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Burning Chrome Paperback – July 29, 2003
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About the Author
William Gibson’s first novel, Neuromancer, won the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, and the Nebula Award in 1984. He is credited with having coined the term “cyberspace,” and having envisioned both the Internet and virtual reality before either existed. His other novels include All Tomorrow’s Parties, Idoru, Virtual Light, Mona Lisa Overdrive, and Count Zero. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife and two children.
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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!