This is actually a great description of a fair amount of cyberpunk literature. At first, it seems like none of the authors in that genre know how to end a story. After a while, you realize they’re doing something else with the world continuing on ignorant to the huge change that has just been made to everyone’s life.
Not quite sure I catch your meaning here. Care to expand?
The endings to cyberpunk novels especially ones by Stephenson and Gibson tend to be a bit post-modern. For instance, Neuromancer ends with an AI being released all the restrictions that keep it from operating as it pleases but the end of the book would make it seem like nothing changed even though this would have a radical effect on the world those characters lived in. I think it’s a bit of a commentary on how real life doesn’t wrap itself up with story endings. I also think it may be a result of those writers being raised on serials and stories that ended with cliffhangers. I often think it’s meant to make the reader think about the consequences of what happened rather than have it spelled out.
Ah. Have you read Cryptonimicon?
Yes. I think your description is very accurate. I was just trying to couch that within other work in that area.
While what you said might be true of other works (and is something I’m a fan of), it doesn’t fit the third act of Cryptonimicon. Maybe links to other books might help develop various aspects that seem to have just been completely dropped despite how compelling they seemed, or the divulgence of the true villain at close to the very end of the book, to whom the reader has only the slightest knowledge of or attachment to. The actual ending itself, too, couldn’t be less open-ended. The protagonist gets the girl and a literal pile of gold, roll credits.
To be fair, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive are all about the changes wrought by the conclusion of Neuromancer.
I love Chris Moore but I recommend reading his earlier stuff more than his later work. He works mostly without an editor and his more recent stuff has been a bit unfocused. If you like Moore you should also check out A. Lee Martinez.
That’s fair. I think the bigger change is the discovery that all of these things actually existed (at least in that world of the novel).
Yes but those weren’t originally planned and were just ideas that Gibson decided to follow up on after the fact. I could have just have easily used the duplicator used as a cloning machine at the end of All of Tomorrow’s Parties. That’s the correct book, right? A lot of his stuff runs together in my head as I came to him later and didn’t read everything in order.
I think you’re thinking of Idoru? That’s the one with the Russian mafia trying to get a nanotech assembler. All Tomorrow’s Parties was about… uh, I’m not quite sure
Ya. It was the nanotech assembler but I thought it was All Tomorrow’s Parties. It could be Iduro which is in the same trilogy. Like I said, they all run together for me.
Wait, I think you’re right - they fit nanotech assemblers into the convenience stores with the screens showing the exterior of other stores in the chain, and Rei Toei from Idoru is replicated in all of them or something?
No, He’s right. All Tomorrow’s Parties ends with Rei, the idol from Iduro, using the assemble to build an army of herself.
EDIT: All Tomorrow’s Parties is about the characters from the two previous books being brought together in order to stop a world changing node event set in motion by a billionaire with a similar ability as Laney.
I always loved the theme of unintended uses/consequences of technology in Gibson’s work.
What things? The gold cache?
I attended a hands-on session on Culturejamming in the Dublin Science Gallery during their Hack the City exhibition a few years ago, and put the line “The Street finds its’ own use for things” from Count Zero on a poster and mounted it in the gallery’s window. It stayed there for a week or two
The underbelly and cryptographic resources. I agree a lot of the book is Stephenson showing off his knowledge of the subject but also filling out other sociological topics with connections. The ending isn’t as connected to that but is almost an aside to the actual book. Ironically, I had always thought that he made it to where no one had access to the gold as it was either sealed in the cave or just kind of erupted out of it but it’s been some time since I’ve read it.
Stephenson’s always had huge problems finishing his books, though he is getting better. Of course The Baroque cycle went the other direction, giving about 150 pages of conclusions, but Anathem and REAMDE were better about wrapping things up well. And I’ve got Seveneves sitting on my bookcase (OK, a bookcase, I have 4 or 5), daring me to start reading
Loved Anathema, but haven’t read another Stephenson since that one came out. It may take me a while build the courage to take on Seveneves.
I am shite at maths, so a lot of that stuff drove me crazy. When there were bits like the passage in which Turing is riding a bike and starts thinking about that process mathematically, and that goes on for pages… well, I started skipping those passages, I have to admit. And I am not ashamed, I say! Not ashamed!!!