This will involve spoilers.
So I just finished reading William Gibson's Neuromancer. It's a pretty great book. For those of you who don't know (which I imagine is not many, because gamers), it's a sci-fi novel about futuristic hackers n' shit. Cool stuff, and it's seen as very influential in regards to a lot of the sci-fi that's been produced since. Very cyberpunk.
There's some shit in here, some very specific shit, that also appears in Christopher Nolan's recent film, Inception. Like, weirdly specific shit.
Let me explain.
Ok, to start off with, let's go with the easy connection: In Neuromancer, the main character, Case, is this hacker dude who uses a special device that he hooks himself up to, to project himself into a special visualization of virtual space, which allows him to break in and steal information from places. The device (or deck) was originally designed by the military, but now is used mostly for corporate espionage.
In Inception, the main character, Cobb, uses a special device that he hooks himself up to, which allows him to enter a visualization of another person's mind, allowing him to steal information. The device was originally designed by the military, but now is used mostly for corporate espionage.
Ok, there's similarities. But so far, it's not that big a deal, right?
Here's where it gets weird.
In Inception, towards the end of the heist, Cobb wakes up on a beach, sees a weird city thing in the distance. He meets an apparently alive version of his dead wife, whose death he feels guilty about. She wants him to stay and live with her. Getting out of the dreams involves a musical que they hear via the earbuds placed on their unconscious bodies.
Toward the end of Neuromancer, Case is participating in this grand heist mission whatever. There have been these two AI talking to him via his device with 'simstim constructs', representations of reality that aren't actually real. They use people's memories to generate the constructs.
Case has to jack himself in to check up on the hacking whatnot at one point, except when he does, he doesn't go to Tron world, he wakes up on a beach. There's a weird city-like thing off in the distance. A seemingly alive construct of his girlfriend is waiting for him. His girlfriend, who died at the beginning of the book and whose death Case feels somewhat responsible for.
The AI that created this place invites him to stay there, with his girlfriend. He eventually rejects it. He is able to leave the construct because one of the people working with him puts earbuds on him and plays music that he hears down in the construct, despite being unconscious in the Real World (also he OD's him with drugs, because he was brain dead, but that's beside the point).
I mean, I'm not saying Inception is suddenly shit because it 'ripped off' Neuromancer, or whatever. There's a lot going on in both stories besides this stuff, and overall I suppose similarities are inevitable because they're both heist movies. But to have those very specific things just seems really bizarre to me. Like, was Nolan doing an homage? Did he read that scene, and decide he wanted to make a whole movie out of that, since it's a very short part of the book and is somewhat unrelated to the rest of it? Nolan certainly changes enough for it be totally interesting in a different sort of way, beyond using La Vie en Rose instead of 'righteous Zion dub' for the music.
Honestly, though part of me is just surprised I had never heard anything about this similarity before. Maybe I was just talking to the wrong people, though. Had anyone of you noticed this? This is weird, right?