In 1990 I was buying some science journal, and it used to publish excerpts from sci-fi and fantasy books. In such a way I got acquainted to Ursula Le Guin and etc.

I remember there was a (maybe short) story where the main hero could hack networks, devices and get info or manage them.

In this new Intelligence TV series, the main hero also can hack computer systems.

I would be glad if you could point me to the story.

Thank you very much!

  • Could you add a little more information? Do you remember what science journal? Anything about the character - name, where the story took place, purpose of the hacking? Was this in English? What country was the journal published in? That would help.
    – Sindi
    Jan 12, 2014 at 15:24
  • 2
    It was as far as I remember Soviet journal "Наука и Жизнь", naturally, in Russian. But I think the story was a translation work of a Western author. The purpose was that the hero wanted to escape some kind of chase, from police or military. He used to hack the systems, get useful information, manage machines. But of course it seems a little naive, with all these iPads and supercomputers nowadays.
    – B.I.
    Jan 12, 2014 at 16:35
  • How exactly did he hack them? Via Keyboard? Mentally? If it was via some kind of Psychic power, it makes me think 'Coils' by Roger Zelazny & Fred Saberhagen. (The Goodreads synopsis doesn't tell much, but the hero is basically a Techonpath.) Can you quantify at all How he hacked them?
    – K-H-W
    Jan 12, 2014 at 16:48
  • Was it specifically 1990? N&Zh has some archives on the web but not 1990: nkj.ru/archive Jan 12, 2014 at 18:49
  • Yep, exactly 1990, I remember that for sure ;) He hacked it mentally, from distance.
    – B.I.
    Jan 12, 2014 at 20:22

4 Answers 4


John Brunner's The Shockwave Rider (1975) is based on this premise, and as far as I know is one of the earliest novels to deal with computer hacking. Brunner is credited with coining the term worm to describe a computer program due to this novel.

The protagonist is an escapee from a US government program to train young people with extraordinary skills. He is able to hack computers through typing numerical codes into telephones.

Eventually he uses this skill to develop a worm that infects the network and makes it easier for citizens to learn the truth about the illegal activities of the government.


The novel "Coils" by Roger Zelazny and Fred Saberhagen has a protagonist who can connect to computer systems. The plot involves a group of people with various psychic powers, who have turned to using those powers for criminal ends.

It was first published in 1982.

GoodReads, Amazon.


Obligatory reference to camp 80's crime fighter Automan

As a computer generated A.I. with a physical presence, he could "travel" into computers defeat computer security and gather information.

Here's his wikipedia entry


The novel, Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) by William Gibson, is about a woman named Angie who always had the ability to hack into cyberspace without a cyberspace deck.
You can read about it here: wikipedia entry

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