Tag Archives | William Gibson

All Tomorrow’s Parties | William Gibson

The cover of Gibson's All Tomorrow's PartiesWilliam Gibson’s books are a window into a disconcerting future. His future isn’t the shiny clean tomorrow portrayed in countless Apple ads—his future is full of grit and blood. Even the virtual worlds he envisions are tagged and twisted by hackers.

In All Tomorrow’s Parties, the main story takes place on the Golden Gate bridge which has been deemed undriveable since the earthquake. It has become makeshift city of people living in hand-built cubicles. The police leave them alone. They are a social experiment unto themselves. Meanwhile, in a cardboard box on the other side of the planet, a dying man has developed the ability to interpret raw information as it’s funneled to his body through his eyephones.

All Tomorrow’s Parties is Gibson’s third book in the Bridge Trilogy. You don’t have to have read the first two to follow the third, though. Trust me—I started at the back end of this trilogy.

You might call Gibson’s future post-apocalyptic, except there was no worldwide apocalypse. Everything he writes seems like the disturbingly plausible consequences of our own technological ambition.

—William Gibson, All Tomorrow’s Parties (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999).

Neuromancer | William Gibson

I decided to brush up on my sci-fi history by reading this archetypal Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick award winning Cyberpunk novel. I’ve already read Pattern Recognition and Spook Country, so I knew a bit of what to expect. What I found was Gibson in his raw unpolished brilliance. You would expect a twenty-five year old book about the future to feel dated. However, aside from a few exceptions, it felt remarkably current. This novel lives up to its reputation.

The prose is dreamlike, blurring the lines between action and reflection—much like the plot blurs the lines between real and virtual reality. You need to pay attention while reading it to keep track of the characters, but the payoff is worth it. The story stays with you once the book’s back on the shelf.

Few things are more satisfying than reading a classic that exceeds your expectations.

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