- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Harper Voyager; New Ed edition (27 Nov. 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0006480438
- ISBN-13: 978-0006480433
- Product Dimensions: 30.4 x 22.8 x 0.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 325,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Burning Chrome Paperback – 27 Nov 1995
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‘A fistful of fast, challenging, hot-wired short stories’
New Musical Express
‘Furiously inventive, brilliantly written, the cutting edge of sf’
‘Some subversives are still at work proving that SF can pack its strongest blows into its shortest works… He’s at his best dealing with the victims of the new, the people burnt out by drugs, computers, huge corporations or the strangeness of space’
‘At once a lament and a critique, these stories show the way SF is being rewired. Gibson, his finger jitteringly on the fast-forward button, shows the direction in which our literature might be headed’
A collection of masterful short fiction from the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick Award-winning author of NEUROMANCER. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book reviewed here is a collection of ten short stories, including his first published story Fragments of a Hologram Rose from 1977.
Gibson's style has been described as "a combination of low-life and high-tech". This collection shows how perceptive he can be in observing both. Gibson doesn't just use technology as a back-drop or to provide props; he considers the effects that developments in technology might have upon individuals and societies. In Johnny Mnemonic for example a character explains:--
"We're an information economy. They teach you that at school. What they don't tell you is that it's impossible to move, to live, to operate at any level without leaving traces, bits, seemingly meaningless fragments of personal information. Fragments that can be retrieved, amplified."
Gibson describes also the detail of low-life settings. In this collection there are very good descriptions of different types of bars in The Belonging Kind. He paints portraits of different characters, Deke in Dogfight, Lese in The Winter Market, with different colours and shades.
Ultimately, however, he extrapolates from a mass (or media) consciousness of the present. Gibson has interesting things to say but he is not a prophet. The future will not be the same as his stories. The Soviet Union has not dominated space research (as in Red Star, Winter Orbit), in fact it no longer exists. Many future developments will derive not from mass actions or popular consciousness, but from the work of "outsiders". Instead of looking just at what is now considered "central", perhaps he should view what is emerging at the edge....
Gibson writes hard, technical cyber-punk SF with the art of a real master of the short story genre. Good SF shorts are of course all about ideas, situations and snappy plot twists but great examples of this genre also pack in characters that you can understand and root for and worlds that come to life in your head. It is hard to do that and only a handful of writers can turn out work of this quality.
The opening shot in the book, "Johnny Mnemonic" is one of those rare tales that burns its way into your head. Reading it is almost like being there watching the events unfold. The narrative makes the outlandish grunge-tech future come to life and it is easy to see how this tale inspired the making of a movie.
It is a powerful start and the rest of the book does not disappoint. From the anonymous barfly world of "The Belonging Kind", up into the dying orbit of an old Russian space station in "Red Star, Winter Orbit" and back to the seedy hacker world of "Burning Chrome" Gibson delivers a set of tales for which the phrase "assault on the senses" is no exaggeration.
The book is a fine introduction to both Gibson and the cyber-punk genre and it is a book that every SF fan should own and re-read regularly. If you like it and to want to explore similar work, I'd suggest "A Good Old Fashioned Future" by Bruce Sterling, or the "Mirrorshades" anthology.
All of the short stories contained are excellent. However, my favorites are all of the three Sprawl ones: JOHNY MNEMONIC, NEW ROSE HOTEL and BURNING CHROME; at par is the Soviet retro (nowadays) HINTERLANDS.
Never before or since have I came upon comparable poetic dreamscapes of futuristic noir dystopia. The images are so concentrated they just burst from the reader's mind to create a detailed alternative reality. And it is not that the Novels are diluted - they are just more of the good stuff!
My advice: read BURNING CHROME *AFTER* the famous trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive. They will help you understand the precursor ideas for the rich atmospheric world that followed.
[Do not watch the NEW ROSE HOTEL movie. Do so for JOHNY MNEMONIC neither. They do no justice to these literature gems].
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an absolutely classic work of cyberpunk literature. Some of the stories are on the more obtuse side stylistically, but are worth reading nonetheless. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Luke Hawksbee
This is an amazing short story collection whose common denominator is the quality of the writing. Without a doubt, it is one of the finest short story collections I've read in any... Read morePublished 11 months ago by John Kwok
great collection of shorter cyberpunk themed stories, all with William Gibsons characteristic geniusPublished 19 months ago by mik blank
I feel like I'm coming to the party a bit late, as Burning Chrome belongs to a genre which isn't the latest literary fashion anymore. But this doesn't matter. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Flic91
excellent compilation of short stories from sci-fi visionary. Worth the feePublished on 16 Dec. 2014 by Paul
Contents are great! But the typeface and printing quality are awful! I almost broke my eyes. Buy a more expensive and higher-quality edition if it exists.Published on 31 Aug. 2014 by Pavel Ponomarev
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