From Publishers Weekly
Larry and Andy Wachowski scored big in 1999 with The Matrix, a science-fiction film in which cyber-rebels discover the world is an artificial computer-generated construct. Beneath the film's airborne martial arts were philosophical underpinnings, and the thriller's huge success prompted piles of merchandise, animated shorts, magazines, Web sites and books. Now a new wave begins, timed to coincide with the May 15 release of The Matrix Reloaded, the second feature in the series. This anthology covers the film's concepts and themes. Haber, a veteran sci-fi and fantasy editor, assembles an array of original essays by 17 science-fiction authors and digital artists, including Alan Dean Foster, Joe Haldeman, Bruce Sterling and Ian Watson. John Shirley (Black Butterflies), insightfully explores what he defines as a new cinema movement of "films questioning reality" as he compares The Matrix with American Beauty, Fight Club and the enigmas embedded in Mulholland Drive. Shirley sees allegories amid adolescent imagery, while nanotech novelist Kathleen Ann Goonan finds the Zen within. David Brin traces fiction's "suspicion of authority"; writer-illustrator Dean Motter tours The Matrix's kinetic architecture; and Kevin J. Anderson examines the Columbine connection. Philip K. Dick and cyberpunk pioneer William Gibson both get many mentions throughout this compelling collection, yet Gibson is regrettably absent as a contributor. Displaying 20 imaginative b&w illustrations by Robert Zohrab and Darrel Anderson, these potent pages conclude with a six-page section of author profiles.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Compelling . . . imaginative . . . potent."
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- Publishers Weekly
"Editor Karen Haber has attracted an impressive list of major SF names...it's fascinating to see the reactions each of these authors has to the film."
"Dazzling...Each piece subjects the movie to a deep scrutiny that serves to make it ever more intriguing...this is at once entertaining and instructive."
"A fun browse for information-hungry fans."
- Library Journal
"Interpretations and riffs, criticism and praise, pop-culture film theory and gosh-wow pseudo-philosophy...readers who loved the movies and grabbed the book because of that will discover a great many ideas they've never heard of before."
"Think The Matrix is just a neat Keanu Reeves sci-fi flick with cool sunglasses and big guns? Guess again, bucko. This essay collection shows how the first part of the Wachowski brothers' trilogy is really about Taoism, oracular philosophy, moral relativism, Ronald Reagan, and Big Brother...many of the pieces should also entertain."
"You never know quite what to expect from nonfiction tie-in to a popular film, but Exploring the Matrix, edited by Karen Haber, exceeds whatever the expectations are--and with considerable brio . . . A must-read for the film's fans."
- Paula Guran, Dark Echo