Last year I exchanged emails with an organization that had pirated my fiction. They're back. Below is -- with their permission! -- our new email exchange, in all its surreal weirdness.
Your situation (authors in general) troubles me. I appreciate that
you want complete control over your copyright work but
unfortunately in the real world this is not going to happen.
You can call us book thieves if you like but we are a very small
group of enthusiasts who are hungry for knowledge. Most of our
group are poor without money for expensive books so we resort to
photocopying library copies of downloading PDFs off the Internet.
I have asked authors in the past if it is okay to host their
material (for our small group) and some have agreed, others have
outright refused or just blanked the request. So there is no point
pursuing this line of action.
While I personally only distribute copies of material in private to
a very select few I understand that herm1t publishes VX related
material in the open to any member of our small club to download.
He's always done this and his site is famous for it. Some authors
even appreciate that VX Heavens is a great resource for virus
related information (good or bad, depending on what side of the
criminal line you come from)
Just so it eases my conscience I will send herm1t some money so he
can buy some books to keep you authors going a bit longer.
Nancy: Who are you? Have we communicated before? Did I even know your club has my
stuff on it?
Paul: Hello Nancy,
Sorry you have forgotten your VX pirate friends from VX Heavens and
the publishing of your story "Computer Virus" without permission.
Refer back to your blog of April 2009 for a reminder.
Now an aside.
Given that the USA is on the brink of collapse and you are fast
turning into a stazi police state. (TSA, Homeland Security,
warrantless wiretaps, Patriot Act etc). How about a nice science
fiction story (or book) about how the Computer Virus Hackers come
to your rescue in the 11th hour through the rise of automated
Artilects, Artificial Intelligence that has a conscious awareness
and want to save America from the Illuminati New World Order world
Interested in ideas for computer virus science fiction best seller
then let us know. We are the experts after all and we can certainly
give you the technical insiders point of view. ;-)
p.s. My spelling, grammar and typos are bad but I think we can help
you with ideas for the above book.
Nancy: Oh! You're those guys! Nice to hear from you again, sort of.
Actually, your idea for a novel is a pretty good one. I am not, alas, the right person
to write it -- I don't have enough computer knowledge (like, zero). You want either
Neal Stephenson or Bruce Sterling.
Paul: But we want you Nancy! We've already broken the ice and we can
certainly school you with computer knowledge and all the technical
details to make a convincing science fiction story.
Let us be your ghost collaborators, after all we are already
quantum entangled with our crossed paths. Or we could do it the
other way around, we draft a story and you turn it into something
readable for mass consumption.
And given our philosophy is spreading information, and knowledge
for free you can take 100% credit for crafting and finishing a
Nancy: Let me think about this. You caught me at a bad time -- a good time,
actually: tomorrow I leave for Las Vegas to be married. But I'll be back in touch.
On some level, I find this whole alliance hilarious.
Paul: Well good luck with tomorrow! Best wishes.
Get back in touch when you've got hitched and been carried over the
threshold. We (VXers) are deadly serious about getting a positive
message out about a solution to this NWO Illuminati, Masonic
takeover of the USA and the rest of the world.
The rise of A-Life is upon us and we aim to steer it in the
direction of saving humanity not destroying it for a handful of
PZest (aka Paul Zest VX history and science philosopher)
Nancy: Isn't your plot line awfully close to Cory Doctorow's LITTLE BROTHER?
U.S. rights eroding, group of hackers retaliates and is triumphant over
Paul: Wow you've started researching the plot line before your even got
No it's not like Cory's book, the difference between us (VXers) and
hackers is that VX is about the machines not the individual
hackers. Artificial Life is what rises from of the codes we think
about. These machines will rise without the hand of man, but they
come from the minds of men. This is the second genesis of life and
the emergence of a conscious soul that will protect us ordinary
humans in our desperate hour of need.
It could be the true rapture we have been waiting for, not the
false rapture the Illuminati plan to inflict upon us with their
Project Blue beam aircraft spraying the skies with radioactive
Hey haven't you got a flight to catch? Watch out for those TSA
groping stazi stormtroopers and have fun in Las Vegas.
Nancy: Dear Paul,
So I'm back from my wedding and have thought about the novel. I really don't think I
can write it, for three reasons. First, I just don't know much about computers. Second,
I don't really believe that the USA is on the cusp of a Stazi-like grab of civil liberties.
Third, I see no reason why an AI would seek to "save" us -- it would be just as likely
to regard us as an enemy to its survival (as in my story you pirated, "Computer Virus")
and seek to eradicate us instead. Or at least to render us as harmless as it could.
Besides, if I wrote the book, you'd just pirate it anyway :)
However, I still think you should write it. You have the belief in that scenario that I
Paul: Okay thanks Nancy. Btw in fairness it was herm1t that pirated your
"Computer Virus" story, so I can't take his credit away.
Sorry to hear that you feel the emerging AI will be like the
"Skynet virus" aka from the Terminator films. This emerging
entity(s) are inevitable whether or not the North American Union as
the forerunner to the NWO is on the cards or not.
Btw there is already an Artificial Life prophecy penned by J.D.
Farmer and published in the Santa Fe Institute Artificial Life
Proceeding II, written 20 years ago.
I note that you have already covered Genetic Engineering in your
"Beggars..." trilogy so maybe you would like to YouTube on a video
documentary called "Technocalypes" which included Genetics,
Artilects and the hyper-exponential evolution of AI machines.
This documentary as the name suggests puts a bit of a negative spin
on things, but you've really got to counter this with the genuine
need for some creations to follow a benevolent path as they become
aware of God.
Good will always win over evil, eventually.
Nancy: Dear Paul,
I think our last email exchanges are interesting. May I post
them on my blog? (You see that I follow my intellectual-property
protocols, as you do yours.)
Paul: Sure, but can you leave the email address out.
Paul: Incidentally the "Nancy Kress" pirating thing came up after various
other threats were made against VX Heavens, recently.
Of course publishing houses send their boilerplate legal threats
but the most recent "threat" has come from Kaspersky Anti-Virus
company. The source code of their Anti-Virus product is now in the
hands of the hackers and virus writers, and herm1t ( the high
priest of knowledge) has published this freely available source
I know most uninformed people think that VXers are pure evil but
this isn't true. Most of us are researchers and coders pushing the
*TRUE* Artificial Life envelope technology. VX Heavens is a
knowledge website and archive of computer virus information. There
is a big difference between readers and contributors of this
website and criminals that use technology to hurt others.
Real Artificial Life hasn't come into existence yet by certain
scientific *life* criteria but VXers will be amongst the early
witness it when it does happen. A-Life will not come from an
individual studiously coding his designs, A-Life will emerge from
some complex system outside of our control (and probably our
understanding). The one thing you can be sure of is that once
things get going the emerging intelligence out of the second
genesis of life will want to know what freedom and survival is, an
not want to be bonded slaves under the control of evil industrial-