Into the Aether

There’s considerable consternation in the SF blogosphere and among members of a newsgroup I subscribe to about the demise of Sci Fiction. The aspect that fascinates me is what happens to defunct websites. Ellen’s earlier sites Event Horizon and Omni Online eventually vanished; what will happen to her section of Presumably the corporate entity that runs the cable TV channel will be around a while, so at least the domain will be around a while, but still.

Some have pointed out the existence of internet archival sites, e.g. the Wayback Machine. I’ve found old content of Locus Online there occasionally, but some people report that the coverage is spotty and the site difficult to use.

I can’t help but think of the consequences of various apocalyptic scenarios, the plague, the war, the collapse of the biosphere, leaving us all huddled in pre-industrial hovels. In such cases moldering paper magazines and books might still be found. But the electronic infrastructure will have vanished into the aether. I suppose in such cases, that will be the least of our worries.

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