Mondo Nano: Fun and Games in the World of Digital Matter

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Milburn, Colin. Mondo Nano: Fun and Games in the World of Digital Matter. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2015.

From the publisher's blurb:

[...] Mondo Nano Colin Milburn takes [...] readers on a playful expedition through the emerging landscape of nanotechnology, offering a light-hearted yet critical account of our high-tech world of fun and games. This expedition ventures into discussions of the first nanocars, the popular video games Second Life, Crysis, and BioShock, international nanosoccer tournaments, and utopian nano cities. Along the way, Milburn shows how the methods, dispositions, and goals of nanotechnology research converge with video game culture. With an emphasis on play, scientists and gamers alike are building a new world atom by atom, transforming scientific speculations and video game fantasies into reality. Milburn suggests that the closing of the gap between bits and atoms entices scientists, geeks, and gamers to dream of a completely programmable future.[1]

Reviewed by Andrew Hageman, SFRA Review #317 (Summer 2016): pp. 36-37.[2]

Science fiction scholars may be particularly interested in the range of science fiction texts engaged. To be sure, the usual suspects like Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, and David Cronenberg are included, but there are significant ventures into the likes of Theodore Sturgeon and Robert Heinlein amongst earlier SF writers (some of this developing new directions since Milburn’s previous book, Nanovision (2008), in which he studies at length the influence of SF on Richard Feynman’s famous speech on the idea of nanotech),[3] as well as close and/or conversational readings of more contemporary SF video games and graphic novels. As such, Mondo Nano articulates new lines and lineages of connection between Golden Age SF, Cyberpunk, and subsequent Nanotech SF. (p. 37)

RDE, finishing, 26Aug21