A nostalgic serial about the first days
of the World Wide Web.

Episode 1: October 1994.

Parties in New York are not about fun. They are about fear: fear that you are not talking enough or saying the right thing; fear that the fine stranger who could make you rich or famous or happy is on the sofa when you are at the buffet table, or at the buffet table when you are on the sofa; fear that a much better party is going on somewhere else entirely, in some glamorous Nirvana where the human Gods of Manhattan laugh down upon you.
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Episode 2: November 1994.

She was reading in a newspaper about a massive crash by the country's largest online service. It was a great middle finger to those arrogant Internet lovers, forever going on about their e-mail addresses. Now they were missing drink dates, doing without new pie recipes, or having their tiresome genealogical queries lost forever. It was the next best thing to having a massive power outage get rid of the Internet entirely.

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Episode 3: December 1994.

Billy Dose sat in the Brigitte Diner over his finished turkey dinner, wondering how long it would be until they asked him to leave. He ordered another cup of coffee. He couldn't order dessert, because dessert came as part of the prix-fixe "Joyeux Noel Platter" the Lebanese-pretending-to-be-French operator of the diner had already served him. It consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes, and a little apple tart, all on one plate.
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Episode 4: February 1995

Nicky never had any money, and while Veda didn't have much either, she did have an apartment. Nicky was happy to take advantage of that instead.

Since Undine Spragg would have never permitted him to move in, he and Veda worked out a system. He stayed out all night, doing God knows what, and then waited outside until he saw Veda and Undine leave for work in the morning. Then he'd go upstairs, smoky and disheveled, and sleep the day away in Veda's bed. He set her alarm clock for 5:30 pm, a half-hour before Undine was due home.
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Episode 5: April 1995

Working as a novelty psychic for parties was Gemma Guimard's least favorite way to earn money. There were so many people, and so many predictions, and she couldn't recycle them the way she usually did because they all talked to each other.

Inevitably there were long lines outside her "Fun Psychic" booth, and after a while, every palm looked the same.

The whole experience made her sympathize with strippers working bachelor parties.
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Episode 6: October 1995.

At a disco in the daytime, where a mirrored ball hung idly from the ceiling and the waitresses, without makeup, were surly about having to be up so early, the Cybersocial was underway.

Veda and Frederic had come there via subway and a long walk through a deserted neighborhood. They passed rusty train tracks and cigarette billboards, and parking lots fenced with barbed wire, the kind of isolation and desolation that seemed terribly cool in a prosperous city.
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Episode 7: December 1995.

Jason Jellyman was a man of property now. He had sold Cyberswinger to a mass-market magazine publisher and with the proceeds bought his own apartment near the Flatiron Building, in what was just beginning to be called Silicon Alley. Now Cyberswinger was a glossy magazine, repositioned towards housewives vaguely interested in the Internet. Jason had seen it in the supermarket: on the cover, a model was holding a mouse in one hand and a spatula in the other.

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Episode 8: February 1996.

"I'm Richard Godersley," he said, extending his hand.
His handshake had a little charge to it.
"Hello," said Veda.
"Would you like to sit down?" he asked.
She looked directly at him, pinching herself with her left hand as she shook with her right.
"Yes," she said.
He was the most beautiful man she'd ever seen. He looked like some kind of late 20th century deity, an Apollo of Wall Street, seated at the desk with the skyscraper peaks behind him.
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