Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Six of the more terrifying fictional digital viruses

Sam Reader is a writer and conventions editor for The Geek Initiative. He also writes literary criticism and reviews at strangelibrary.com. At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog he tagged six terrifying fictional digital viruses and plagues, including:
Snow Crash (Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson)

An insidious visual/digital plague that takes the form of a designer drug, the eponymous virus from Neal Stephenson’s post-cyberpunk classic first causes users’ digital interface rigs to crash with a static effect similar to “snow” on an old television screen. Its progression from there is dramatic, as the subliminal messages inside the viral program cause the user first to go comatose, then begin babbling in tongues thanks to a combination of audio signals, linguistic hacking, and ancient Sumerian memetic viruses that can alter DNA. Worse still, the virus makes its way into the hands of a Christian televangelist and his floating pirate nation, who want to use it to control both the physical world and the Metaverse, Snow Crash’s version of the internet. Scary stuff.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue