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Virtual Light Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, July 1, 1994
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Mass Market Paperback
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"A stunner... A terrifically stylish burst of kick-butt imagination." -- Entertainment Weekly
"Convincing... Frightening...Virtual Light is written with a sense of craft, a sense of humor and a sense of the ultimate seriousness of the problems it explores." -- Chicago Tribune
"In the emerging pop culture of the information age, Gibson is the brightest star." -- The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Although considered the master of 'cyberpunk' science fiction, William Gibson is also one fine suspense writer." -- People
From the Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
e to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millenium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich--or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash...
From the Paperback edition.
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Virtual Light is interesting to read today, decades after its publication. Set in San Francisco, the story centers around a bad decision made by a young courier named Chevette and the mad scramble from all sides to pursue the item she stole: a simple pair of glasses. Or are they? Telling you more might spoil the story, so I'll take a moment to mention instead that Gibson writes Virtual Light in his usual prosaic way, but it's a bit more accessible than Neuromancer. Something about the way he constructs metaphors and descriptions isn't going to be as hard to get into, and that may also be its only drawback, in that it won't be as rewarding as when, for example, Neuromancer assumes you know about Trobriand Islanders and how they change money.
There's also a bit more fast action here. In Gibson's Cyberpunk San Francisco, the Golden Gate bridge was condemned, and that's when a random moment transformed it into a living community of the homeless, the outcast, and things even stranger. It's a rough world, and Gibson's weaves a microcosm of off-the-grid community that survives in spite of the technological rampancy right outside its ramshackle walls.
If you're new to William Gibson's writing or to Cyberpunk fiction, Virtual Light might make a good book to get you into it. Other works of his are better for varying reasons, but I still enjoy reading this one today.
o I get that the writer was trying to basically say anyone or anything can become a religion with followers given the right climate mainly a dystopian society with extremely rich people living gluttonous lifestyles while everyone else wallows in the sewers with the leftovers. But that is a very shallow view of religions in general. Sure if you toss the moral/spiritual base you are left with a collective of the insane lead by a greed driven charismatic narcissus whose followers will either kill or indoctrinate you. Since the book was released in the same year that David Koresh and the Branch Davidians along with their eventual demise was headlining every news outlet, I can't help but wonder if his views of religion and its formation, along with the traditions and ceremonies that surround it weren't influenced by this event. An extremist view can be seen in his description of a Christian cult that one of the characters grew up in and is influenced by. No other religion is mentioned in this book and pretty much all Christians are resigned to be cult like extremist. As mentioned before a group of Christian extremist even murder the new "Jesus." But there is a difference between spiritual growth in religion vs the abuse of the human psychy and this is not evident in the writing. He lumps them all in as one without recognizing that a moral and spiritual base is really what started the Christian movement and the traditions ect were what was developed to exploit it. Ironically it is this abuse of traditions and lack of a moral and spiritual base that had taken over Judaism that Jesus warned about most. In that manner I thought his premise on the formation of Christianity and its followers or of any religion was a bit ignorant and biased but I know a lot of people that would readily agree with him. I'm just not one of them.
The books in Gibson's Bridge Trilogy are:
1. Virtual Light
3. All Tomorrow's Parties
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I read SnowCrash before this novel and really enjoyed it.Read more