3. As we discuss in this class the correlation between form and function, I couldn't help but think about Vinge's own form and how it sometimes distracted from the function of creating a good novel. I can't remember which of my classmates commented on this (help on this?), but the constant talk about "wearables" ended up really distracting me. I am not the most technologically savvy person, and that's with present-day technology, so so much futuristic technology boggled my mind. Also, there was a whole chapter on "no user-serviceable parts within," which I think was supposed to be a metaphor about how disconnected the average human being had become from the actual mechanics of the technology he/she was using, but I'm not really sure I got it 100%...anyway, I think the techno-babble hindered me somewhat from understanding Vinge's messages.
4. The ending was so close to perfect...and then it suddenly wasn't. For a few wonderful pages, Robert Gu has reconciled himself to the loss of his gift of poetry. He was content to be able to communicate well with his family and peers, to successfully "network" on various levels. However, at the very end, he begins to believe that he may yet have his poetic gift restored, and the very last words of the novel are his thought, "What if I can have it all?" I was so disappointed when I read that. The novel had seemed to be a good and accurate depiction of the pros and cons of an increasingly digitized world--I don't think that in reality, we really can have it all, and this seemed to be well-reflected in the novel--but then that redeeming realism sort of dissipated into happily-ever-after un-realism....I mean, I like happily-ever-afters, but I think that novels that reflect truth are more powerful.