[Editor’s note: Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 was the finest science fiction novel published in 2012. However, the disturbed mind of Harry Tortilla sees Omnicorp and its evils everywhere, whether it’s replacing Neal Stephenson with a robot to write Reamde, or, as Harry sees here, making sure utopias are just unrealistic enough before allowing them to be published. And a warning: there be some spoilers afoot, though nothing ruinous to enjoying the novel.]
By Harry Tortilla:
Since my Displacement in the last moments of Earth 23-A’s destruction, I have travelled through more dimensions, time streams, reality mattrixes and planes of existence than I can count. And after all those travels, I can attest to one thing with total certainty: the high-tech Utopias are few and far between. They usually occur in the Earths that have suffered a nearly total cataclysm in the past century or so. Something that wipes out Omnicorp and all of its mind manipulation tech (in this dimension you know it as the Internet), something that humbles the survivors and sends them back to the basics of agrarian communal life but still leaves them with clean electricity, solar powered vehicles, decent stereo systems and an appreciation for the sheer miraculousness of existence. Read the rest of this entry »
[Editor’s note: Tortilla Tuesday will be a very irregular and quite irregular guest column from one Harry Tortilla, whose single-minded concern about the dangers of Omnicorp tends to, er, overly color his thoughts on fiction… Also: There is a simple-to-enter contest giveaway, details at the bottom, for the audiobook of Reamde.]
By Harry Tortilla:
With the publication of Reamde, there can now be no further doubt that Neal Stephenson has been replaced by a cybernetic entity. A cybernetic entity able to narrate and string together a long series of events and simulated experiences supposedly undergone by “characters”, but that is incapable of doing so in any larger context of meaning or association. A cybernetic entity capable of only the crudest imitation of the science fiction novelist beloved by millions of readers around the world, and with seemingly no understanding that another being is meant to read this garbage; a human being no less, with friends, a spouse, a job, maybe a child or two. A human being who has been led to expect warmth, ideas, adventure and fun wrapped up in a neato sci-fi speculation by the original Neal Stephenson, a slightly arrogant looking dude with a beard and a sense of humor.
We’ll call this cybernetic entity “Neal2.0.” Read the rest of this entry »