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Welcome to the future. You made it.

And, apparently, these books have too. I started writing them at the height of 1990s dot-com hysteria, and now here we are at the height of—what, Web 3.0? 4.0? All I know is that when I first put fingers to keyboard on Jump 225, Google didn’t exist. iPhones and Androids didn’t exist. “The mobile experience” meant that you could drag your ten-pound laptop all the way across the room and edit your hard drive-bound documents there instead of at the desk.

Things have changed. But if you’re looking around at reality today and trying to compare it to the future depicted in Jump 225, I’d like to point a few things out first.

Forecasting the future in any meaningful way is close to impossible, and so most of us science fiction writers don’t even try. The future is highly dependent on advances in technology, and technology depends on things you can’t predict, like economic trends in Third World countries, the availability of certain minerals, and the price of oil. Most unpredictable of all, of course, is science.

Certainly Infoquake, MultiReal, and Geosynchron were never meant to be realistic extrapolations of where the world is heading, much less prescriptions for where it should be heading. Which is why the books are purposefully seeded with silly, quasi-futuristic names and acronyms like “L-PRACG,” “the Meme Cooperative,” and “Dr. Plugenpatch.” Which is also why they’re set hundreds of years in the future, right at the border of where science and magic intersect, according to Arthur C. Clarke.

So there’s no need to keep score. The stuff in these books isn’t going to happen.

And yet—

In Infoquake, completed in late 2004, I introduced the fast-paced, cutthroat business of bio/logic programming, where small businesses create apps for the human body and vie for position on the Primo’s index. Apple unveiled the first iPhone a little over two years later, in 2007. The fast-paced, cutthroat business of mobile app programming began with the introduction of the App Store in 2008.

In Geosynchron, published in 2010, a character spends a good two or three pages devising an ingenious system for people to mark themselves safe during a large-scale computational disaster. Mark Zuckerberg released the same thing on Facebook in 2015 following a devastating earthquake in Nepal.

The monetary system in these books runs on a network called the Vault, which I describe as a “distributed system of protocols”. The symbol of the Vault is a double-balanced pyramid. In 2015, a company called Ethereum created a programmable blockchain with functioning cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin. Their symbol? A double-balanced pyramid. (Eerie, yes. But as far as I know, completely a coincidence.)

There are a hundred more examples. The shared virtual music network called the Jamm from Infoquake? They’ve got that now. Doppelganger, which lets you find someone’s lookalike and hook up with them? rolled that out. Technological interfaces for the human brain? They’re testing ’em out now. Islander programming rings? Google filed a patent for a ring-based programming system that reads like a description straight out of MultiReal. (Don’t worry, my lawyer Saul Goodman is on the case.)

In the thirteen years since Infoquake hit the shelves, so many of the technologies in these books have come into existence that it’s become comical. What was intended as a fanciful satire about the far future is starting to seem old school.

As for why any publisher in 2019 would be interested in re-releasing a series of novels about a charismatic, unscrupulous, and notoriously self-centered businessman who finagles his way into the upper echelons of politics, where he proceeds to upend the established order, thumb his nose at journalists, and become the target of a divided government?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Enjoy this new edition of Jump 225. And don’t worry too much about the events in these books coming true, because the Autonomous Revolt could be next.

— David Louis Edelman

London, England

May 2019

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