Virtual Light (Bantam Spectra Book) Hardcover – 1 Sep 1993
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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"
"A stunner... A terrifically stylish burst ofkick-butt imagination." -- EntertainmentWeekly
"Convincing...Frightening...Virtual Light iswritten with a sense of craft, a sense of humor and asense of the ultimate seriousness of the problemsit explores." -- ChicagoTribune
"In the emerging pop cultureof the information age, Gibson is the brighteststar." -- The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Although considered themaster of 'cyberpunk' science fiction, William Gibsonis also one fine suspense writer." --People"
"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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
2005: Welcome 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... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
The characterisation is excellent and believable - take the journey!
Lets also say that Virtual Light is not the best place to start. Most of his books are set in the same near-future setting, and interweave delicately with each other: part of the fun of reading a new Gibson novel is spotting the characters from previous works who occaisionally pop their heads into the plot, either for a guest appearance or for a more starring role (anyone who's read them will remember Molly, in all her incarnations, as being one of the most memorable...). But that's just the point. Unless you've read all of them, starting at Virtual Light might be too much effort. Start at the beginning, with 'Neuromancer', which is, on it's own, both one of the finest cyberpunk novels ever written and the ideal starting point to get to grips with Gibson's writing style.
The first Gibson book I read was Virtual Light, and I have to agree with one of the other reviews here: at the time, it seemed rushed, too flaky, too insubstantial to take in. Then I read Neuromancer, realized they were something of a series, and got the lot. I have now read them all, and while they do vary in content and quality, they all have a particular fast-paced atmosphere that reveals him as an accomplished author. Virtual Light suffers in the same way as Count Zero: if read as part of the whole, they are each a wonderful, engaging dip into Gibson's intricate near future; strange, twisted tales of losers and winners wound round the plots and concepts that will draw fans in further and further...if read on their own, they may seem too distant, so take my advice and START AT THE BEGINNING!!!
NB: This novel stands well enough alone, but it is followed by two sequels: 'Idoru' and 'All Tomorrow's Parties'.
It failed to quite serve up a spectacular ending but that younger me was captivated enough to move on to the next in the Sprawl, Count Zero.
Well, for me, Sprawl was an apt over-title. I got lost in the maze and never found my way back. Until now.
Something has prompted this current rendition of myself to leap into Virtual Light, and it doesn’t disappoint. Even when not quite on top of his game, Gibson is light years ahead of his competitors.
Intriguingly, VL predates Neuromancer in its setting and presents a dystopian vision of postmodern techno-life that, like Neuromancer, owes much to the pulp crime works of Chandler, Spillane, Leonard et al, as well as Philip K Dick ( and in this case more than a whiff of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash - or could it be the other way round?) But that’s ok.
There’s still too much wordplay. It’s hard work at times, self-consciously clever to the point of distraction, a kind’ve cyberpunk Martin Amis. But there’s an energy to Gibson’s prose that glues you, even when the plot gets confusing, as if often does.
At times scarily prophetic, it gives a bleak, post-apocalyptic vision of San Francisco blighted with social division, injustice, violence, acquisitiveness, globalization and the growth of the new plutocrats, but is equally near-sighted in its failure to predict the internet or ubiquity of smartphones. VL still provides a page-turner.
The central plot-MacGuffin of the lifted shades lacks strength once their function is unveiled, the ending’s a touch flat, but despite the fact that I’ve come up with so many criticisms, it strapped me in and had me finishing in just three sittings, and I’m glad it did.
It isn’t perfect, and it isn’t Neuromancer, but like I said, even when not at his best Gibson trounces the lesser writers who follow in his shadow. I’ll be moving on Idoru and hoping it doesn’t Sprawl.
Or maybe the newer, maturer me should go back and re-Sprawl. Gibson’s that rare kind of novelist that can make such a venture possibly worthwhile.
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i'm sure others will have written detailed reviews of this book.Read more
Very interesting characters, a brilliantly portrayed future landscape, and a fast and compelling story.Read more
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