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Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 1913

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  • Katie Glick
    ... My favorite books that deal with an advanced internet in a sort of fantastic way are Neal Stephenson s Snow Crash and The Diamond Age . The first
    Message 1 of 1 , May 20, 2005
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      Lizzi wrote:
      >
      > The main titles in question are Friedman's _This Alien Shore_ and Daniel
      > Keys Moran's books that have a sort of advanced Internet, with Trent and
      > the rest (Emerald Eyes, The Long Run, The Last Dancer, etc.). I guess
      > these are "cyber punk" but they are the only books of that sort that I've
      > read so far as I know. Are others in that genre so good? I guess one
      > could also include McCaffrey's Ship Who Sang books, and Morris' space opera
      > Earth Dreams titles with the sentient starships.
      >
      > My question is how would one describe or sum up the ? paradigm ? myth ? of
      > this sort of hi-tech mental space. It is not telepathy, it is not really
      > gestalt, but it is a definite presence and it has power.
      >

      My favorite books that deal with an "advanced internet" in a sort of
      fantastic way are Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" and "The Diamond
      Age". The first involves the internet as a "Metaverse" which is
      basically an online virtual reality. The hero is a pizza delivery guy/
      hacker/samurai swordsman who gets sucked into a situation involving a
      designer drug/computer virus combo. There are aspects of Sumerian myth
      weaved in there so there is something of a mythic element.

      The latter deals with nanotechnology rather than virtual reality. The
      blurb from Amazon describes it more succinctly than I could:

      "John Percival Hackworth is a nanotech engineer on the rise when he
      steals a copy of "A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" for his daughter
      Fiona. The primer is actually a super computer built with
      nanotechnology that was designed to educate Lord Finkle-McGraw's
      daughter and to teach her how to think for herself in the stifling
      neo-Victorian society. But Hackworth loses the primer before he can
      give it to Fiona, and now the "book" has fallen into the hands of
      young Nell, an underprivileged girl whose life is about to change."

      A series that blends sci-fi with fantasy pretty nicely is Tad
      Williams's "Otherland" series, in which children are suddenly falling
      into mysterious comas. Ultimately, you have a boy who is severely
      handicapped in real life, but a strong RPG warrior in his online life;
      his best friend, who is masquerading as a boy but is really a girl; an
      Australian scholar whose younger brother has fallen into a coma; and
      an Aborigine whom the Australian woman has befriended, all coming
      together to quest through a virtual reality internet for the source of
      the mysterious comas. It's quite neat because once they are in
      "Otherland"--the part of the 'net that's more reality than
      virtual--they go through several lands that are slightly skewed
      versions of real life stories, like Alice in Wonderland and The Iliad
      and such. It's a nice adventure tale, I wouldn't necessarily call it
      mythic but it does involve some aborginal myths as well as a sort of
      western mythology of the stories we grow up on and what would happen
      if they were real, and every bit as dangerous as the real world.

      -kt
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