March 10, 2008

Cyberpunk - get it right damn it

I have been reading the Whole Wide World, and I am finding it difficult. It is not that the plot is boring or the characters uninteresting, it is the mere fact the author gets the technology wrong. It means I can cruise along with the main character, immersed in the world for a few pages, and then bang! A technical mistake strikes you between the eyes and you are left reeling, wondering why the author hates you so.

A good example of this, is when the author writes all the links are returning 404 because the server has been trashed. But 404 is an error code sent by the server!??!#$@$%@#$^@$%& Is it really so difficult for a publisher to get someone who has an ounce of clue to proof read these cyberpunk novels before hand?

Errors like these are excused in movie because of the medium, but in books I really really can't accept them with the same zen like calm and detachment and allows me to enjoy movie riddled with 3D graphics and large text boxes saying "ACCESS DENIED". So please for the love of god and the cyberpunk genre, get a clue about the subculture and technologies behind the Internet before setting a story in it. The cyberpunk genre deserves as much attention to detail as historical fiction and hard science fiction (diamond hard, like Schild's Ladder by Greg Egan), so please give its due and allow readers like myself enjoy a smooth satisfying ride.