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Hardwired Paperback – October 1, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After his thoughtful, elegant novel Knight Moves, Williams wrenchingly shifts gears for this heavy-metal adventure. It is set with acknowledgement in Roger Zelazny's Damnation Alley, when corporate Orbitals control what's left of a postwar America, now balkanized and armed to the teeth. Ex-fighter pilot Cowboy, "hardwired" via skull sockets directly to his lethal electronic hardware, teams up with Sarah, an equally cyborized gun-for-hire, to make a last stab at independence from the rapacious Orbitals. The story, though, is buried under an elaborate techno-punk style of the sort William Gibson popularized in Neuromancer. In both cases, it is a pose, a baroque nostalgia for Hemingway and film noir; it only plays at nihilism, terror and despair. The best effect is Williams's future version of a brain-scrambled vet: a dead buddy of Cowboy's whose scattered bits and pieces of computer memory now constitute a ragged semblance of a man. Such nuggets are hard to find amid the amplified, rock-'n-roll prose.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

''Hardwired is a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe-light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars--glittering, nasty, and noble--and told in a style perfectly suiting its content. It has all my favorite things--blood, love, fire, hate, and a high ideal or two. I wish I'd written this one.'' --Roger Zelazny, Hugo, Locus, and Nebula award-winning author

''Williams' use of language is as explosive and as techno tinged as the world he describes. Reading the book is like taking a jet ride across a futuristic America, with acceleration forcing you back in your seat all the way.'' --Tom Von Malder, writer and arts critic

''Heavy-metal adventure.'' --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597800627
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597800624
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,070,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
While this book, like Neuromancer, is one of the founding books in the cyberpunk movement, the two books could not be more different - except they are the same.
That is, Hardwired is a story set in a future dystopia where people are caught up in events that lead to changes that seem beyond the scope of changes that people like them could make. Of course, there are drugs and other fun stuff, a network of computers that are hacked, and large corporations.
Hardwired is different in that it is a much better action story, with the main characters being a street samurai and a panzer driver. Gives the book a much different focus than Neuromancer with a decker as a main character.
And the world is much more alive. Dirtboys and mudgirls are moving, struggling, alive in glorious MOTION.
It's a book that you can immerse yourself in for the hours it takes to read it, blink, stagger outside, and look around at the world, disappointed, because it's not the right world. Somehow, the world of Hardwired is so compelling that you forget for a while our world.
That's about as high a recommendation as a book can get.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Three works define cyberpunk as a genre -- William Gibson's "Neuromancer," Bruce Sterling's "The Artificial Kid" and Walter Jon Williams' "Hardwired."
Of the three, "Hardwired" is certainly the most fun to read.
Williams' writing has always jumped off the page, but none of his other books move quite as fast or quite as gracefully (with, perhaps, the exception of the three Drake Maijistral books) as "Hardwired."
A chugging, gut-wrenching, pulse-pounding juggernaut of a book -- if you haven't read "Hardwired," you haven't even started understanding modern sci-fi.
This is cyberpunk at its best.
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Format: Hardcover
Hardwired is about a panzerboy called Cowboy and a dirtgirl/assassin named Sarah and their unlikely alliance. The megacorporations that rule the earth from orbital platforms don't care too much about what goes on as long as they continue to gain in power and wealth. Sometimes the people being stepped on don't like it, but what can they do? They may not be as helpless as the people in charge think.
The setting reminds me of Blade Runner, but maybe a bit grungier. The characters are well crafted and convincing. The plot is gripping, and the writing flows off the pages.
This books is from 1986, so it is not the same stale cyberpunk junk that you may be used to. Check it out!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the pioneering books in the cyberpunk genre, but is less well known than most. This is not because it is a bad book, or dull, far from it; but rather is because there are a couple of differences that distinguish it from the cyberpunk pack.

Contrary to most Science Fiction writing, cyberpunk tried to show and explicate its fictional world through the eyes of comparatively low-ranking people on the margins of their society, perhaps thrown into a situation where their actions are important to it (although not necessarily) but virtually always with the characters' mental environment shaped by, and immersed in, the larger social and physical/technical environment, and with their actions constrained by outsider and lowly status. This was a gesture towards realism, as most all people are greatly constrained by their circumstances and are much more caught up in the present than are typical characters in Science Fiction. The limited power and vantage points available to cyberpunk characters are complemented by the characteristic cyberpunk immersion into the techno-cultural environment of the story. Just as most people have more contact with DVDs, bottled water, and PCs than with nuclear reactors, so cyberpunk immerses the reader in the common environment present in the story.

By contrast, Hardwired, while utilizing the iconic technologies, imperfect world, corporate domination, assassins and smugglers of cyberpunk, is a far more traditional Science Fiction story in that the characters are that extra (unrealistically) bit mobile, are rather more powerful and connected to the center of events than is typical, and are concerned with the core issues of their world, rather than with a tiny fraction of it.
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By A Customer on October 8, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the best Cyberpunk stories I have ever read. There is no black and white in this story, all the main characters have both flaws and admirable traits. This wonderfull characterisation together with the outstanding action sequences make Hardwired a must read
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This futuristic dystopian world of people hardwired to interact with the machines they operate is vividly depicted and the action is unrelenting. The writing is amazing in its detail and creative imagination, The author throws the reader into his world without preamble or explanation. I found it a bit overwhelming at first and wasn't sure what was going on. It's a sink or swim kind of experience, in which I floundered initially, but the descriptions kept me glued until I found my bearings. Getting past my confusion in the beginning was worth it. The characters are compelling, the stakes high, and the writing skilled.
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