April 04, 2005


Posted by Matt

I'm just starting to read William Gibson's novel Pattern Recognition, and I have this terrible feeling he named a character "Bigend" just because at some point later in the book the adjective "Bigendian" will be used.

("Big-endian" as opposed to "little-endian" relates to the byte order in words on a computer system.)

Posted by Matt at April 4, 2005 10:59 PM

The annoying arguing persona of the last thread wants to suggest, having not read the book and not really having been exposed to "cyberpunk" (as evidenced by the quotes), that the character named himself that with computers in mind, or maybe his friends or parents named him. But then, maybe he lives before computers or something.

Which reminds me: In Pynchon's Mason & Dixon there is a minor character named "The Learned English Dog" who is, well, a talking dog. Allowing "The LED blinked."

Pynchon has a lot of these - maybe Sean needs to write a post about science as a fertile ground for puns to go along with his metaphor posts.

Posted by: Paul at April 5, 2005 07:34 AM


As it turns out, the pun was never used. Or if it was, I missed it, which seems unlikely, but I was falling asleep while reading part of the book.

It's not really "cyberpunk," taking place in 2002 or thereabouts. The only other Gibson book I've read is Neuromancer, which was entertaining. Of course it's known for coining the term "cyberspace" (maybe also "the matrix"?), and it has an interesting Blade Runner sort of aesthetic. Which makes me wonder if people like Philip K. Dick were doing all this earlier; I'm not at all well-read in sci-fi, so I can't say how original Gibson was.

Pattern Recognition was also entertaining, but doesn't have much else to recommend it in terms of ideas or writing style. Then, it did lead to John Holbo's phrase "the looniness of the long-distance coolhunter," which has to be worth something.

I noticed a lot of fun puns back when I read V.... I know I should read more Pynchon, but I always look at the size of Gravity's Rainbow and decide to put it off until I'm less busy. It's not clear that will ever happen, so I guess I should just finally read it sometime.

For now, on to the new Ishiguro book.


Posted by: Matt at April 8, 2005 07:27 PM
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