A novella published in stand-alone form, Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone is a very strange book by Ian McDonald. The protagonist is a graphic design geek; his best friend is an anime creator. Together they are on a traditional pilgrimage across the Japan of the future, which is overrun by akiras (biker gangs) and autonomous security corporations. His secret is a big one, and it involves the power of the visual archetype. I'm not telling you any more than that! There's Illuminati/Kabbalah and philosophy and cybernetics and memory immortality and all sorts of stuff going on. I enjoyed it; it's definitely a sort of cyberpunk koan of a story. And it predates the William Gibson-and-clones' affection for trendy Japanese pop culture that they don't understand--McDonald clearly groks the otaku mind. Recommended for fans of Neal Stephenson, because of the combination of mystic meta-communicative concepts with sf.

"What I tell you three times is true."

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