The Cybergypsies by Indra Sinha
A True Tale of Lust, War, & Betrayal on the Electronic Frontier

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Naked Lunch meets Confessions of an Opium Eater in the virtual world: A mesmerizing first-person account.

Whatever you have heard, read, or fantasized about the Internet, the truth is stranger, funnier, more horrifying. Along the invisible pathways of the technonight wanders a strange tribe undetected by the millions of everyday net users. Some cybergypsies are geeks, technoanarchists who swap computer viruses like baseball cards. But most are seemingly ordinary people, bankers, lawyers, police officers, who at night assume strange identities and engage in weird mind-twisting games, getting their thrills from virtual sex, violence, and even cannibalism. Games leak into their real lives, often with disastrous results.

The Cybergypsies is the story of "Bear," an advertising writer with a wife, children, and a rambling house in the English countryside, who's about to sacrifice everything to his addiction. Bear's real and imaginary lives fuse in a series of bizarre (and often hilarious) adventures. Phantasmagoric tragedies are woven into the dark patterns of his life, building to a personal moral crisis. As the net closes in on him, Bear makes one last desperate attempt to save his marriage.

Two centuries ago, Thomas de Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater exposed the fantastic world of the opium addict. The Cybergypsies does the same for the virtual world of the cyber addict. On a continuum from William Burroughs and William Gibson, Bear's odyssey takes us into an intoxicating world--alternately terrrifying and ridiculous--where reality and imagination are indistinguishable. It is at once technopuzzle, confession, and strikingly original literary debut.

About Indra Sinha

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Indra Sinha is an Indian scholar and Sanskrit translator educated at Cambridge University. His other books include the highly successful Illustrated Kama Sutra.
Published May 4, 1999 by Scribner. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Computers & Technology, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Fiction

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In the book’s most comically surreal episode, a group of Shades players throw a house party where “two worlds, the one we call “real’, and the cyber-world of Shades, collided and became entangled.” Like a crack addict, Sinha is a genius at self-delusion, telling himself that his habit is under co...

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Publishers Weekly

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Along the way, however, Sinha used the Internet to spark political change in the off-line world, leveraging the online community to raise funds for Kurdish refugees and conveying the horrors of the Union Carbide explosion in Bhopal, India.

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Back when Indra Sinha was addicted to Shades, I was a kid sneaking into college computer labs to play Ivory Towers.

Nov 10 2009 | Read Full Review of The Cybergypsies : A True Tal...

Entertainment Weekly

THE CYBERGYPSIES: A TRUE TALE OF LUST, WAR, AND BETRAYAL ON THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER Indra Sinha (Viking, $28.95) In the mid-'80s, Sinha, a London ad exec, became seriously addicted to the earliest and most fanatical Internet outposts -- multiuser games and bulletin boards frequented by hackers, v...

Aug 20 1999 | Read Full Review of The Cybergypsies : A True Tal...

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