Book review: Burning Chrome

Burning Chrome.Burning Chrome by William Gibson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you wanted to only read one ‘cyberpunk’ Gibson book and still take away the nut graf of his world, this would probably be it. Burning Chrome is a collection of shorter fiction: ten stories, three co-written with others. The title story is where the term cyberspace – so ubiquitous these days – first appeared.

It’s likely that I should’ve read this book before I embarked on Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy, but there’s something neat about discovering these stories after the fact. It’s almost as if they’re a crib sheet for what’s to come in the trilogy. These are the seeds that grew, equally informative as they show Gibson’s talent for creating meaningful, engaging stories in shorter spaces. That, and his ability to invent junky dolphins. (more…)

Book review: Count Zero

Count Zero.Count Zero by William Gibson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second of Gibson’s ‘Sprawl trilogy’, and while it exists in the same world as Neuromancer, Count Zero has no compunction about shedding characters from the author’s breakthrough novel. Sure, there’s a couple of familiar faces, but the main players – a back-from-the-dead electro-merc and his target, a disgraced art dealer and her vat-dwelling Howard Hughes-alike boss, and a young-gun hacker – are new, and just as striking as any who’ve come before.

The snapping tension generated by Gibson’s shift of viewpoint between mission operatives in his first novel has flowered here into a tripartite narrative. There’s three stories braiding together through the novel. Obviously, we figure they’ll come together by book’s end, but watching how (more…)

Book review: Neuromancer

Neuromancer.Neuromancer by William Gibson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve had this book since 1989. I’d heard it was cool and, impressionable 13-year-old that I was, I snaffled a copy and was immediately confused by it. I couldn’t get into it, didn’t know what to make of it. I couldn’t go on, and it sat on the shelf since then, occasionally daring me to give it a go, but mostly biding its time.

Here we are, some 16 years later and I’ve finally finished. And my first thought on reaching its conclusion is that if I can ever jack in and meet some representation of 13-year-old me, I’m gonna smack him in the head.

It’s difficult to write about the experience of reading this novel as it’s so hard to separate it from everything that came afterwards. (more…)