Crake's placement at "Asperger's U" naturally begs the question of whether or not Atwood was implying that Crake had Asperger's Syndrome. Looking at Crake's mental offspring, I believe the answer to be "yes." While Crake's genetic modifications of humans into Crakers was ostensibly aimed at eliminating traits that would lead to long-term self-destruction or adding traits that increased survivability against wolvogs and the like, there seems to be another element.
What I found most captivating about Oryx and Crake was the total sense of isolation that saturates the book. The narrative helps in creating this sensation of loneliness because the reader is kept ignorant of the most recent events of Snowman's past up until the very last pages of the book. As we go along, we have the two separate periods of narration -- Jimmy's childhood and family issues, leading to meeting Crake and school, etc. and then Snowman's present.
In the analysis that I performed on Pattern Recognition in my final essay, I concluded that Cayce was almost asexual in the novel, and that any graphic or direct depictions of sex had an adverse effect on the commitments that Cayce had made or wanted to make.
There's an interesting construction of gender roles in Midnight Robber. Nalo Hopkinson seems to be paying a certain amount of lip service to the idea that in the future envisioned, people will be able to choose their roles and occupations regardless of gender. She accomplishes this sometimes by reference to olden times in which roles were more stratified, as when the eshu tries to explain to a confused Tan-Tan how once, women weren't allowed to play the Midnight Robber.
After finishing Midnight Robber, I got to thinking. There is a lot of talk about how New Half-Way Tree is in a different dimension. What if instead it was in a different time? I don't know exactly what that adds to the work, but it seems to fit better, and explain current Touissant more fully.
One of the most interesting, yet very briefly discussed, differences between the inhabitants born on Toussaint and those whose ancestry traces far back on New Half-Way Tree is the concept of a higher power, the god-figure. The humans have Granny-Nanny while the douens have Father Bois.
In Slow River, we are presented with a protagonist who is rarely who she says she is, yet always remains herself. Frances Lorien van de Oest is the kidnapped heir to a multi-billion dollar company working as a grunt in a sanitation plant for little pay. Nicola Griffith uses Slow River to present Identity as a two-fold concept, where one is defined by a legal classification, yet also by the set of morals and experiences they carry with them.
During class this week, there was a lot of discussion about Case, with his "Cowboy" job description and lack of personal choice, and about Molly and her street-samurai status and prostitute beginnings. After finishing Neuromancer, I find one of the most interesting characters to be Armitage, or Col. Corto, especially so soon after reading Starship Troopers. In a way, this man's military background combined with his uncontrolled "life" and death creates an inverse perspective, perhaps even an ironic parody, of the military lifestyle.