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In the mid 80s, I read book I got it at the library and it was hardback. If I remember correctly, it was new release and it was novel length book.

The story starts with a guy who works in a computer lab describing hunting bugs to a girl who was visiting the lab as part of a school trip. He described that they had to catch the bugs (he meant the software) before they created problems. The girl drew a picture of bugs coming out of the computer. And somehow, this turned into real life where the bugs came out and did real harm to people. The cycle continues with her drawing pictures of these bugs and they become real and harm or kill people.

Along the way, the person, trying to figure out what's happening, follows the mother of the girl and witnesses them going into the woods and performing a religious ceremony, and I think they were naked doing it.

Any ways, that's about all I remember of this story. I would like to know the title/author if possible because I think I would like to re-read it.

1 Answer 1

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Could this be Theodore Roszak's 1981 Bugs?

Book cover of *Bugs*

This first novel by society-watcher Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture, Person/Planet) is a bizarre, fanciful, near-foolish--but engagingly gutsy--cross between a techno-disaster novel, a mystical parable, and The Exorcist. It all hinges, tenuously, on a child's misunderstanding: Dr. Thomas Heller of the National Center for Data Control publicly admits that his super-computer still has some ""bugs"" in it, and a little girl named Daphne imagines these bugs as the insect sort. A harmless mistake? So you'd think. But Daphne, you see, is no ordinary child: she's been raised by a mystical mother, and she has powers (via Nature) to make things materialize. So the very bugs which Daphne has imagined are soon actually inside the computers! They're solid as marble all the way through, with no innards--but they can bite, traveling electronically to data-banks everywhere, chewing up wires and microchips. And it eventually becomes clear that Nature is using Daphne to fight the evil of computer-ism. (Says a consulting mystic: the bugs ""are there in the service of God--to ward off evil. . . . They make us afraid, but they are not evil. The evil is what they defend against."") Finally, then, huge areas of civilization are collapsing as workers fear to use the computers--while a mad scientist and a defrocked priest try to transfer Daphne's power of materialization into the priest's brain. Wild mumbojumbo? Perhaps. But, though the novel lacks a sympathetic central hero, Roszak definitely gets points for chutzpah--as he carries his central idea to its natural apocalyptic conclusion, all the while layering the proceedings with mystical notions that reach back to the earliest golem-monster tales. And while few will find this fully satisfying, various sorts of readers--mystics, futurologists, computer-haters--will probably go along with Roszak for a bumpy but frequently fascinating ride.

Found by searching for novel wicca "computer bugs".

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  • that sure sounds like it. I will see if I can find that book somewhere. thank you.
    – tatmanblue
    Jan 4, 2020 at 1:34
  • Glad I could help.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jan 4, 2020 at 1:40

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