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From: "Kevin J. Maroney" <kmaroney@crossover.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Jaynes as influence on Wolfe's _Soldier_
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 14:16:38 

At 01:20 PM 10/30/98 -0500, Alex wrote:
>the other hand, Stephenson's computer stuff (if I recall) is quite good, but
>then he was a programmer at one time (like Greg Egan).  

Yes and no. 

I can say this about the conclusion of _Snow Crash_ without spoiling it
(and it's a fun book, well worth reading even with its significant
problems, some conceptual, some structural): The climax of the novel
degenerates into literal motorcycle race in cyberspace between antagonists
who would *both* have realized that the fastest way to "get" where they
were going would have been to drop out of the cyberspace and pop back in at
their goal. The lack of "teleportation" analogues in the cyberspace is
completely unconvincing but is absolutely vital for the plot of the novel. 

Other than that, his evocation of a cyberspace-VR community is at least as
convincing as Vinge's _True Names_. (Vinge by name, and _True Names_ by
retrocontinuity, is mentioned in _The Fifth Head of Cerberus_, so this post
is now officially back on-topic.)

Wombat, a.k.a. Kevin Maroney kmaroney@crossover.com
Kitchen Staff Supervisor, New York Review of Science Fiction

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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