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A futuristic-looking freezer illuminated in blue and pink light opens to reveal white vapor. The freezer is labeled "Cryogenics International."

In the summer of 1990, I was running a pretty weird nightclub in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo. I was deeply immersed in the global cyberpunk scene and working to bring the Tokyo node of this fast-expanding, posthuman, science-fiction-and-psychedelic-drug-fueled movement online. The Japanese scene was more centered around videogames and multimedia than around acid and other psychedelics, and Timothy Leary, a dean of ’60s counterculture and proponent of psychedelia who was always fascinated with anything mind-expanding, was interested in learning more about it. Tim anointed the Japanese youth, including the 24-year-old me, “The New Breed.” He adopted me as a godson, and we started writing a book about The New Breed together, starting with “tune in, turn on, take over,” as a riff off Tim’s original and very famous “turn on, tune in, drop out.” We never finished the book, but we did end up spending a lot of time together. (I should dig out my old notes and finish the book.)

Tim introduced me to his friends in Los Angeles and San Francisco. They were a living menagerie of the...

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