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Digital Leatherette [Paperback]

Steve Beard
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Codex (10 Aug 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189959812X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1899598120
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,699,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A contemporary cyberpunk novel which explores the themes of sex, drugs and drum'n'bass. From the author of PERFUMED HEAD.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Po-Mo Left Me Po-Faced 5 Nov 2012
By Genome
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You know that bit in the Old Testament which is just page after page of names begatting other names? Well towards the end of this book are two and a half pages of similar, only it's the synonym of beget which begins with the letter 'f'. I skipped those pages to be honest as they washed over me completely without adding any insight into my understanding of the narrative. Much like great swathes of the book in fact.

The style is a merging of ancient myths given a makeover by being melded with the new virtual technology and data streaming. (New that is in 1999 when this book was first published). Then throw in some pop culture references (the opening chapter is a fictional interview with Morrisey of The Smiths fame) and some history around Queen Elizabeth I's alchemist John Dee. Every chapter is just this barrage of data, of unusual conceptual combinations where John Dee is mixing up some nasty alchemical infusions using live harvested stem cells, while he communicates by very end de vingtieme technology. I understand and appreciate the author's sticking to a tight narrative style, where every chapter is some sort of emailed report of surveillance, but it makes the narrative entirely one paced.

Now I'm a big fan of hyper-reality, after all it's what I write myself, but if there is no contrasting with accepted reality by which to blur the edges between the two, then you just have a datastream of typography, words and fragmented concepts suspended in the ether. There is no heart to this book. No anchorage for the reader to grasp hold of and orient themselves into the world of the book. It's akin to reading ticker tape reports, as it whisks through your fingers and disappears into the void the moment it's out of contact with you and already rendered obsolete by the next input.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Age Voodoo Tech 28 Feb 2001
By Game Cat - Published on Amazon.com
So, you want to know how to obtain a digital leatherette?
- Take a large dose of Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum" with its hinting at occult forces and synchronicities unknown to most but used by a few to further their generally unwholesome goals.
- Include a take on history which illustrates the subtile prevalence of said forces.
- Add the 'post' cyberpunk atmosphere (complete with Raves and Trips to the Other Side) of Jeff Noon's "Vurt".
- Spike with of stock-market voodoo and some quantum-mechanical goobledygook.
- Add distillations of shamanism, millenium fever, gnosticism, new-age mythology, a society obsessed with surveillance and Fox Mulder.
- Enhance with references to contemporary cultural icons (like I just did)
- Powder with techspeak and lotsa acronyms. Zap through the channels.
Taste the enjoyable result. Do not look for a story -- let the text sink into you. Match, cross-correlate, flip through the book. Check out your history books. Don't go for linear -- you have been warned!
If you need it, here's the attempt at a
Stardate: 2012. We are reading through a folder of e-mails transmitted to (intercepted? obtained by?) some unspecified entity.
The "authors" of the e-mails include: a reporter interviewing the Last English Pop Star in Antartica, a modern-day voodoo priestess performing at Raves in Battersea, Ukanian (sic) Government snoop units, an intelligent settop box (?) also acting as mole for Special Intelligence, net d00Dz hanging out in a cyberspace autonomous zone, drugged-out chatroom yakkers and excerpts from a text-based MUD which somehow seems to be an allegory of real- life events (but maybe Steve Beard just wanted to fill some pages with that one ?-)
What's it lead up to? The occult forces of good and evil (or just power and antipower?) are playing out their never-ending poker game well hidden behind the facade of real-world political events. The truth is out there! Ukania gets its comeuppance as Queen Elizabeth II is (maybe) assassinated and London financially taken over by the Chinese after the biggest market crash in history.
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