13 July 2013

Hey Punk: A Review of Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson

Although I am a space opera junky to the core, there is a part of me that is rather punk, cyberpunk, that is.   Let's take a quick look to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia to discover what cyberpunk is:  it involves high tech, surrounded and used by a low life.   Not a drinker of the wiki-cool-aid, I find myself agreeing in general with the glib definition but would add one thing, characterization.  If you have not read this genre before you may be under the impression that with tech comes intense hard SF to plod through.  Admittedly, you will find some techy mumbo-jumbo that will fly right over your head into Neverland but they are few and far between.  

The two books recommended are intensely alive on account of the authors' abilities in creating  depth and gregariousness to their leads.   In a weird (and I mean, I have had one beer weird way), cyberpunk is fantasy.  Oh beer, you taste so good.   But seriously,  fantasy is well,  fantastical, as is cyberpunk.  Take away the midges, elves and warlocks adorned in deep lush purple vests, put a cell phone implant into their thumbs,  and give them the extremely handy while creepy ability to live in digital space and voila, you have the same books, man.    Okay, I don't think I need to go Lebowski on you there, but I reckon that I am on to something, something that I have no notion of expanding on any time soon.  Shall we move on?

Accerlerando - Charles Stross
To be completely honest, I am half-way through this book and have NO idea what the crap is going on.  (like none)  That being said, I am so overly entertained by my bewilderment that I can't help but put a recommendation through.  I am lost in a future that is so over-whelmed with digital information that the main character has downloaded his memory (BRAIN) into his digitized glasses.  

I find myself still in part one of three novellas found in the book, maniacally following the life of Manfred Macx as he loses in his mind (literally) in Europe while trying to properly represent the entire lobster population of Earth.  The crustaceans are the first digitally uploaded sentient to the solar system and need some much needed representation.  Okay, you know what, it would be best for you not to take anything I say here as a serious synopsis because, as mentioned, I have no idea what is going on.


Snow Crash - Neil Stephenson
Dear fabulous, amazing Snow Crash, how I wish I had yet to read and experience your ramped-up, intense world.  I had so much fun reading you the first go around.  Snow Crash rocks, and so happens to be one of my top 20 books that everyone on the planet should read.  It is THAT good. 

What we have is cyberpunk at it's best:  Hiro Protagonist, a pizza delivery boy by day, warrior by virtual night is on the hunt for who is  killing all the hackers.  Rather short definition,  but trust me, it is better for you to just walk right into this novel, not knowing what is going on.   Plus, my intellectual capacity does not allow me to properly summarize a book that is so solidly in the future but so tightly wrapped up in Sumerian mythology.