As I was reading, I noticed several self-referential comments woven into the narrative, remarks that seemed to comment back on Neuromancer and the academic work surrounding it. Though apparently Gibson is less aware than I thought him to be -- how did he not notice that he had created another character with the name Case?
Given the existence of two parallel universes in MR, it's an enticing idea to contrast the two -- each as offering its own different form of oppression, for example. Toussaint, while a diverse, safe (thanks to Granny Nanny), and relatively utopian-like civilization, gives up privacy to the point that one "couldn't even take a piss without the toilet analyzing the chemical composition of the urine and logging the data in the health records" (10).
As I suspected, there's no way I'm producing a reading response today, between the draft of the final paper and a paper I have to write for another class... Ah well, I saved my second pass because I knew this would happen.
Midnight Robber is a novel set apart from most other works of science fiction in its use of a non-Anglo-Saxon culture as the predominant society of its world. Science Fiction often deals with issues of individuals set apart from the rest of society or set in unfamiliar surroundings, trying to find their way, and so it is somewhat surprising that there are so few examples of Science fiction works written through the lenses of cultures outside of the western/American norm.
What struck me most about Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber was not any of the obvious subjects addressed in the novel: race and gender issues, rape, incest, self-love, self-respect, etc; rather, the language she used to discuss these things was so exact in its strange dialect and such a crucial part of the novel. In most of the novels we have read thus far, there is some strange vocabulary that helps define the strange world we read about, but in general, the language in which the author tells the story is easily understandable.