[Originally published, as part of a longer post, 31 August 2012]
I’ve been looking through the back-up files that I found earlier this week. One of the first drafts of my novel King’s Ransom had as its final chapter a letter from the hero. In this, he says the following: “It will appear in something called the Internet, and as I understand it that makes it available to more than three million people worldwide.” The fictional letter is dated October 1994.
In fact, three million was a bit of an under-estimate – though not by much – and with the benefit of hindsight I have been able to find it was slightly more than that: at the end of 1994, the number of people with Internet access worldwide was just over 11 million. Astonishing.