Friday, August 03, 2007

Glasshouse (by Charles Stross)

This is an amazing novel.

The setting is at the same universe of "Accelerando," but the plotline is not related. The story takes place hell long after the "Acceleration" and many events after that, such as: The censorship wars and the spreading of Curious Yellow (A kind of program that would re-edit human thoughts). Human (as they called themselves) now can be revived easily, with the aid of "the A-Gates"(or, the assemblers) and memory back-ups. People can go through many places via "the T-Gates"(or, short jump/long jump wormholes). So, the post-cyberpunk future universe.

Our protagonist, Robin, woke up forgetting who he was and suspecting that there might be someone wanna hunt him down. Then he met Kay, the dreamgirl who suggested that Robin should volunteer to an experiment (the "glasshouse") with a closed environment which tends to simulate the pre-Acceleration "dark age," a.k.a our present day civilization. But there were problems in the glasshouse, and Robin(became a housewife) discovered that the undercover purpose of the experiment was trying to cultivate a new form of Curious Yellow....

In my point of view, I enjoyed Accelerando much better than Glasshouse. But Glasshouse is still outstanding from many aspects (such as skill of storytelling). Many scenes of Glasshouse reminded me of two movies: The Thirteenth Floor (a simulated old-time world) and Cypher (identidy-lost hero). And yeah, they're both on my must-seen Cyberpunk movies list. The last line of the book is the most powerful sentence. I love it! I quoted it down here:

"And so, you may be assured, am I. Good night."

By the way, this time there's no aliens. So, enjoy the panopticon of human beings!

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