Tag Archive | William Gibson

Neuromancer by William Gibson

NeuromancerSource: Own collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus- hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace . . .

Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employers crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.

Case is a down-and-out computer hacker. In the first few pages one is pretty sure he’s going to end up dead. That’s about all one understands between the barrage of new tech, terminology and sensations packed into the first few pages – a necessary grounding in the world of Sprawl. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so, he doesn’t end up dead, but instead embarks on a mission with Molly and the volatile Armitage.

I really appreciated Gibson’s gentle approach to storytelling. It probably helped a lot when it came to the mindshift required at the start of the book, as the world one reads about, and the tech mentioned, are vastly different to anything we know.

This book is an excellent cyberpunk techno-thriller, exploring the concept of artificial intelligence.

 

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The Gernsback Continuum by William Gibson

18586183Source: Own collection
Format: Hardback
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I read this as part of The Time Traveller’s Almanac, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.

Having read Neuromancer and enjoyed it – once I got into the world with all the new terminology – I was looking forward to The Gernsback Continuum.

I’ll be honest: I come away a bit confused. Firstly, I’m not sure if this story was ever intended to be considered time travel (I read it in The Time Traveller’s Almanac), but time travel it is not. Alternate reality, sure, but not time travel. Secondly, it is very art deco, particularly around the 1930s/40s, so if you don’t know your stuff from back then, then you’re clueless (like me) through most of the story.

Aside from that, it’s an intriguing story. A photographer goes to London. He’s having a bad day – trying to take photos that don’t exist (I loved that imagery!) – when he’s introduced to a lady who’s gathering eclectic art/architecture/design from the 1930s/40s for a project. A mutual friend enlists his help and he returns to the West Coast to photograph the various items of interest. Somewhere along the way, he starts to see the futuristic world in real life.

I can’t say I took away any deep thoughts or lasting images from this – although perhaps a 12-engined boomerang-shaped aircraft is one… and a mirage-city… oh, and the photograph that doesn’t exist.