Cyberantics: a book from the year 2172

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Stanislaw Mayakovsky — a fictional character from the 1992 comic book series Aliens: Hive — was a Russian sociobiologist and artificial life expert from the 22nd century who made a tiny autonomous robotic ant and placed it in an ant colony to study social insect behavior. He wrote a book about it, called Cyberantics (published in 2172).

In 1992, Dark Horse Comics published a hardcover book called Cyberantics, written by “Mayakovsky” (actually Jerry Prosser), beautifully illustrated by Rick Geary, and strikingly designed in the style of Russian Constructivism artist Alexander Rodchenko. Cyberantics tells the story of Mayakovsky’s cybernetic ant, Ari (Japanese for ant), as she joins a colony of wild ants and becomes its protector.

Cyberantics looks like a kids’ picture book, but it was meant for older readers (the page margins include notes about ant behavior from evolutionary biologist and ant expert Bert Hölldobler and sociobiologist E.O. Wilson).

Here are a few photos of the interior pages and the bibliography (Trouble in Bugland looks great!).

This little-known book is a treasure and long out of print, but used copies are easily found online.

This is from my newsletter, The Magnet.




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