Monday, February 02, 2009

Neuromancer by William Gibson

A good book - which was still interesting despite being written in the mid-80s. Gibson depicts a futuristic technological society where people manipulate their minds and bodies with chemicals and operations. Hackers roam the matrix (something like our Internet) and experience virtual reality while they try to break the codes of government and business.

Like much sci-fi, it was good because of the concepts presented but not really because of the prose or character development. There were several moments where I didn’t really understand what was going on, but I don’t think one is fully supposed to, or that it really mattered. Further, at various times, it did seem like it was almost a movie script.

As I have a current interesting in technological developments and what might happen in my lifetime, I appreciated Neuromancer for displaying interesting possibilities. Thus, as the plot contains A.I.’s battling each other, computer processes dominating the world, people being able to experience the sensations of another among other situations, I found it useful and interesting. I especially find the notion of how A.I.s might think (with logic, understanding, and therefore a resignation of sorts) fascinating; and how they might use human like projections because we could’t quite understand them otherwise (not that we need the anthropomorphization, but because their world of math, matrices and code would be unintelligible).

Finally, as a fan of The Matrix, I could’t help but find it illuminating that the main character is trying to break/hack into a main A.I. both in the real world and in the matrix, and he is getting help from black natives of Zion. Consequently, I now see The Matrix as less original than I used to (and chances are Gibson’s plot line isn’t that different from many others). It appears that the more one learns of prior productions, the less impressed one is regarding the originality of contemporary works.


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