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Dog Bites 

Wednesday, Oct 22 1997
Wired's Noisy Signal
If you secretly pine to be as cool as the digerati -- don't we all? -- you'll recognize Carla Sinclair's hilarious first novel, Signal to Noise (HarperSanFrancisco, $22.50) as a useful cheat sheet. Everyone who's anyone South of Market has an apparent counterpart in this book, including former Smarter Feller! Dave Eggers, who appears as passive-aggressive love object Mike Yoke. Fictional disguises are thin, and almost nobody looks good -- Sinclair even slams her own zine, bOing! bOing!

But just in case you need a little help passing as a true insider, we present our Signal to Noise Fiction-to-Apparent-Reality Conversion Chart.

Fiction: Signal
Apparent Reality: Wired
The Big Hint: "No one sees its dysfunctions until the intoxication of landing a job there has worn off."

Fiction: Jerry Liebowitz
Apparent Reality: Louis Rossetto, Wired Ventures CEO
The Big Hint: "He looks like an eccentric '70s-vintage rock musician, with long gray wavy hair...[His] decisions, no matter how erratic, stick like cement."

Fiction: Chelsea Simmons
Apparent Reality: Jane Metcalfe, Wired Ventures president
The Big Hint: "The woman is in her 30s, worth millions by now, and rumored to be quite shrewd.

Fiction: Dusty Lawson
Apparent Reality: John Perry Barlow, former Grateful Dead lyricist; founder, Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Big Hint: "...a stylishly outlandish character who fights for cyber-rights, jets around to fulfill prestigious high-tech speaking engagements..."

Fiction: Andrew Garrett
Apparent Reality: Stewart Brand, Global Business Network principal, WELL founder

The Big Hint: "...a futurist business consultant, a renowned author, and the man who invented the EGG (Electronic Global Gathering), which is hands-down the most respected online service in existence."

Fiction: The EGG
Apparent Reality: the WELL
The Big Hint: See above.

Fiction: Ethel Fuller
Apparent Reality: Esther Dyson, author of Release 2.0
The Big Hint: "Chelsea's aging friend -- a rendition of Peter Pan if he had grown up ... holds out a limp hand."

Fiction: Kenneth
Apparent Reality: Kevin Kelly, Wired executive editor
The Big Hint: "... the oldest employee at the magazine, in his late 40s, with thinning hair and a pink inquisitive face..."

Fiction: Sir Kengo
Apparent Reality: R.U. Sirius
The Big Hint: "... a brilliant, eccentric, psychedelia-doused writer who started a trippy tech-culture magazine called Zenith. ...[He] says he wants to marry a rich porn star who would fund his films and buy him drugs."

Fiction: Zenith
Apparent Reality: Mondo 2000
The Big Hint: "The grandmother of all cyber-rags had shriveled into a catatonic relic, vanquished by the arrogant pubescent newcomers at Signal."

Fiction: Darren Cooper
Apparent Reality: Douglas Coupland, Gen-X inventor
The Big Hint: "Whenever Darren Cooper walks into Signal's offices, the editors dote on him like he's the next Tom Wolfe."

Fiction: Force
Apparent Reality: Might
The Big Hint: "They're suddenly acting all professional-like, conducting Force as if it were a real magazine."

Fiction: Going Gaga
Apparent Reality: bOing! bOing!
The Big Hint: "If these zines are truly great works of journalism, why doesn't Conde Nast invest in them? Like they did with Signal."

Fiction: Caffe Centro
Apparent Reality: Caffe Centro
The Big Hint: "Everyone in this cafe has a goddamn book deal except her.

About The Author

Laurel Wellman


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