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Mona Lisa Overdrive

Dennis Payne <dulsi@identical.stu.rpi.edu>

Sun, 6 Oct 1996 16:26:17 -0400 (EDT)

After reading this book the world seems different. In Neuromancer you had a couple of different companies mentioned as makers of different products. By the third book two companies seem to exist Mass-Neotek and Sense/Net. And he seemed to hammer that into the reader. Now maybe that wasn't intended but I wished he'd come up with a third name for Colin because Mass-Neotek unit seemed overused. (Then again maybe it's just those two that I notice.)

Dennis Payne

dulsi@identical.stu.rpi.edu

payned@rpi.edu

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Re: Mona Lisa Overdrive

Jester <gentrj>

Mon, 7 Oct 1996 00:32:43 -0400

re: Dennis' comment how the companies are different and such.

I think this was done to show several things. On the surface level, it shows both that this is a few years in the future (7?) (no, 15 since Neuromancer i think?) and also to show the speed of change in the gritty times that are Gibson's world.

On a deeper note, I think the overuse of the Mass-Neotek was to show its importance to the whole storyline. Remember that the "godlike" entities of the matrix spoke to Mr. Mitchell in pre-CZ to tell him how to draw the veves, and that allowed M-N to get the biochip designs.

j

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Re: Mona Lisa Overdrive

Tony Mrazik <mrazia@rpi.edu>

Mon, 07 Oct 1996 12:00:39 -0400

At 04:26 PM 10/6/96 -0400, Dennis Payne wrote:

> After reading this book the world seems different. In

>Neuromancer you had a couple of different companies mentioned as makers of

>different products. By the third book two companies seem to exist

>Mass-Neotek and Sense/Net. And he seemed to hammer that into the reader.

Maybe Gibson was trying to say that in the future things really aren't going to be that different from now. How many individual companies are there today? Most are just small parts of some big corporation. I think that there were more companies in Neuromancer because the technology was still new and there were a lot of companies in the market. As time goes on the bigger fish eat the smaller fish.

Something else that I noticed in the books, especially Count Zero (I think it was CZ, they seem to be all running together) was that even though computer technology (for lack of a better word) seems to be getting better the typical everyday things are the same or worse. It seems like food is cooked the same way as today, the accommodations are a lot worse, etc.

Was the Kumiko story line really needed? She was the carrier of Colin, but I don't think she lent much to the story.

Did anyone else skip chapters when Gentry was getting ready to jack in with Bobby?

Tony

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Re: Mona Lisa Overdrive

Dennis Payne <dulsi@identical.stu.rpi.edu>

Mon, 7 Oct 1996 13:51:46 -0400 (EDT)

> Was the Kumiko story line really needed? She was the carrier of Colin, but I

> don't think she lent much to the story.

You right in that Kumiko didn't seem very important to the story. However, I think you needed someone to be friends with Molly and who better than a sweet innocent kid.

> Did anyone else skip chapters when Gentry was getting ready to jack in with

> Bobby?

I decided very early on two people knew the big picture, Bobby and Gentry. So I happen to like those sections.

Dennis Payne

dulsi@identical.stu.rpi.edu

payned@rpi.edu

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Re: Mona Lisa Overdrive

lavalj@rpi.edu (Jean-Etienne LaVallee)

Wed, 09 Oct 1996 16:30:06 GMT

Heyas,

Mona Lisa Overdrive is neck and neck with Neuromancer as my favorite of Gibson's books. His use of parallel story lines really peaked out here. And the vision he set forth of a digital society in Neuromancer really came full circle by showing what becomes of people in such a society in a grander timeline. In Neuromancer, we only see a few weeks in the lives of Molly and Case, but in the entire series, we see the larger picture of how those few weeks changed their lives and the lives of everyone connected to the information matrix.

Mass-Neotek reminds me of IBM or Microsoft. Prolly MS more so now that Bill the Gates is working to spread the empire into other media markets. The thing is though, that Mass-Neotek is a product of it's own technology in a sense. My personal interpretation of the "ghosts" in the matrix is that they are the remnants of Wintermute and Nueromancer's marriage strewn throughout the matrix and that they are desparately seeking a means of communication with the non-virtual world. I also consider the armature in CZ to be a prenatal manifestation of this. Spinning about, using the garbage of a wrecked legacy in an attempt to express itself. The armature itself was like an extension of the W-N consciousness. These "mental shards" similarly used Mitchell as an extension to create a new bridge into the digital realm: Angie.

I would categorize her as a new species of homo, probably homo cyberius or something like that. She has "built-in" (MN inside 8^) the ability to connect with a stream of stimulation that takes clumsy wires and bulky technology for everyone else. And through her the "ghosts" were attempting to communicate like they did through the armature.

Also, the use of Kumiko and the guy who blacked out alot (don't have the book with me right now sorry) as viewpoints into the story was an interesting writing mechanism because it causes the reader to struggle with the burden of information that the W-N consciousness has to struggle with. Like the W-N, the reader knows fragments of the past, has many viewpoints into the present but no single viewpoint, has the desire to understand through the many eyes it has and is never able to get quite enough information. As the reader, I got to understand the W-N and it's struggle to be heard.

I've also read the book 5 times.

I liked the final thing with Alpha Centauri, kind of like a way of saying "we've been looking for so long, but just didn't know how to listen." And that it was OUR inability to hear but our creation of something that could that made hearing possible.

l8r,

Etienne

"Makes my head hurt!" - Brak, "Space Ghost Coast to Coast"

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