War of the Worlds: Cyberspace and the High-Tech Assault on Reality

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
(Save 25%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 90%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $2.99   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   


Warning: A technological revolution is unfolding that promises, in the words of its creators, to redefine what it means to be human. Face-to-face communication (“F2F” to those in the know) is quickly becoming obsolete; already we turn to computers for information, entertainment, companionship—even love. Science fiction? Hardly. This is the brave new vision of the digital avant-garde, computer crusaders leading a high-tech assault on what was once known as reality. Sophisticated, well-funded, unabashedly messianic, they have the power, the technological know-how, and the marketplace savvy to make good on many of their wildest prophecies. With War of the Worlds, Mark Slouka gives us a funny, but eerily disturbing, humanist’s look at the culture of cyberspace.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As millions of computer users plug into the Internet, access online services, play computer simulation games and explore virtual realities, abstract communication replaces firsthand experience, entertainment becomes mere spectatorship and ordinary human contact is devalued, declares Slouka. His thoughtful, provocative critique deflates the giddy, messianic claims of digital-revolution proponents. A lecturer in English and popular culture at UC San Diego, Slouka deftly skewers the notion that universal access to an information superhighway will empower the weak and foster community. Attacking cyberspace enthusiasts who envisage a ``digital hive'' wiring together countless computer buffs into a ``global mind,'' Slouka argues that such fantasies betray a collectivist mentality and a deep distrust of the individual. His withering broadside makes a compelling case that the so-called digital revolution is distraction on a grand scale. $25,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Aug.)
A humanist looks at the culture of cyberspace and warns that more is going on than mere on-line communication: While the technological revolution offers convenience, entertainment, and more information than we know what to do with, it's also blurring the line between synthetic environments and real life. Slouka takes a look at key players such as Bill Gates and Nicholas Negroponte and also examines the dark side of the Internet. Enormous cultural implications will result, he says, if people consider technology more interesting than the natural world. Slouka urges us to reaffirm our connections to unwired reality. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465004874
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/1996
  • Pages: 152
  • Lexile: 1270L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Slouka is a lecturer in literature and culture at the University of California, San Diego. He’s currently writing a book on the decline of the physical world in modern life, and his fiction has appeared in Harper’s magazine.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Road to Unreality 1
Ch. 1 "Reality Is Death": The Spirit of Cyberspace 17
Ch. 2 "Springtime for Schizophrenia": The Assault on Identity 39
Ch. 3 Virtual World: The Assault on Place 65
Ch. 4 Highway to Hive: The Assault on Community 87
Ch. 5 Republic of Illusion: The Assault on Reality 109
Ch. 8 The Case for Essentialism 131
Glossary 153
Notes 181
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)