Dec 07

That's right... the kindle is EVIL!Click for full image

Sophaloaf’s Art Direction: Okay, nothing says the future of publishing more than an oversized walkman that runs on floppy disks. Just imagine handsets so big theyll have to hover above a bunch of skyscrapers like a space ship.
Published 1990

Ironically, now sold as an E-book.
Many thanks to Sophaloaf!

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 6.83 out of 10)

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25 Responses to “Cyberbooks”

  1. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Who crystallized Chicago?

  2. SI Says:

    No No.. that’s an LCD screen. It’s going to hurt your eyes if you read that cyberbook.

    And btw. 2001 the black monolith. Was actually just a cyberbook!

  3. SophaLoaf Says:

    Personally I prefer Ben Bova’s half brother Ben Dova.

  4. A.R.Yngve Says:

    And people say science fiction isn’t about visionaries predicting the future!

  5. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Though… in 1989, that gadget would’ve been *awesome*. A Walkman with a floppy drive! Whoa!

    “I have ALL my Duran Duran albums stored on just 20 floppy disks!”

  6. Justin Leego Says:

    Archos internet tablet + Iomega zip drive = Cyberbooks

  7. David Cowie Says:

    By an incredible coincidence, this book gets a mention today on the Usenet group rec.arts.sf.written! (archived here

    nuny wrote:
    > Some time in the dim past I read a short story (I think in Analog)
    >about the Premier of Communist China being shown a prototype for what
    >we today would recognize as an e-book reader. The item was IIRC touted
    >as a way into the American electronics market. The fact that it had
    >only three (?) buttons, and was hence simple enough for an old man
    >unfamiliar with electronic devices to operate, was something the
    >designer sweated over, and when the Premier figured it out and smiled
    >the designer knew he not only had a successful product, he had a

    How dim a past? Bova’s _Cyberbooks_ was 1989, with few buttons. He
    compares them to a videocassette controls: start, stop, fast forward,
    reverse. He also mentions punching in the specific page number, but
    I’m not sure how he envisioned doing that with the “few” buttons.

  8. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Of course, in the REAL future, it will be the Premier of China showing a digital display table and saying: “We are thinking of outsourcing the production of these toys to some low-wage, Third World country — such as the USA.”

  9. Adam Roberts Says:

    Cyberbooks: more sigh than cy.

    I especially like the way the bottom-right-hand-corner band makes ‘paperback!’ sound like an exciting futuristic technology, too.

  10. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “I especially like the way the bottom-right-hand-corner band makes ‘paperback!’ sound like an exciting futuristic technology, too.”

    Yeah, a bit like, “James Cameron’s AVATAR – Now released on Super 8 Film Stock!”

  11. Brian B Says:

    Actually didn’t Stephen King write a novel about an evil e-book reader?

  12. A.R.Yngve Says:

    You mean Stephen King’s THE RUNNING WHILE READING MAN?

  13. Mark V Thomas Says:

    From a AU Toys’R’ Us store Xmas promotional leaflet….
    Coming soon to Toys ‘R’ Us, the Cyberbook e-book reader…
    Comes preloaded with a range of Classic (Public Domain therefore out of Copyright), fairy stories, with generic illustrations, such as Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood…
    Also available, a collection of Classic (see above) Novels Volume 1 such as Alice In Wonderland, The Water Babies, & others on a single LS-120 diskette…

  14. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Alternate cover blurbs:

    1. “The city of the future was suddenly squashed by a gigantic gadget dropped from space!”

    2. “State-of-the-art North Korean technology for the millennium: Presenting The People’s E-Book Reader! (Only compatible with Party-approved files. If you use unapproved content you will be shot.)”

    3. “Thrill-a-minute action in the tradition of ELECTRO-CAMERAS and CYBER-TELEVISION!”

  15. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Ben Bova’s Cybermusic had a crystalline turntable on the cover.

    But you mustn’t Google the cover to Cyberpornography!

  16. Tom Noir Says:

    You mean this cover??

  17. HappyBookworm Says:

    Anyone heard about this technology?

  18. fred Says:

    The future is amazing when even crap electronics come with a built in anti-gravity field.

  19. Bibliomancer Says:

    This cover is even more GSS-worthy:

  20. B. Chiclitz Says:

    It’s funny to imagine how GSS would operate if this cyber book revolution had never occurred. We’d all be sending photocopies of covers to each other, and writing letters to the entire list, spending fortunes on postage, waiting weeks to see who puts a smiley face on our witty ripostes. I am very grateful, by the way, for the brilliant Admin rule that we start from real photos of paper covers.

  21. Alice Says:

    The GSS Admin comment at the top says “ironically, now sold as an E-book”. Wouldn’t it be more ironic if it weren’t?. I can’t find an e-book online anywhere.

  22. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Y’know, by 1990, we had ST:TNG, in which things were smaller than this. This doodad looks the size of gadgets in TOS, either a tricorder or the thing Kirk was always signing reports and such on. The proportions and knobs upper right make it look like an old-school cassette recorder from the 70’s. Only 6 years after this, we had Palm Pilots (much smaller) upon which one read Project Gutenberg books and people were publishing stuff for Palm and on floppy. What I’m saying is, this wasn’t very futuristic even by 1990 SF standards.

    Er, providing it isn’t shown life-size and is actually the Galactic Bookmobile visiting Crystal City, ready to spit doom and late fee notices out of the floppy port. Which is totally a book I’d read.

    Librarians… in… SPAAAAACE! Killer Librarians From Outer Space.

    @B’mancer: Wow. That truly is much worse. Did it not sell with this cover and some editor decreed “it needs boobs”?

    @BC:Aw, you’re almost making me nostalgic. We absolutely would have done that. Postage wasn’t so outrageous then, though, and by 1990 some zines allowed you to submit through email even if they were printed and mailed. Plus we made witty commentary on Usenet (with photos available to download from places) so we likely could have done just about the same thing as we do here, with possibly a day or two delay. We’d have been either the mailing list GSS-L, or a newsgroup called alt.arts.sf.literature.funny.goodshowsir.
    (I know — it’s how and when I met some of my still-close friends.)

    We would, however, been not as popular as the contemporary group

    (Shut up Wesley in the airlock)

  23. THX 1139 Says:

    It’s not a proper cyberbook unless you can play Donkey Kong on it.

  24. Innocent Bystander Says:

    GSS ex-noob: as a librarian I appreciate the whole librarians in SPAAAAACE thing! In space or on a planet we are killers attempting to stamp out ignorance thru great literature. And not so great book covers.

  25. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @IB: I actually read some Space Librarians books, by a Tom Bruno. Light reading, self-published, but entertaining. You might be interested at $0.99/each.

    Librarians could at least put an opaque cover over a terrible one, maybe.

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