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Synners (SF Masterworks) Paperback – November 13, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pat Cadigan was born in 1953 in Schenectady, New York and grew up in Massachusetts, attending the University of Massachusetts. She moved to England in 1996. Her books include SYNNERS, FOOLS(both of which won the ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD) and PATTERNS.
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Product Details

  • Series: SF Masterworks
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575119543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575119543
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Pat Cadigan's Synners is an interwoven chronicle of three main characters: Gabe, Sam, and Gina. Gabe is an advertising agent for Diversifications, Inc. and Sam, his daughter, is a hacker. Gina is a synner (creator of the near-future rock videos) whose company was bought out by Diversifications, Inc. Drugs that help with depression have been reinforced by implants provided at "feel-good clinics". Diversifications, Inc. has discovered a plan for a new implant that provides prerecorded dreams that can be accessed for entertainment. Gina's coworker, Visual Mark, has been selected as the experimental subject because of his exceptional visual imagination.
Synners uses familiar Cyberpunk concepts such as global computer networks, direct computer linkups to the brain, enhanced recreational drugs, young hackers and a modified form of rock music. This story revolves around the introduction of new technology, such as implants to treat depression and brain sockets to enhance entertainment. It also revolves around what happens when new technology begins to do the unexpected.
Synners is presented at a perfect pace and is told in a multi-threaded style, where the characters intertwine with each other. The character development and plot are written with elaborate detail, but the theme is very simple. This book is very entertaining, even though concentration and close attention are needed in order to understand what is happening. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend reading it.
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This is the sort of SF I like. Took me three times through to be fairly sure I had all there was in this book, when I first read it back in the early 90s. It's dense. It's cryptic. Its narrative cuts are very, very sharp. It's got its own slang and a heap of expert-IT-argot and it bristles with wicked lines. "If you can't eat it or f*** it and it can't dance, throw it away." - "Ninety percent of life is being there, and the other ten percent is being there on time." And the key-motif, the one the whole book's about: "Change for the machines." It all ensures the reader a brain workout rather than just sitting there spooning in words.
The characters are nearly as sharp as the lines, and the world-building is complex -an info-LA plugged into every form of VR there was, from appetite-suppressant implants to insty-parties for the suburban wannabes, via somebody's gypsy cam and somebody else's wired up hot-suit. It has excellent space opera sub-stories, and wild ideas about the old SF chestnuts like, What is Human, and new ones like how human brain events might affect cyberspace.
With 20 years and change since the first reads, I worried that, like so many near-future cutting-edge novels, it wouldn't work when the future caught up. But the info-scene is actually right in line, the comp. science was so well done it hardly feels dated. The frenzy about viruses is all that seems a bit retrospective now. But the story still belts along like Metallica on fast forward, and the scenarios haven't lost an inch of punch. Esp. the melt-down viral breakout and the last showdown on the virtual lake-side - quick nod to "Stranger on the Shore" - with its scene-jumping almost as fast and confusing for the reader as it is for Gina and Gabe.
A few books aren't just a good read, but become a world you don't want to leave. I'm happy *Synners* is still in that small pile for me. If that's too far up the stupidsphere for anyone to whack to, in Synnerspeak - well,that's real shame for them.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but I like good stories. This is a fine story. I admire Cadigan's ability to have several stories going at once, a ton of characters interacting, and still keep it interesting and fun. I recommend her other novels Mindplayers and Fools. They aren't as funny, but the plots are intrigueing and complex. Cadigan is a very original writer, and I love reading her work.
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By Kristen on November 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Synners by Pat Cadigan is a profoundly written book by any standards. It is considered a Cyberpunk book, but it can be enjoyed by anyone who likes a challenging mystery-type novel also. She uses many different, deep characters in so many different settings that it can tend to be confusing, but she also does an excellent job of tying them all together in the end. This novel requires a lot of thought and perception, but it grabs you from the very first page. Cadigan uses nameless characters and a unique setting to create an ambience of mystery around the entire book.
Synners is set in the future and is mainly based on this close-knit group of hackers that use information sent to them by a friend to stop a big business from creating implants and inserting them into people of all types, including young children. This business, Diversifications, says it will be used to stop learning and mental problems but everyone is quite wry of this new development. The problem is that this big business wants to use music videos to promote them. This is a problem because then it would reach too many people, even people who had no need for them. Synners gives you a very person-friendly technological atmosphere and tons of action.
Cadigan uses this plot to bring in an intriguing and very technology based theme. She also uses an element of mystery into the book to grab and keep the readers attention. Synners is a great read for anyone who is the least bit interested in technology and mystery. Cadigan does a great job of keeping the book interesting. If you do chose to read this book make sure you are ready for a confusing ride through the minds of many different characters and character-types.
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