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Plotting Profitable Viruses

Computer viruses have long been firm and profitable grist for science-fiction mills.

“Neuromancer” and “Silicon Brain” and “Worms” and “The Software Plague” are typical of the lot.

Now, this month, comes “Trapdoor” by Bernard O’Keefe, a tale of nuclear terrorism made possible by a computer virus.

With a rare, albeit innocent, triumph of timing, publisher Houghton Mifflin prepared advertisements for last Sunday’s newspapers.

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“Computer viruses,” they claimed, “can be fatal.”


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