Thursday, May 3, 2007

Snow Crash

I actually enjoyed this novel, mostly because Neal Stephenson presented such vivid characters with actual depth. The reader is able to figure out the characters for the most part without being told. You can see their development and growth as characters. I love it when authors do this, but I have found a trend that many science-fiction authors focus more on what is happening in the world because of technology, rather than the characters. As a result, the characters are one dimensional, at best, perhaps two dimensional. Stephenson however gives his characters so much time in the novel that they are able to become three dimensional.
I found Stephenson outlook on the future very bleak, especially the "Sacrifice Zone". It is sad when the world because so caught up in money that parks, even national ones (or state was it?), are not worth the price of fixing up or restoring to their previous condition. However, considering that the U.S. at this time has become city-states controlled by corporations and criminals, it is realistic to assume this would happen.
The metaverse in this novel seems to be like the matrix universe in that film. Although I have never seen Matrix, I know that it is a movie about a virtual reality world controlled by robots. Here, the difference seems to be that people know about the virtual world and can control it themselves to a certain extent. Overall, I found the humor sprinkled through out this novel to come at a time when things were at its worst, indicating that the author may have been worried about the future, but was also hopeful about it as well.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

It was nice to have the comic releif in this novel because so mcuh we have read is more or less depressing. I had a number of people outside class tell me this book was awsome (which is good because when I saw how long it was I thought 'no way'). But it was an excellent book (and I got all the way through). Speaking of characters, I really liked Ng. I don't know why, he was kind of weird, but the way Stephenson discribed him was neat. For example Stephenson describes "from the temples downward, [he] is encased in an enormous goggle/mask/headphone/feeding-tube unit, held onto his head by smart straps that are constantly tightening and loosening themselves to keep the device comfortable and properly positioned..." He's just seems like such a hard core cyborg!