I first link to Bryan Alexander’s posts:
I’m a little late on this (was mostly away last week doing the Vermont Challenge, ironically not far from Bryan by distance, but over two hours of driving), so I won’t go into too much detail, but I really wanted to address the ending of the book (spoilers!)
I think the nightclub represents normalcy, and the idea that as our protagonists have navigated through various crises (not just Fyodor, but the general widening inequality, the stability of living arrangements, the idea that people are putting themselves in danger by trying to change the situation) that people now feel like it’s time to allow art and fun to reenter their lives (contemplate that until the end of the book we really haven’t had a lot of art being created, and very little reflected on other than architecture. I think it ended well–the conflicts were largely resolved, there was an implication that better things were on the way, and again, people were feeling more relaxed and that life had meaning again. I think that sense is something that we have to be careful as a society to maintain, because when people lose it is when they drift into populism and authoritarianism (not to get political, but. . .)
And of course we can now fully state that this is a novel of the present as much as it is science fiction, and KSR is clearly challenging us to think about what we’re going to do now.
One last pic, of the pedestrian bridge between the Met Life tower and the North Tower, mentioned in the final chapters:
This was a good book. It didn’t win the Hugo but from what I have heard the N. K. Jemisin book is amazing, and perhaps I should explore that (all Hugo-winning) trilogy. (I need to read more.)
So onward and upward!