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Comment count is 13
SteamPoweredKleenex - 2014-03-09

That's what the Manhacks in HL2 were missing: Tazers.

I can't wait to see these things in action in our schools, shopping centers, and over our own backyards.

apiaryist - 2014-03-09

Defend yourselves with carbon-fiber lined clothing. Not that expensive anymore. Also, we live in Snowcrash now.

infinite zest - 2014-03-09

Not quite, we still don't have hoverboards!

SteamPoweredKleenex - 2014-03-09

Snowcrash didn't have hoverboards. It had skateboards with "smartwheels."

It also suffered from Cyberpunk-itis. The author crawled up his own ass about all these clever tech ideas he had for the book, crammed them all together, and tried to have them make sense. "But it's a PARODY of cyberpunk," you may cry. It couldn't decide if it was or wasn't. One second we have Hiro Protagonist, ninja pizza delivery awesomepants, then he's turning himself into a surveillance spook called a "gargoyle." We get lots of what's supposed to be action-comedy combined with the computer programmer's wet dream of coders having once been high priests that ran civilization.

And computers frying people's brains? Welcome to sci-fi circa 1975, if not earlier.

It was a slog to get through, and I'm sorry I had to waste the time to be able to understand what people were so excited about. I can only think some were thrilled because they hadn't seen this stuff before or even seen a William Gibson novel.

Also, Stephenson is an asshole for working at Intellectual Ventures, one of the biggest patent trolls on the planet, while he gives talks about how technological innovation is being stifled by patent lawsuits. Fuck him and his failed sword-fighting kickstarter.

Apologies, rant over.

Jet Bin Fever - 2014-03-09

All pretty decent critiques. I still love that book though.

The Mothership - 2014-03-09

Thanks for making me aware of this book, off to read it soon.

Is it half as good as Neuromancer?

infinite zest - 2014-03-09

Oh yeah Smartwheels. My bad. It's been a while. If you like Neoromancer it's definitely worth checking out; it's tongue and cheek for sure, but it really reminds me of the graphic adventures that were coming out when I was a kid. I read Cryptonomicon and Baroque Cycle first, so it's kind of like comparing Crying of Lot 49 to Gravity's Rainbow, but it's a fun book. Stephenson said once that it was originally intended as a graphic adventure game, which would have been the best game I never played.

infinite zest - 2014-03-09

Oh! Clang was supposed to be a video game too. I remember being kinda pissed because he was giving a talk at Powell's, and waited in line with my beaten up copy of Snowcrash for a good 30 minutes (a long time for me to wait for anything) and he wouldn't sign it, only his new book, Anathem. I wouldn't have waited in line if someone explained that to me, but I still left with a bad taste in my mouth.

exy - 2014-03-10

That's pretty lame that he wouldn't sneak a signature into his other book while his handlers looked the other way (assuming it had anything to do with something other than NS being a prick).

Snow Crash had lots of cool gadgets, yeah, some of which like electropigment seem to get closer and closer over time. It's the complete amoral privatization (Central Intelligence Corporation, mafia-owned pizza delivery, etc.) that I find compelling. Unfortunately the book has a terrible, self-parodying ending. It's better to stop at about the 2/3 mark or so and start in on any other book in the world than to finish it.

Anyway, 5 for the gleeful expression on the guy showing off his new killer robot.

duck&cover - 2014-03-09

CUPID. Non-lethal take downs have never been this cute before.
I'm looking forward to the rubber bullet firing model.

Pillager - 2014-03-10

I just hope they leave heart shaped contusions after they strike.

duck&cover - 2014-03-10

Tough love.

James Woods - 2014-03-10

Don't taze me, drone!

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