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Monday, April 4, 2022

Last Tango in CyberspaceLast Tango in Cyberspace by Steven Kotler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I may have an unpopular opinion about this book, considering the things I've heard about it, but DAMN this was FINE.

Bear with me a moment and I'll explain.

I identified with it in a big way.

I felt like I was reliving all my experiences as a psychologist, reliving my extensive reading experience, be it non-fiction, mind-related, philological, new-classic literature, or a little heads-up on a little concept known as EMPATHY. And then there was the whole focus and glorious boost of Dune as a piece of culture, of a modern mythology/meme, and I fell in love with the book. Indeed, since I've read Dune over fifteen times and if I'm in a tight spot I even repeat the Fear Mantra to myself in RL, I was seriously in the text.

But when it comes to the novel itself, I was most impressed with how smart it was. This cyberpunk mystery features an investigator who uses empathy to get to where he needs to be rather than muscle or straight hacking. It's something of a flip on the head for normal noir tales and cyberpunk in specific.

Let me say this straight: it's brimming with great, serious ideas about who we are, culturally, biologically, sociologically, and technologically. The core mystery was always fascinating (at least to me, since I AM a psychology freak,) and very satisfying, all the way up to and including the massive blowout we know is coming -- a blowout that will utterly f**k-up humanity good. Drugs? Yes, but not your average cyberpunk drug story. This is pretty wicked.

So why isn't this book getting more love?

Hell if I know.

It's one of the better cyberpunks, period, sending a message that hasn't been butchered to hell and seriously needs a good polish and display. Empathy, people. I'm both impressed with the choice and the execution of the idea.

I mean, it's not like there's an awful lot of it these days. I, for one, would LOVE to see a comeback.

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