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Burning Chrome Paperback – July 29, 2003
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Ten brilliant, streetwise, high-resolution stories from the man who coined the word cyberspace. Gibson's vision has become a touchstone in the emerging order of the 21st Century, from the computer-enhanced hustlers of Johnny Mnemonic to the technofetishist blues of Burning Chrome. With their vividly human characters and their remorseless, hot-wired futures, these stories are simultaneously science fiction at its sharpest and instantly recognizable Polaroids of the postmodern condition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In his enthusiastic description of the '30s and '40s "moderne" style of industrial design (featured in one of these stories), Gibson might be writing about his own work: "The change was only skin-deep; under the streamlined chrome shell, you'd find the same Victorian mechanism . . . . It was all a stage set, a series of elaborate props for playing at living in the future." That dexterous, shallow artifice has won Gibson awards and fervent fans (especially for his first novel, Neuromancer but beneath it is something old, worn and tired. Thus "Johnny Mnemonic," whose body computer stores secret information, is just a variation of Mr. Memory from The 39 Steps. Gibson's gangsters, corrupt industrialists, young techies and lowlifes eager to belong to any in-group that will have them, are cliches without conviction. This weak collection of 10 short stories seems to have been rushed out to cash in on Gibson's current popularity. Paperback rights to Berkley.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I've read this book at least 5 times over the past 10 years, and at different points in my own life almost every individual story has been my favorite story from the collection at one point or another, as my own perspective and interests change over the years. This is the highest praise I can give a short story collection.
The idea behind many stories is "high tech / low life," telling stories of people who'd stepped out of the slums, denizens of the underworld, a world where even the residents of a derelict space station in the story "Red Star, Winter Orbit" seem as shabby and rundown as the station they inhabit. But at the end, all of the stories here (and one might argue, all stories in general) are ultimately about people and their struggle with the world contrasted against their struggles with themselves and each other.
I liked the three last stories in the anthology the best, with "Dogfight," written in collaboration with Michael Swanwick, being possibly the most depressing story I'd ever read. It's also one of the best.
No sentence is ordinary; details flourish; cyberjoints crack. If you like SF, if you like cyberpunk, if you like good stories ... read this book.
One other factor that makes Gibson's work stand above others in the this genre is his descriptive powers. He paints a very realistic seeming world that is very visual but he doesn't bog down the narrative while doing so. When I start reading his stuff, I rarely find myself knocked out of the story by the text. Cool!
This is the wrong one. This has a garish orange cover with a sunglasses-wearing punk with a mostly-shaved-head. I can't attach the photo, for some reason.
If you want the stories, you're here. Otherwise, keep looking.
To my knowledge there is no Movie adaptation that makes justice to the future that Gibson depicts in his stories. If you are into cyberpunk, tech noir or like Shadowrun o Nirvana (the movie, not the grunge band) I pretty sure you will enjoy this book.