Rediscovered: The Kindle in 1959

For no special reason I got the urge to reread Fritz Leiber’s Change War series, off and on, over the last few weeks, still have at least one or two more to go (since they never all quite saw a collection in one book, and I just found a couple more in The Worlds of Fritz Leiber).

If you remember my post about the guy on a Hammett tour downloading the Fritz novel Our Lady of Darkness on his Kindle even as I blurbed it, as we stood in front of 811 Geary Street, you may like a line that jumped out at me from the new round of readings. I said that I was sure (and I am sure) that Fritz would have loved the idea that someone could first learn of a book one moment and download it instantly the next.

The short story “The Mind Spider,” first published in Fantastic in 1959, begins: “Hour and minute hand of the odd little gray clock stood almost at midnight, Horn Time, and now the second hand, driven by the same tiny, invariable radioactive pulses, was hurrying to overtake them. Martin Horn took note. He switched off his book. . . .”

I guess the Change Winds have blown through, and what was science fiction fifty-two years ago is now everyday reality.

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