When brilliant Soviet cyberneticist Viktor Glushkov designed a blueprint for a computerised planning system, the Soviet Union looked on track to become web pioneers. In the end, however, there was to be no digital network. Justin Reynolds tells the story of how the Soviets nearly created the internetTEXTJustin ReynoldsShare on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share via EmailStill from Soviet sci-fi film, A Dream Come True (Mechte Navstrechu) (1963)Visions of an advanced postcapitalist economy run by digital networks have long haunted the socialist imagination. Alexander Bogdanov’s 1909 Bolshevik sci-fi fantasy novel Red Star imagined the achievement of communist utopia on Mars, an abundance of wealth and leisure made possible by a sophisticated command economy planned and automated by prototype computers. Cerebral Martian engineers, their “delicate brains” connected to the machines through “subtle and invisible” threads, fine-tune economic inputs and outputs from a control room tracking production gluts and shortfalls.