"We use the levers and pulleys of tecnology to shaper our world, but what wer really want is a world which obeys our spoken commands, and reconfigures itself to our unvoiced wishes, What we really want - what we'ver always wanted - is magic."
This is from Wil McCarthy's Hacking Matter. Though people familiar with Slant, Moving Mars, etc, have experienced the above idea, they perhaps aren't familiar with the real-world events that are making it a reality. Hacking Matter is just such a presentation of them. (Keep in mind this text is a few years old already.)
From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles
Matter Hacker is also a great thing to yell when you hammer your thumb...
From: Greg Bear
Recent emails between Wil and me discussed these issues--Wil's patented version involves real-time, real-world adaptation of real matter to be more tightly controlled; ie, programmable. ANVIL's fake matter seems more like the hologram matter in Red Dwarf. I suspect Red Dwarf or something in Doctor Who or Hitchhiker's Guide predates us all... those UK adventure/comedy geniuses! But if Wil can make his idea work, it will indeed change the world.
Hmm, this topic is down the list a bit; likely on me an you are reading it. Anyways...I had the idea, but didn't know specifically, McCarthy was actively involved in developing this stuff. Cool. I'm lookin forward to it.
As for fake matter....well, perhaps something similar comes to mind with Doc Smith's different 'orders' of technology and particular structural manifestations in the design of starships in his Skylark series.
From: Greg Bear
Good point--I'll have to go back and take a look at Smith.