Friday, July 7, 2017

diamond age

Neal, Neal, Neal. You've done it again my man. 

The Diamond Age; Or a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer is an older book from Neal Stephenson, in the same vein as Snow Crash. Whether or not this narrative takes place in the same, or merely a similar universe, isn't really important to the story.* It does seem to take place slightly further in the future. Technology (read: internet) has nullified the need for centralized geopolitical governments as we know them and world is populated by claves of typically like-minded people who live how they best see fit and guard their borders--and conduct their business--via nanotechnology. It buzzes through the air like smog and courses in their bloodstream. 

But change is coming. What form that change will take and how the people who strive for, and against that change, and how it might effect the societies that may be impacted by it, is where the story lies. Like many of Stephenson's stories, one of the main characters is a young woman, who as a girl derived certain benefits from her illustrated primer. 

The story is well paced, carefully plotted, and even though the prose is jargon rich, the human story shine through and the SciFinese falls away into the background. 

Stephenson has written a prototypical hero story a la Joseph Campbell, and as Campbell postulated in his book, we'll read it again and again. And provided it's well written, we'll enjoy it every time. 

Read this book.

* puts this book in a series with Snow Crash and some others.

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