis Godard, Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies
Follow for Now: Interviews with Friends and Heroes is a collection of interviews put together by Roy Christopher. It features a glowing cavalcade of cyber stars, talking on technology, culture, media, and science. Interviewees include Bruce Sterling, Doug Rushkoff, Brenda Laurel, DJ Spooky, Steven Johnson, Mark Dery, Geert Lovink, and many others. Oh, and ME. At 400 pages long, with interviews conducted over seven years, this is a fascinating group snapshot of key thinkers of the webbed world. Oh, and ME. --Gareth Branwyn, StreetTech