Cyberspace Salvations: science fiction science faction was a symposium about the mutual influence of science fiction and computer technology development, organized in 2007 by Waag, Internet provider XS4ALL and the Cyberspace Salvations research team of Leiden University and the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

In the mid-1980s digital technologies seemed to change the world profoundly. Only nobody knew how. In 1984 William Gibson introduced the concept of  'cyberspace’ - an otherworldly space that was enclosed by a  network of computers. His work and that of other cyberpunk writers like Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker, greatly inspired developers of computers, internet and games such as World of Warcraft and  Second Life. These technologies, in turn, fed the imaginations of science fiction writers.

Prominent Virtual World designers, cyberpunk authors and the editor of a cyberculture magazine engaged in discussions with the audience and social scientists. The main theme was the cross-fertilization between science fiction and 'science faction', how it took place in the past and can shape technologies of the future.

Speakers on this series

  • Bruce Sterling (founder of cyberpunk movement, designer) & Prof. P. Pels (Anthropology, Leiden University)
  • Rudy Rucker (founder of cyberpunk movement) & RU Sirius (founder cyberculture magazine 'Mondo 2000')
  • Brenda Laurel virtual worlds and game designer) & Bruce Damer, Galen Brandt (virtual worlds developers & performers)

Project duration

20 Mar 2007 - 1 May 2007



  • Universiteit van Leiden
  • Internet4All (XS4ALL)
  • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam