William Gibson wrote the poem 'Agrippa - A Book of The Dead' about his
dead father and his relationship towards him. It consists of childhood
memories and thoughts about his father's photo album titled Agrippa. 'Agrippa'
was released on a limited edition encrypted diskette that erased itself
page by page as you read when inserted into a Mac. The book itself contained
artwork by Dennis Ashbrough, a painter from New York, related to the content
of the poem (such as advertising posters from the 1920s). The artwork
was supposed to be painted in a special ink that disappeared when exposed
to sunlight, but technical problems prevented this from being implemented.
All the pages are filled with lines of genetic code that are actually
an encoding of the novel. ¶
There were two versions of the book: a small and a deluxe version. An
unknown number of copies exists, and only three copies are known to be
kept at public libraries. On December 9, 1992, 'Agrippa' was made available
to the public for one day, at museums across America, through the internet.
The (supposedly unhackable) poem text was soon cracked and put on various
internet sites. ¶