Simulacron-3

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Simulacron-3
DanielFGalouye-Simulacron-3.jpg
First edition cover, New York, 1964
Author Daniel F. Galouye
Original title Simulacron-3
Cover artist uncredited
Country United States
Language English
Series A Bantam Book, J2797
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Bantam Books
Publication date
1964
Published in English
January 1, 1964[1]
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 152 pp
ISBN 2-290-00778-1
OCLC 50854239
813/.5/4
LC Class PS3557.A42, S56 2000eb
Preceded by Lords of the Psychon (1963)
Followed by A Scourge of Screamers (1968)

Simulacron-3 (1964) (also published as Counterfeit World), by Daniel F. Galouye, is an American science fiction novel featuring an early literary description of virtual reality.

Plot summary[edit]

Simulacron 3 is the story of a virtual city (total environment simulator) for marketing research, developed by a scientist to reduce the need for opinion polls. The computer-generated city simulation is so well-programmed, that, although the inhabitants have their own consciousness, they are unaware, except for one, that they are only electronic impulses in a computer.

The simulator’s lead scientist, Hannon Fuller, dies mysteriously, and a co-worker, Morton Lynch, vanishes. The protagonist, Douglas Hall, is with Lynch when he vanishes, and Hall subsequently struggles to suppress his inchoate madness. As time and events unwind, he progressively grasps that his own world is probably not “real” and might be only a computer-generated simulation.

Symbolically, the title term "Simulacron-3" refers to the just-built virtual reality simulator and ostensibly references a third attempt at "simulectronics" (the reality-simulating technology), however, the "3" also refers to the novel’s three levels of "reality," or three levels of computer simulation — if the final, "real" world is simulated. Moreover, "simulacron" is closely derivative of simulacrum, a superficial image representing a non-existent original.

Similar works[edit]

In writing, the Frederik Pohl short story "The Tunnel under the World" (1955) deals with like philosophic themes and satirical criticism of marketing research, although in Pohl's story the described simulated reality is mechanical, an intricate scale-model whose inhabitants’ consciousnesses reside in a computer, rather than being solely electronic. The Philip K. Dick story Time Out of Joint (1959) presents a man who is unaware that he is living his life in a physically simulated town until changes in his (apparent) reality begin to manifest themselves.

The Matrix (1999) described a world whose population is unaware that the world containing their minds is a virtual reality simulacrum.

Adaptations[edit]

The novel has been adapted several times into other media, including as the two-part German television film Welt am Draht (1973) (World on a Wire), by Rainer Werner Fassbinder,[2][3] "staying reasonably faithful to Galouye’s book," as the film The Thirteenth Floor (1999) directed by Josef Rusnak and as a play World of Wires (2012) directed by Jay Scheib.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff. "Simulacron-3 by Daniel F. Galouye". Goodreads. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ http://boingboing.net/2012/06/15/mind-blowing-movies-world-on.html
  3. ^ http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/2152-world-on-a-wire-the-hall-of-mirrors
  4. ^ Brantley, Ben (January 17, 2012). "Worlds Within Worlds Within Worlds. And a Duane Reade.". New York Times. 

External links[edit]