Neuromancer by William Gibson
Originally published in 1984, William Gibson’s debut novel, Neuromancer, has it all: clones, artificial intelligences that manipulate human affairs, and ninjas. In contrast, our burned out hero, Henry Dorset Case, is not very impressive. But he’s trying.
When we meet him, Case is doing his best to hustle a living in Chiba City, Japan. He used to be a hacker, but his employers corrupted his body when they caught him stealing. Now, Case is searching for a miracle cure or perhaps a ticket out of this life. Enter Molly Millions, a woman whose implants have endowed her with lightning reflexes. And razorblades in her fingers. Molly and her backer set Case up with a series of new organs so that he can ride his console one more time.
Gibson’s writing is often remembered for its influence on cyberpunk and science fiction. But make no mistake: Will... Read More
William Gibson(1948- )
William Gibson is credited with having coined the term “cyberspace” and envisioned the Internet — and its effects on daily life — before any such things existed. Many of his descriptions and metaphors have entered the culture as images of human relationships in the “wired” age. William Gibson is married and has two children.
The Sprawl — (1984-1988) Publisher: Here is the novel that started it all, launching the cyberpunk generation, and the first novel to win the holy trinity of science fiction: the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award and the Philip K. Dick Award. With Neuromancer, William Gibson introduced the world to cyberspace — and science fiction has never been the same. Case was the hottest computer cowboy cruising the information superhighway — jacking his consciousness into cyberspace, soaring through tactile lattices of data and logic, rustling encoded secrets for anyone with the money to buy his skills. Then he double-crossed the wrong people, who caught up with him in a big way — and burned the talent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courted death in the high-tech underworld. Until a shadowy conspiracy offered him a second chance — and a cure — for a price….
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Henry Dorsett Case is a washed up computer hacker. He used to be one of the best, traveling cyberspace and sneaking through computer defenses, stealing money and information for his employers. But after he got greedy and embezzled some money, his employers damaged his brain so he can’t jack into cyberspace anymore. He spent the stolen money trying to get his ability back, but it didn’t work, and now he’s suicidal and wandering the squalid streets of Chiba City, Japan... Until Molly the razorgirl shows up. She wears tight black leather, has mirrored glasses implanted in her eye sockets, and has retractable razors embedded under her fingernails. She delivers Case to her boss, Armitage, who says he can fix Case if he’ll hire on as his hacker. Case’s new hacking job turns out to be a lot bigger and a lot stranger than he and his new colleagues expected.
There’s very little exposition in Read More
This is what Cyberpunk is all about… Brilliant blend of moral storylines with realistic extrapolations of modern technology. — John Hulet
Count Zero by William Gibson
They plot with men, my other selves, and men imagine they are gods.
Several years have passed since Molly and Case freed the AI who calls himself Neuromancer. Neuromancer’s been busy and now his plots have widened to involve several people whom we meet in Count Zero:
Turner is a recently reconstructed mercenary who’s been hired by the Hosaka Corporation to extract Christopher Mitchell and his daughter Angie from Mitchell’s job at Maas Biolabs. Mitchell is the creator of the world’s first biochip, and he’s secretly agreed to move to Hosaka. Extracting an indentured research scientist is a deadly game, but Turner is one of the best.
Bobby “Count Zero” Newmark, who wants to be a console cowboy, has just pulled a Wilson (that means he majorly screwed up) on his first attempt at running an unknown icebr... Read More
Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson
In Mona Lisa Overdrive, the third and final novel in William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy, it’s been seven years since Angie Mitchell (from Count Zero) was taken out of Maas Biolabs and now she’s a famous simstim star who’s trying to break her designer drug habit. But a jealous Lady 3Jane plans to kidnap Angie and replace her with a cheap prostitute named Mona Lisa who’s addicted to stimulants and happens to look like Angie.
In a dilapidated section of New Jersey, Slick Henry makes large animated robotic sculptures out of scrap metal. He owes Kid Afrika a favor, so now he has to hide the comatose body of Bobby Newmark (aka “Count Zero”). Bobby is jacked into an Aleph where he’s got some secret project going on. A Cleveland girl named Cherry Chesterfield is Bobby’s nurse.
Ku... Read More
Bridge — (1993-1999) Publisher: 2005: Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millenium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich — or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash…
All Tomorrow’s Parties by William Gibson
When he was a child in an orphanage in Florida, Colin Laney participated in a research study in which he was given a drug that allows him to visualize and extract meaningful information from endless streams of internet data. Laney now has the ability to see nodal points in history — times and places where important changes are occurring. Even though he doesn’t recognize what the change will be, he “sees the shapes from which history emerges.”
Laney is now an adult who’s sick and living in a cardboard box in a Tokyo subway station. He’s convinced that something big is about to happen in San Francisco. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen, but he knows it will change the world. Unable to get there himself, Laney hires Rydell, a California rent-a-cop, to investigate.
Rydell is pleased to be leaving his lowly night job at the Lucky Dragon convenience ... Read More
Pattern Recognition William Gibson
William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition was published in 2003 and it marks the first of what has come to be known as the Bigend trilogy, a series of three novels united by a background character, Hubertus Bigend.
Cayce (pronounced like ‘case’) Pollard is a marketing consultant who is highly sensitive to corporate logos. In fact, it’s almost as though she’s allergic to bad logos. She’s made her living working as a freelance consultant thanks to this sensitivity. Although she’s quite fashionable in her non-designer label clothing, Cayce has turned her attention to things other than fashion. Lately, her passion is the “footage,” a topic that she researches using online forums and networks.
The footage is a series of anonymous film clips that have captured the attention of a growing audience of people. But who is putting these c... Read More
Spook Country by William Gibson
William Gibson’s Spook Country is set in the same universe as Pattern Recognition, but Hubertus Bigend aside, there is little here that recalls its predecessor. Spook Country is perhaps the weakest entry in Gibson’s Bigend trilogy.
Where Pattern Recognition was told from Cayce Pollard’s point of view, Spook Country is divided between three plotlines that only barely touch each other. Hollis Henry, who was once the lead singer of a rock band, is trying to make it as a journalist, and she has been hired by Hubertus Bigend to look into “locative art” technology. Milgrim is an addict and a translator of Russian. Trained in the Russian martial art systema, Tito delivers files to retired spies on behalf of his uncles.
These cha... Read More
Zero History by William Gibson
It is getting more difficult to classify William Gibson as an SFF writer. Although Gibson’s earliest work stands alongside the best of science fiction and cyberpunk, and The Difference Engine, which he co-wrote with Bruce Sterling, is a well-respected steampunk novel, Gibson’s Bigend trilogy has left cyberpunk, outer space, and human cloning behind.
Instead, Zero History is about jeans.
Gabriel Hounds clothing is unlike any clothing now made by mainstream fashion companies. The fabric is of the highest quality, and it is especially well made. What’s more, the design is iconic, yet timeless. These clothes aren’t the height of “fashion.” They’re real.
They’re also impossible to find. What an unusual marketing strategy. Marketing guru and CEO of Blue Ant, Hubertus Bigend charges former lead... Read More
Zero History by William Gibson
I’m a little disappointed in the plot of Zero History, but I’m not disappointed in the book. William Gibson’s latest reunites us with Hollis Henry, former lead singer of the Curfew, currently unemployed. Hollis was paid a good deal of money for her last adventure, but the recession cut her fortune in half, and she reluctantly agrees to work once again for Hubertus Bigend, the enigmatic billionaire. Also working for him is Milgrim, the addict and Russian translator we met, along with Hollis, in Spook Country.
This go-round, Bigend (Hollis’s friend Garrett calls him “Mr. Big End”) is interested in fashion, specifically an unusual pair of pants and a secretive fashion line. He has put Hollis on the trail of the Gabriel Hounds, the elusive fashion imprint, while Milgrim searches for that special pair of carg... Read More
Burning Chrome by William Gibson
William Gibson is one of those authors whose style is so distinct that it’s immediately recognizable. Anyone who’s read one of his novels could pick up another and, without looking at the cover, probably identify it as Gibson’s merely by reading the first page. His popularity indicates that legions of readers love his neon-infused plastic sheeting-coated visionary style, but as evidenced by reviews of his novels at Amazon and other places, many readers just don’t appreciate William Gibson. They complain about a wooly writing style and vague incomprehensible plots. Having been enthralled by Neuromancer and Count Zero, just slightly annoyed by Mona Lisa Overdrive and All Tomorrow’s Parties, and completely frustrated by The Difference Engine, I can understand both views.
... Read More
The Difference Engine by William Gibson & Bruce Sterling
William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, two major SciFi powerhouses, joined forces to produce The Difference Engine, a classic steampunk novel which was nominated for the 1990 British Science Fiction Award, the 1991 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1992 John W. Campbell Memorial Award and Prix Aurora Award. I listened to Brilliance Audio’s version which was produced in 2010 and read by the always-wonderful Simon Vance.
The Difference Engine takes place in a nearly unrecognizable Victorian England. The fundamental “difference” between this alternate history and the real one is that Charles Babbage succeeded in building his Difference Engine — the first analytical computer. Thus, the information age develops (along with the industrial revolution) in the social, political, and scien... Read More
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded is the second steampunk anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, following 2008’s first installment. It contains about twice as many stories as its predecessor, but unlike the first collection the quality is more uneven here, resulting in a less impressive but still fascinating anthology that should please fans of the genre.
While the first anthology only contained one story I was less than happy with, there are at least four or five in Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded that I could have done without. There are also a few stories here that are at best marginally connected to steampunk, although that probably depends more on how you define steampunk. After all, there are probably as many definitions of steampunk as there are readers. Maybe the best way to defin... Read More