Playing God

Was it 1994, or the year of playing God?

Basking in the warm glow of our 1993 success streak, and feeling that our buying public enjoyed books on the “edge”, I led the company ever further across the line that separates safety from extreme exploration. Each of our titles managed to test the mettle of the bookstores, and each book passed user examination with success. Waite Group Press expanded, as did its book output. We published 10 books that spring; 19 books altogether–a record high.

  • Artificial Life Lab
  • 3D Modeling Lab
  • Morphing on your PC
  • Simple C++
  • Ray Tracing Worlds with POV Ray
  • Ray Tracing for the Macintosh
  • Playing God with REND386
  • Simple Internet
  • The Road to 2015
  • Memory Management in a Multimedia World

This period also declared itself to be the ‘Spring of my contentment’, the season in which I would meet my fiancé. As some saw it, she cast a spell. I would say, however, that she passed to me an insight that changed my whole attitude about the computer book market.

She declared that the “malling of America” era was coming to a close, while the emergence of the superstore paradigm was now ascending. Borders, Costco, CompUSA, Best Buy, Wal-Mart. All these stores were displacing the small independent bookstores. This guaranteed a loss of individualization, if not the demise of homogeneity of consumer choices.

Our group was most fortunate to capture the talents of well-known author Rudy Rucker to write a book called Artificial Life Lab. This was followed by 3D Modeling Lab, which featured a captivating 3D-modeling program. Finally, we published Morphing on your PC.

We negotiated smart deals with shareware, freeware, and low-cost commercial software companies to make such books possible. We went from modeling objects in the computer to playing God with a virtual reality world-building program.

Believe me, Playing God with REND386 raised eyebrows. To tell the truth, bookstores had a fit! Still they adapted, and we went on to produce Ray Tracing Worlds.

The Road to 2015 was our first book about the future, and while it did not fit into the computer book arena, it was exciting to work with an author from a distinguished think tank.

I was now age 46. My company had mushroomed to 20 people. I had put away money, purchased a home, taken hold of a new Lexus. I had begun thinking about children. When might I have my own family? According to the book Road to 2015, due to coming developments in biotechnology, the age span of my baby boomer generation was slated to become 140 years. Thus, only 94 years remained to me for marriage, children, and the “wisdom years”.