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Julian Loose, 26 March 1992

Vox 
by Nicholson Baker.
Granta, 172 pp., £14.99, March 1992, 0 14 014232 0
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... Howard Rheingold, in his recent Virtual Reality, explained the idea of ‘cybersex’: how someday we will be able to don sensor suits, plug into the telecommunications network and ‘reach out and touch someone’ in ways entirely unforeseen by Alexander Graham Bell. Speculating about the impact of such artificial erotic experience, Rheingold turned to an already up and-running technology – to ‘telephone sex’, the adult party lines where you pay to make conversation with a member of the preferred gender ...

I am Gregor Samsa

Eric Korn, 7 January 1993

Virtual Reality 
by Howard Rheingold.
Secker, 415 pp., £19.99, October 1992, 0 436 41212 8
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Cyberpunk 
by Katie Hafner and John Markoff.
Fourth Estate, 368 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 1 872180 94 9
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Glimpses of Heaven, Visions of Hell: Virtual Reality and its Implications 
by Barrie Sherman and Phil Judkins.
Hodder, 224 pp., £12.99, July 1992, 0 340 56905 0
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... What they are waiting for is teledildonics. Our machines will do the living and loving for us. Rheingold is sure that telesex will be used not for fornicating with mainframes but for coupling with other humans without any of the disabling complications of physical contact. This is in accordance with the sciomorphic principle, that technical innovations are ...
Stalin’s Spy: Richard Sorge and the Tokyo Espionage Ring 
by Robert Whymant.
Tauris, 368 pp., £25, October 1996, 1 86064 044 3
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... Yul Brynner with dark wavy hair (Brynner was born in Vladivostok). Philby, more the tweedy Trevor Howard type, was also reckoned a handsome man. Their appeal to women, however, depended on more than looks. Their disabilities (Sorge’s limp and Philby’s pronounced stammer) made them vulnerable, which no doubt helped; above all, vitality, cheerfulness and ...

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