Day: May 18, 2015

Book review: Idoru

Idoru.Idoru by William Gibson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second in Gibson’s Bridge trilogy is much more enjoyable than the first. Well, scratch that – it’s enjoyable in a different way. I found it entertaining as one of its characters is demonstrably based on Australian standover man and garrulous toecutter Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read, which immediately gave me a cultural ‘in’ on the work. But also of importance, for me, was its focus on pop fame, and the construction of identity.

As ever, Gibson is a thriller author concealed in tech. He’s adventure by stealth, (more…)

Book review: Virtual Light

Virtual Light.Virtual Light by William Gibson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I’m continuing the Gibson jag I’m on. This one’s the first in the Bridge trilogy, another set of novels set in a future dystopia. This time, though, he’s more tuned into portraiture than hardware.

What’s interesting is that the tech which is so much a part of the fabric of the earlier Sprawl trilogy is here relegated to the background. The virtual light of the title ends up playing a role similar to that of Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase in Pulp Fiction, or the statue in The Maltese Falcon. They’re technical and advanced, yes, but they really exist to provide a motivation for the book’s events. It’s pretty refreshing to see something so fetishistic used for so base a narrative purpose. (more…)