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Burning Chrome Paperback – 27 Nov 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Paperback, 27 Nov 1995
£46.77 £7.47
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Product details

  • 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)

Product Description

Review

‘A fistful of fast, challenging, hot-wired short stories’
New Musical Express

‘Furiously inventive, brilliantly written, the cutting edge of sf’
Guardian

‘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’
Fiction Magazine

‘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’
The Times

Book Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Although I love Neuromancer and Gibson's other books, its in his short stories he really excels. He manages to paint a complete world in a page or two, fleshing out his characters into real people. Some of the stories seem to be in the world of the sprawl, others are in very different places. All have the strange tension of living in a place on the edge of change, the Edge where console cowboys cut ICE from the datacores of an Old/Young woman or burned out hustlers dogfight holographic planes around the lightbulbs of seedy bars. Each story is Short, sharp and glorious.
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Format: Paperback
William Gibson is best known as the author of Neuromancer -- his first novel, which caused him to be hailed in  The Sunday Times as "the information age's resident populist prophet".
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....
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Format: Paperback
This collection contains ten stories, seven of which are solo works by William Gibson and the other three are collaborations. Nine appeared previously between 1977 and 1985 and one was new for this collection.
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.
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Format: Paperback
It can be stated that it is worthy for one to learn English only to be able to read NEW ROSE HOTEL in the original. No translation can do justice to Gibson's fresh prose. I realize that the cannon-setters might not agree, however, for me, these are the BEST 28 pages ever written in English. With Gibson SF entered its Golden Age.

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].

Highly Recommended!
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