I hope it's okay for someone besides a moderator to start this thread... it is August 1, after all! So, um, discuss.
I'm still reading it (a little more than halfway done) so I'll be avoiding this thread until sometime this weekend lest there be spoilers. Have to say I'm enjoying it so far though! I didn't expect so many light humorous touches or such a direct treatment of some of the philosophical problems. There are also a lot of lovely little touches like the idea of agreeing with your spouse to both forget a lover's quarrel.
So far, the hardest part of the book for me is the constant pushing and popping (sorry for the programming reference for those who aren't computer people) between different levels of simulation. I was totally taken aback the first time Phaethon "freezes" what's going on in the simulation in order to wake up for real, bodily, and think about things, then come back. Wouldn't it work the other way? Wouldn't he be missing tons of time in the computer-simulated world while engaging in what I assume to be slower real-time thinking? But then, he was in his own mansion at the time, and presumably COULD pause that particular part of the simulated world. I do, after all, pause computer games to go to the restroom or whatever. On the other hand, you can't do that in a realtime multiplayer game! I feel like Wright really thought all of this out at some point, but I get lost anyway. There are just so many levels of reality here.
If our perception of reality is vulnerable to manipulation by our technology, why should we not employ that technology, if it serves our convenience, utility and pleasure? Where is the wrong? says the Chimera. Hmmmm.
I look forward to saying quite a bit more when I'm done reading!