So I've been reading a lot again. My current book of the day is "All Tomorrow's Parties" by William Gibson. I've actually been tearing through most of Gibson's work over the last few weeks, since I'd always promised myself I'd get around to reading "Neuromancer" (which most folks who enjoy Science Fiction would probably consider his defining work). So I've been reading a lot again. I'm currently working my way through all of William Gibson's writing; here's a quick summary of the ones I've read so far.
AMAZON::0441569595::Neuromancer, by William Gibson:: This is probably the first book anyone ought to start off with; it's his first novel, and probably his most famous. Set in futuristic Tokyo around an out-of-work cyberspace cowboy and some exceptionally strange others, it turns into one of the seminal works describing the concept of cyberspace, turning what we call the Internet today into a virtual that's more "reality" than "virtual".
AMAZON::0441117732::Count Zero, by William Gibson:: Picking up where Neuromancer left off, we meet a few new characters: Bobby Newmark, the young cowboy who calls himself "Count Zero Interrupt"; Angela Mitchell, daughter of a biotech engineering giant and unlikely piece in a large puzzle involving artificial intelligences, money and power; Turner, a corporate merc who assists in high-profile corporate defections; and a host of others. Here, we see more of Gibson's apocalyptic New York, "The Sprawl", and get a glimpse near the end of things to come.
AMAZON::0553281747::Mona Lisa Overdrive, by William Gibson:: The culmination of this trilogy, we meet Bobby Newmark and Angie Mitchell later in life; Mitchell a star of virtual "sims" where people can pretend to be her for a little while, and Newmark long since missing but involved in something that will change the face of cyberspace. We also meet Mona, a drug addict who bears a striking resemblance to Mitchell, and is unwittingly drawn into the plans of a long-dead denizen of the online world.
AMAZON::0553566067::Virtual Light, by William Gibson:: Set in an alternate 2005, this book shifts over to the twin states of NoCal and SoCal (Northern and Southern California), to a future where litigation is the order of the day, where the homeless bind together in a unique community all their own, and while the technology is not as advanced as in the Neuromancer series (and really only feels like a "next logical step" of what we have today), the impact on the characters he presents is just as clear.
AMAZON::0425158640::Idoru, by William Gibson:: An earlier version of Tokyo than we see in the Neuromancer series dominates the backdrop of this novel. Gibson examines the idea of blurring the line between artificial and natural life; people choosing to live online, and purely technological constructs seeking to expand their experience to the real world. Like most of his books, the real focus here is the impact of technology on society, not the technology itself. A natural follow-up to Virtual Light.
AMAZON::0441007554::All Tomorrow's Parties, by William Gibson:: I'm still in the midst of reading through this one, so I'll reserve judgement for now; it's obviously a continuation of the previous two novels, though, and brings the spotlight characters from Virtual Light back into leading roles, along with the major players from Idoru.
AMAZON::055329461X::The Difference Engine, by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling:: Set late in the 19th Century, Gibson and Sterling invent a history of steam computing, the ruling class replaced with another in the form of a meritocracy. The authors give us a mystery to try and unravel, while describing in extrordinary detail this alternative world, a mixture of 19th century society with steam-powered engines and computing machines. If you're a Gibson fan, this is definitely a departure from his other works.
Coming next for me:
AMAZON::0441089348::Burning Chrome, by William Gibson:: A collection of Gibson's short stories, including Johnny Mnemonic, which went on to become a full-length feature starring Keanu Reaves.
AMAZON::0399149864:: Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson::Gibson's newest novel, Pattern Recognition is set in the present day. This appears to have the same general feel as the rest of his novels, a sort of pulp-fiction-meets-technology.