Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kids-At-Heart, Stop Getting Bullied Around By 'Adults'

I get teased sometimes for liking a lot of kids' stuff, and not 'acting my age.' I admit it, I am a total goofball and a space cadet but I'm cool and respectful manners-wise and that's what should count when it comes to being an adult.... being open-minded, being able to negotiate, and being able to take responsibility for my actions.

More often than not though, I get all these haters looking down on me for liking Pokemon cards, and water guns, and Legos... stuff that in their minds is just for kids. They act like if an adult lets his/her inner kid out that they can't cope with reality or have unreal expectations. I've gotten told that a few times while I was dating that they couldn't be with me because I was too much like a kid. Anyone who knows me personally will know that this is completely wrong. I'm an adult, a responsible one, but I just want to have PG-rated fun :)

Now, if anyone has ever told you that you 'can't cope with reality' you know that they are full of bullshit. Generally, the people that tell me this are the ones with no imagination and are jealous that I have one, an active one and one that I am very proud of, thank you. This is my comeback for everyone whose inner kid just wants to shine through but these unimaginative people keep putting you down...

If you read Harlequin Romances, you have no business telling me what's unrealistic...

You can get a sense of what I mean by reading the back of these books. Who comes up with this stuff? - half of the plots involve a poor but virtuous woman encountering an extremely rich and powerful man who longs for a family, he is stunned by her beauty or her good nature, they get married and then they have hot steamy straight sex (sometimes not quite in that order), and then he caters to her every whim and she never has to want ever again. Happily ever after! While I do believe in fairytale endings, (after all, it happened for me and my girlfriend Felicia) I can't believe that straight women eat this up.

I heard once that you are what you read and your inner desires can come out by the choices you make when you're reading books. It makes sense to me. You read about stuff that you like. I read about ghosts and shit because I would love to have a legit scary ghost encounter! - and swords and sorcery books? Man, wouldn't it be awesome to call upon the forces of nature and be a hero that everyone recognizes? - these are my fantasies, but ones I know will never happen.

It's okay to have fantasies and to think about them. Thinking about them doesn't make you more or less of an adult. Sure, not everyone want to grow up to be an intergalactic space-pirate, but the likelihood of you marrying a filthy stinking rich man who will let you lounge about for the rest of your days is pretty unrealistic too. Just saying, guys.

If you watch Jersey Shore or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, you have no business telling me what's unrealistic...

I think that 'Reality TV' is a misnomer, because everything you see on 'reality TV' isn't anything like real life. Sure, they will bill it as real life and repeat it over and over in order to get you to believe that, but all-in-all, 'reality TV' is set-up and staged, and the 'real people' are just impromptu actors. Shows like Jersey Shore and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, most of the stunts on there are just to keep fans watching; they serve no other purpose than ratings, ratings, ratings.

Now here's where I'm going to get arguments from people who love stuff like Pawn Stars or Ice Road Truckers, shows where people are 'doing their jobs' and people are just filming it. Well, I can guarantee that anybody in front of a camera (unless it is a hidden camera like they place in large department stores to deter theft) isn't always going to act like themselves. Most individual people love attention (myself included, why the hell do I write a blog? - I confess to that hubris!) and will do whatever it takes to get recognized. So some of the fits I've seen people throw (especially on shows like Operation Repo) I know are solely for the camera. I never trust anything I see aired on TV because it's never what it appears to be. I'm not saying that TV shows lie, but the camera doesn't just add 10 pounds to your body; it also adds 10 pounds to your ego.

Media sources are not always a good way to confirm your beliefs and doubts. Just because it's the news or reality TV doesn't mean they have the truth and nothing but the truth. The media is just another business and business wants to convince its buyers. To stay rooted in reality, take everything with a little grain of salt.
If you're the kind that signs up constantly to win free stuff in sweepstakes, you have no business telling me what's unrealistic...

The chances of winning the lottery are slim and none, but people keep playing, wishing, hoping, and praying that they'll win the big pot. Most people will lose what they spend and only in the rarest of the rare occassions will someone win it all and be an instant millionaire. They say that you got to risk it if you want to win it, and I have nothing against people who do play (I partake too every now and then when I feel lucky). But there are people who put you down because it is unlikely you will ever be, say, a star NBA player, but have no problem with the fact that they will likely not win the raffle for the $100 Walmart giftcard.

Odds are odds. They don't lie. People are pretty certain that gravity is in place on the Earth, but we can't 100% prove anything. The fact that my ballpoint pen hits the ground instead of floats up into space when I drop is just makes us even more certain. It changes the 99.9% truth that gravity is in place to a 99.99%. And each time I drop it and I get the same result, it adds another 9, and another, and another.

People sign up for free stuff like sweepstakes because they like the thought of getting something for nothing. We're lazy. It's in our cells. But the more people that sign up for free stuff, the more unlikely it is that you're going to get anything at all.

If you've ever used the phrase 'Oh, but I can change him/her' in any kind of relationship, you have no business telling me what's unrealistic...

Officially the dumbest thing ever said by couples and romance movies. You've got some real problems if you think that you can change a person's behavior for 'love's sake.' People only change when they want to make the change; there's no way to coerce or sneak a way out of it. 

Sadly, if you thank God before you thank first responders (i.e. firemen, EMS, police, etc) after you've been in an accident, you have no business telling me what's unrealistic...

It was the surgeon that saved you from dying of acute appendicitis, you idiot. Two hands working do more good than a thousand hands clasped in prayer.

If you're looking through job searches for something that requires no work but pays big, you have no business telling me what's unrealistic...

Nobody will pay you to do nothing (at least, not without good reason; I totally respect our disabled veterans who are unable to work because they sacrificed themselves for the beliefs and the freedom of this nation that allows me to write a blog like this. You deserve your compensation.)

If you come to the library to solely check out movies, you have no business telling me what is unrealistic... 

This one, I think is pretty self-explanatory. The people I deal with who solely check out movies are some of the most bizarre and unrealistic people I have ever met. Generation of entitlement much?

..... so, everyone is unrealistic and can't cope with reality.

Don't hate on the ones who are just having more fun, or a different kind of fun, than you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Things I Want for Christmas but will likely not get....

There are some things in life you just can't get enough of, and today I'd like to share a few of the things that have gone missing (and are likely not coming back) that I would like to see more of. It's Christmas time; here's the top items on my Christmas list that I'm likely not going to get---
Runaways is my FAVORITE comic book series EVER. It's got a totally cool storyline (especially the first two arcs) and wonderful characters that any teen can relate to. This was actually the second American comic series that I got into. The first one was New Mutants. And I have been a Marvel girl ever since (no offense DC Comics). The comic was unfortunately put on permanent hiatus back in 2009. There was a rumor a while back that Runaways' first story arc was going to be made into a movie, and I've been super excited about it since, but it's gotten pushed back by multiple other Marvel movie projects, including The Avengers, Iron Man 3, and Thor 2. I keep my fingers crossed that the day will come when there's a Runaways movie but for now, I just got to keep my eye on them having cameo appearances.
2 ) Psychonauts 2

This has got to be one of the CRAZIEST and most original and enjoyable video games I have ever played. It's kind of got a cult status now that it's been featured as a downloadable games on websites like GameFly and SteamPowered, but it was virtually unheard of when it came out.
Check this - the people who worked on Tim Burton's films did the character designs and legendary Tim Schaffer (noted for Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle computer games) did the storyline of a boy with psychic powers who runs away from the circus to a summer camp to become a psychic warrior where there is a sinister plot held by the camp director to steal the brains of the children to power deadly psychic tanks! If that isn't awesome enough for you, the actual levels of the games take place inside people's heads and actually profile different mental disorders such as schitzophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cognitive identity disorder, and more. That being said, they are INSANE, and in some cases, super creepy. It's like Hitchcock, Burton, and Disney all rolled into one.
A while back, Tim Schaffer said that Psychonauts did so well in the online sales that he's ready to put Psychonauts 2 into production if a studio will have him and his little project. Nothing so far yet, but let's keep our fingers crossed!
3 ) More Mad-Scientist Movies
I've got a secret love for movies featured mad-scientists with experiments gone horribly wrong ,especially in the medical field. Science and pushing science to its' limit make some of the greatest creative films (even if sometimes they aren't too well-done) and I wish that Hollywood would break out of the action and comedic-romance mould to make more of these films. I got a handful that are truly great, but you can only watch them so many times ...
Definitely check out :
for some fantastic B-ish sci-fi mad-scientist movies :)
4 ) Giant Rampaging Monsters

Do I really need to say any more on that subject?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Little Irritations

I used to read a ton of fantasy books as a kid, but the older I've gotten, the less tolerant I notice I am with them. I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that I'm 'growing up' (I still collect Pokemon cards for crying out loud!) but I do know that there are a few things about fantasy books that irritate me and will guarantee I don't read them.

1 ) If you have a pronunciation guide at the back of your book, it isn't worth my time.

This one is the only one that I have been successful with... it was a challenge.
A lot of fantasy readers that I've met say that the ability to pronounce a character's name doesn't bother them. They recognize the name and just kind of skip over it in their mind. They know who the author is talking about and that's all that really matters to them.

I guess it's a quirk of mine but I tend to mouth the words as I'm reading a passage, like saying it out loud will help me remember what's going on better. Sometimes that's a crucial thing when you're reading a monster of a book like George R. Martin's A Game of Thrones, or even J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

This problem that I have also extends into science-fiction novels especially with extraterrestrial names. I realize that these fanciful names help build fantasy and science-fiction worlds and that the further they are from our own worlds, the more highly-regarded they are creativity-wise.

As true as that is though, there is a truth that people like things that are familiar to them; they are just more comfortable with them. I bring to example that in the Elizabethan era in Great Britain, if a play being performed was not to the audience's liking, they would boo the actors and request something they were more familiar with.

2 ) If you reference LARPing or D&D (when you aren't a D&D sponsored book) or any other popular fantasy thing (ex: World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, etc.) , I will not take you seriously.

Seriously, I know both are popular but please don't reference them in your book. I grit my teeth even when authors use 'YouTube' and 'Facebook' in their prose, even though I know both of the websites are huge in the modern world. I think having to reference something in real life in your fantasy novel makes the story that much less creative, and we know what a stickler a lot of fantasy readers are for creativity. Like any other rule out there, there is only one exception and that is Andre Norton's Quag Keep. This is only because Quag Keep was the first novel to reference LARPing and even poke fun at it, comedic fantasy at its' finest. But are you really so lazy in your novel as to have to reference something else to spare you the trouble of having to describe it in your own book? Lame, dude. Just lame.

 3 ) Recycling the same plot is boring...

I'm looking at you, David Eddings. Yes, the first 'magic stone' series was well and good, but did you have to write a second series in a 'different world' with a 'different magic stone' and it was 'totally not what you wrote in your first series, guys' .... this goes back to the 'the weirder your names and your plot is, the more likely it is to be highly regarded' ... people like it when you go out of your comfort zone a little bit. Granted, some of the best known authors have a formula that works for them and they just keep writing it. Just because they are best-known though doesn't make them the greatest authors. All of the authors I know who are considered generally awesome by everyone like to push themselves to writing something different, and I totally respect that.

Then again, there is a problem with high-fantasy that it is the same plot (generally a war) that is recycled over a series of books, but with different characters and different sides. I suppose if you have compelling enough characters and an interesting enough world like in the case of Lord of the Rings then it isn't much of a problem, but... well, I've beat a dead horse long enough. You guys know what I'm trying to say, right?

4 ) I'm not officially diagnosed but it is in my family and I think I have mild ADD

Anything over 300-400 pages is difficult for me to tune in to that long, and any series that stretched on with the same plot for like seven books with not a lot of variation is near impossible. Hell, I can't even watch an hour long TV episode before I feel like I'm bored and need to do something else. The only thing I'm good at tuning in to is video games and progressive metal albums. I'm slightly better at paying attention to audiobooks, but I'm guessing it's because I'm an auditory learner.

So, what do you think? - do you have some quirks about reading books? Discuss.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Checkout Math and Video Materials

Let me share one of my concerns with you, my patrons at the public library check out an awful lot of video material. When I think about the amount of video material they check out, I wonder to myself how in the world are they able to watch all of them in their one week, no renewal checkout span. I can hardly get a one and a half hour movie watched in a week; I am so busy! - mostly reading, but perhaps it's just that I don't like television in general.

If it was only one and a half hour movies getting checked out, I suppose I wouldn't be so bothered. However, when I notice patrons checking out copious amounts of television series all to be watched in a week, that's when I begin to do some disturbing math ....

Patrons can check out 4 DVDs out at once. So, say for instance, our patron Joe checks out 4 TV series seasons, each with 4 to 5 discs. Each season about 13 episodes long, each episode lasts 44 minutes without the commercials....

4 DVDs x 13 episodes x 44 minutes = 2288 minutes / 60 minutes = 38 hours of video materials.

7 day checkout x 24 hours per day = 168 hours in a week.

38 / 168 = 22.6% time of week watching TV

Now... I tried to plug it into my schedule which includes 40 hours of work and I get a good 8 hours of sleep every night plus 7 hours of lunch breaks where I'm not near a TV....

168 avaliable - 40 work - 56 sleep - 7 lunches = 65 hours of free time per week.

65 - 38 = 27 hours after I watch all my TV series I checked out from the library.

38 / 65 = 60% of my free time watching TV.

Then I try to think about all the other things I have to do in those short 65 hours... like take care of my dog and cats and chickens, do grocery shopping, clean/organize, drive to and from places, spend time with my loved ones, READ! (I can't imagine my life without reading) ... and play video games with my lovely one and my bro... that's an awful lot of TV time. I couldn't do it. Sitting in front of a TV that long would drive me crazy.

Now I have to do some factoring for variables : what if Joe doesn't have a job? or works part-time? what if Joe has no responsibilities other than his job? what if Joe's family time IS TV time? what if Joe doesn't sleep at all? What if Joe has multiple TVs in his house and multiple people watching the DVDs he check out? I hope that there is truth to the last one.

38 hours of television seems like a lot to me, so I am baffled when there are families of four or five or more members who come in all wanting to check out video materials on their cards. Now they have GOT to have multiple TVs (or the TV is on constantly) in order to get through all the material they check out.

That is a lot of people watching a lot of television in their spare time.

I'm a little overwhelmed with those numbers, probably because I hardly watch more than an hour or two of television every week. Okay, so I like to play on YouTube so I'll count that as TV time, but I'm not even on for more than 10-15 minutes every day. Granted, I probably play video games for six to eight hours out of that week (and even more after Skyrim came out, but can you really blame me? If not, Fus-Ro-Dah you.) I read at least seven hours every week; some weeks when I get a really good batch, I read even more than that. I'm awfully proud of that.

.... of course, there is the horrible inevitable that they don't watch the movies at all and simply pirate them through those DVD copying softwares. And while I know they really can't get in trouble for it unless they try to sell them or give out a whole bunch of copies to their friends... that's not cool, man.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What is Classic Horror?

Around Halloween time, a few patrons came to the library wanting to read novels of 'classic horror.' I recommended what I could, but the past few weeks have really left me thinking... what is 'classic horror' ?

Firstly, I have to define 'classic horror' ... is it horror that contains classical elements? Or is it simply horror that is well-known and well-written? If it must contain classical elements, then I get to throw out a bunch of things... namely sexy vampires and werewolves, zombies, and extraterrestrials.... which leaves us with elements like ghosts, satanic (or in some minds violent pagan) rituals, demons, and possessions.
The immediate authors that come to mind are...

Edgar Allen Poe's Tales of Mystery and the Imagination
H. P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror and The Call of Cthulhu 
Matthew Gregory Lewis's The Monk
Arthur Machen's The White People
William Blatty's The Exorcist

... but there are many who are likely to argue that medical horror would have classical elements so that means I need to include...

Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
H.G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau

... but some would argue that these aren't traditional horror. These are truly borderline science-fiction / horror novels. So, I feel obligated to say they are sci-horror but not classic horror.

And what about novels like Bram Stoker's Dracula ? - there's a little too much of a love/drama element keeping it from being truly terrifying, even if it is Vlad the Impaler we are talking about. In order to be horror in the classical style, it needs to be horrific throughout.

And novels like Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire or Stephen King's The Shining or Cujo.... they aren't written classically. Granted, they have a cult status and if they persevere long enough, I'm sure they will make it into the canon of classic literature.

Splatterpunk novels like Richard Matheson's Hell House and Clive Barker's Books of Blood fall into the same category that Anne Rice and Stephen King's novels do.

I'm sure that there are a dozen of other great 'classic' or 'cult classic' novels and authors that I have overlooked. Therefore, I encourage a conversation : what would you classify as a 'classic' horror novel and why?

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Plea to the Horror Authors of the World

I have a predicament, and I'm sure I'm not the only one in the world that struggles as I do... but I am a big horror novel fan, and lately the horror just isn't up to par. Sure, it's gross, but not gross the way it should be. While I am craving blood and guts and monsters and bump-in-the-nights, the horror and splatterpunk authors of late have done nothing but throw liberal amounts of sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, all up in my face. Rape and molestation are one thing, sexual pervesion is okay in small doses, and they can definitely add a creepy factor to any story, but lately that's the only thing I've managed to read about in horrible from lesser-known authors.

Any time I mention horror, I get the 'big three' thrown at me : Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Dean Koontz.

While I'm not familiar with Koontz's work, I've read a good deal of King and Rice. These authors' works are pretty tasteful all around so it's no wonder people prefer to read their scary stories over some of the others. Everyone else, like Kim Armstrong and Lauren Hamilton, just right urban paranormal romance... where the concept of a vampire is creepy, but no, their otherworldly lovers are anything but creepy.

Pfffft. Please....

Craving something a little more, I decided to look into the 'splatterpunk' genre. For those of you who don't know ::: SPLATTERPUNK, courtesy Wikipedia. And the TL;DR version - "bills itself as horror with no limits; hypertensive"

Well known 'splatterpunk' authors include.... Clive Barker (best known for his 'Hellraiser' movies and the short stories series 'Books of Blood'), Richard Matheson (Twilight Zone screenwriter and best known for his books 'I Am Legend' and 'Hell House'), Edward Lee (whom I will complain about momentarily), Richard Laymon (again, complain about), and Poppy Z. Brite (gay underaged vampire incest.)

Now.... Barker and Matheson are legends, and for a reason, they successfully balance sex and gore in their work. I've no qualms; in fact, I have recommendations. For those who think King and Rice too meek, check out ....

... the former being a delightful haunted house story and the other is a collection of shorts.

But these are considered the classics. The contemporaries are pathetic by comparison ....  let me give you an idea of what I'm talking about...

First up on my chopping block, Mr. Edward Lee. The evidence ....

Let's start with The Golem....

What the hell is this novel about? - well, it's supposed to be about a demented rabbi who is raising people from the dead for his own personal political gain and killing other people in the town.

The Golem has a lot of good things going for it- 1) It has a monster that it familiar to most but not exploited on like vampires or werewolves which keeps it relatively fresh, 2) it has actual religious mysticism in it which means that there is some history and some sense of realism, 3) Edward Lee writes really good scenes of violence and shadowy descriptions of monsters/demons which adds to the excitement factor.

The Golem unfortunately has a lot of bad things going for it as well - 1) this story takes place in two different time periods and it almost constantly flipping back and forth between them. It would have been a lot better if he had simply stuck with one setting and explained everything from there. He creates too many storylines and characters within and single story for anyone to really give a damn about anything, 2) this particular story is a little misogynistic. All of the women are either sex tools or drug addicts and treated worse than the animals. As a woman reader, I did not find any of this very tasteful while I realize that sex is a large part of the horror genre. Lee doesn't write it as scary or frightening but just something that happens. That is what disturbs me.

And did I mention all the sex? Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex. There were, I kid you not, four accounts of rape within the first fifty pages. That's just ridiculous. It's not scary. It's just distasteful.

And if you thought that was bad, just wait until you board The Black Train.

What the hell is this novel even about? - well, it's supposed to be a ghost story about a cruel Civil War railroad owner whose spirit still inhabits a local hotel and influences the patrons. But all he really influences the patrons to do... is be obnoxiously horny. Yes, you heard me right.

The narrative in this book is nonexistant. The only well-written parts are the lucid Civil War dreams. For two-hundred and eighty pages, this book could not decided what the hell it wanted to do, everyone had sex with everybody, and then the last sixty pages Lee crams in a romance and a haunted house tale to boot.

This would have been a much better short story, but dragging it all out for over three hundred pages? - it just became a perverted snoozefest.

I am not impressed, Mr. Edward Lee. Not at all.

I don't have as strong an opinion of Mr. Richard Laymon because I only read one of his novels....

 [ x ]

I was unable to pull up a picture of the cover of this book so pretend the [x] is a haunted house with a red sky and the words THE MIDNIGHT TOUR in gold letters. Ok?

I later learned that this books is actually the third in the series, so I'm giving myself a little room for doubt because the first two books could have been really good and the third book really crapped out on everything, but considering it has an interesting background - a previously haunted manor where a bloodthirsty monster ripped people to shreds and now it's open as a tourist attraction and only the bravest ones dare take what is called 'the midnight tour' - it has a lot of promise, am I right?

It fails. My first reaction was "What is this? I don't even ._. ... "

What is really sad about this book is that the characters are great and believable and fun, but as far as the plot goes, it is lamer than lame. Great premise but there's no action. It read more like a love/sex/romance/drama story with a couple of ugly, graphic killings in between, but an almost total lack of suspense. Everybody is the book is just kind of screwing around. Literally.

The scariest part is when they describe the various museum murder recaptures.... and that isn't even real.

You disappoint me, Mr. Richard Laymon.

I'm not even going to bother with Poppy Z. Brite. Her 'best known for' above explains it all... appeals most likely to yaoi fangirls.

.... so these are the books that I have to sit and read while the big 3 write (or have ghost writers write) more, and Clive Barker directs movies now, and Richard Matheson is dead (I think...)

Can we please do better than this, splatterpunk and horror authors? Try a story formula a little more like Ben Winters's Bedbugs.

Sexually implicative title. Discreet amount of sex. Heavy on the suspense. Bits of creepy moments here and there, and then let the flood gates loose and completely horrify everyone at the end. Marvelous.

In the meantime, I'll be going through Dean Koontz's novels. The question is... where do I begin?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

How Fair is Fair in Reading?

I've been trying hard lately to really catch up on all of my classics - science-fiction classics specifically.

I think I'm pretty well-versed as far as traditional classics go. About three-fourths of my personal library consists of nothing but titles from Shakespeare, Dickens, Steinbeck, Hemingway, among others... but a lot of the cult stuff, I've missed over the years. I think it largely has to do with the fact that while I was in school a lot of the titles we read were the traditional classics (I do have a few eccentric contemporary works that are likely to become classics in a couple of decades, but I don't think they are considered so yet.) - whilst in school, I wanted to be fluent in the classics in an attempt to impress colleagues and professors; note to all you eager English majors out here, just because you've read a lot of books doesn't immediately make you cool (and it certainly doesn't help if you are constantly chattering about comic books, haha)

Apart from the mandatory Brave New World by Huxley and 1984 by Orwell, I've already blazed through I, Robot by Asimov, 2001:A Space Odyssey by Clarke, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Dick, and the entire Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Adams.... all of which I enjoyed immensely. But now I'm trying to get through Neuromancer by Gibson -

and it just isn't working out of me... so I would like to pose the question to my readers : How many pages is it fair to give a title, say that you tried, and that you just couldn't finish it?

My general rule of thumb is 50 pages. If I am not mildly entertained by 50 pages, then I feel like the rest of the book is just going to be a struggle and not really worth my time BUT I do make exceptions for classics simply because sometimes it takes me longer to grow accustomed to the time period of the book and the time period that the author is writing in.

Gibson writes in fragments --- little chunks of sentences rather than complete sentences which detail a picture but in a very abstract way. He doesn't tell you so much what it is but what it feels like. He is definitely an artist; I can tell that. This style however is really confusing to follow and if you aren't going to read it religiously (don't you dare take a break reading), then it becomes increasingly hard to follow. The terminology is dated though; this is a novel written in the 1980s and had the 1980s fantasies regarding computer and cyberspace. Thirty years later, when I know the future of computers and cyberspace, I have difficulties grasping the 'groundbreaking' concepts that he has. Another issue I had was that he jumps into this futuristic world without explaining much of anything that goes on in it or the jargon that the people are using. I don't mind a brave new world approach like this but after a while and you still have no idea what's happening around you, you start to feel uncomfortable and like you shouldn't be there. I hate novels that give me this sort of feeling; it makes me feel like an idiot. I can safely say that no one likes feeling like an idiot. I will give Gibson credit for writing one of the first cyberpunk novels. This book is 'genre-creating' and the founding father of the cyberpunk genre. But it's just not for me.