Full disclosure: I was supposed to read this book for my science fiction class in university. I definitely never did. I can’t remember if I used it for my exam, but if I did, I for sure made it up. I now can’t believe I didn’t read it earlier.
I tore through this book. I love science fiction, even though it’s far beyond my patience to actually write decent SF myself, and this was so much fun to read. Stephenson’s humor is quick and accessible, and I loved reading about Sumerian culture and language. I am surprised, looking back, that it was written in 1992; it feels incredibly current for a 20-year-old book.
Some of my favourite scenes and pieces:
- The President of the United States has to introduce himself to the dominant powers, because the US is so small and bureaucratic that no one recognizes or is impressed by him.
- Our main character has an awesome name (Hiro Protagonist) and is not Caucasian.
- The Rat Thing bits. Rat Things are half pit bull, half machine, and all terrifying guard beast-things. Except we get to hear some of a Rat Thing’s inner thoughts, and he thinks of himself as Fido.
- The Burbclaves, sovereign suburban nations recreated identically all over the world – I am emphatically not a fan of the suburbs, and not a fan of Edmonton’s current suburban sprawling development.
- Laws don’t exist – everything is run by companies and corporations. Delivering a pizza late ruins lives.
I put Stephenson’s other books on my Christmas list – can’t wait.
Current Total: 6