Double-Collaboration with Art2mys [link]
Plowing the Dark (2000) is a novel by American writer Richard Powers. It follows two narrative threads; one of an American teacher turned Lebanese prisoner of war, the other the construction of a high-tech virtual reality simulator.
Taimur Martin, the prisoner of war, spends over five years analyzing and replaying his life while trapped in a single room. He has little outside contact, he talks a few of his guards, and reads a book called Great Escape, and for a short period of time, is able to communicate through a morse-style tapping code with the prisoners next door. However, he spends most of his time thinking about his life and relationship with his girlfriend Gwen. When he comes out of imprisonment, he has a child and a wife, and much time has gone by. In the parallel narrative, the Cavern, a virtual reality machine, is being built by a host of workers at the Realization Lab. The main character are Adie Klarpol, an artist who no longer does original work; Stevie Spiegel, an engineer turned poet turned programmer; Ronan O'Reilly, an econometrician who hopes to predict the outcome of world events; Jack "Jackdaw" Acquerelli, a young computer programming wizard; and more. Though their story, they hope to recreate the world inside of a three walled room. They create a completely immersing experience, but near the end Adie realizes that she is complicit in some technology that will ultimately be helping the military. She has to reconcile with herself, but ends up creating another room, that shows the destruction and rebuilding of civilization. Powers ultimately explores the possibilities of what can happen in one room, because near the end the two strands connect in a rather ambiguous way.[link]