Burning Chrome

Burning Chrome

Book - 2003
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n his enthusiastic description of the '30s and '40s "moderne" style of industrial design (featured in one of these stories), Gibson might be writing about his own work: "The change was only skin-deep; under the streamlined chrome shell, you'd find the same Victorian mechanism . . . . It was all a stage set, a series of elaborate props for playing at living in the future." That dexterous, shallow artifice has won Gibson awards and fervent fans (especially for his first novel, Neuromancer but beneath it is something old, worn and tired. Thus "Johnny Mnemonic," whose body computer stores secret information, is just a variation of Mr. Memory from The 39 Steps. Gibson's gangsters, corrupt industrialists, young techies and lowlifes eager to belong to any in-group that will have them, are cliches without conviction. This weak collection of 10 short stories seems to have been rushed out to cash in on Gibson's current popularity. Paperback rights to Berkley. - Review by Publishers Weekly
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 2003
Edition: 1st EOS pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780060539825
Characteristics: xviii, 204 p. ; 21 cm


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SnoIsleLib_MartaM Mar 19, 2018

"It was hot the night we burned Chrome." With that sentence in the 1982 short story Burning Chrome, author William Gibson helped pioneer cyberpunk. Although Gibson is better known for the 1984 novel Neuromancer, it was his story "Burning Chrome" that coined the term cyberspace, changing how we look at computers and the virtual world. Both Neuromancer and Burning Chrome are among the stories and novels set in Gibson’s “Sprawl,” gritty urban areas that have survived economic collapse and wars and set the tone for other writers to follow.

Sep 14, 2017

In this collection of short stories, science fiction takes a left turn. With almost detective/noir styling, Gibson takes us into a computerized near-future world with hologram hobbyists (“Dogfight”), or a near-future world that used to exist (“The Gernsback Continuum”), or a world of secret life-forms that exist alongside of us, hidden (“The Belonging Kind”). Several of these stories are set in the same cyberpunk universe as the groundbreaking novel “Neuromancer” and its sequels. Like those novels, these short stories may seem a little too dense at first read; but understanding comes as they are read together. By the middle of the book, the reader realizes: this is fun stuff.

Aug 08, 2017

An interesting mix of stories, but I can't say that I thought any of them to be outstanding. I've never read any of Gibson's work before, and while the stories are interesting, they weren't really my thing.

Oct 05, 2016

Many of the stories contained herein are outstanding. I am just not a compilation book person however, I do enjoy short story. Just not in a compilation format. Worth your time -

Aug 11, 2016

Canadian author William Gibson started out sci-fi (He coined the term "cyberpunk."), but his more recent novels like "Spook Country" have more in common with the cutting edge paranoid style of DeLillo and Pynchon, while Ballard also feels like a big influence. This collection, introduced by both Gibson and Bruce Sterling, includes some of his earliest writing and features collaborations with John Shirley, Sterling, and Michael Swanwick. "Johnny Mnemoic" would be the basis for a pretty bad Keanu Reeves that, nonetheless, felt like a warm-up for "The Matrix."

Jean-Pierre Lebel
Oct 30, 2012

William Gibson's collection of short stories found in Burning Chrome is an excellent and thought provoking experience. His densely informative writing style should be read slower than normal so as to savour everything being given to the reader. Burning Chrome itself shows the origins of 'the Matrix', used by the Wachowski brothers in their epic cinematic trilogy. A perfect place to start for those wishing to become familiar with cyberpunk literature. I decided to read this as a lead up to Gibson's Sprawl trilogy which includes the famous Neuromancer. Highly recommended for all fans of science ficition.

lasertravis Jul 12, 2011

Pure cyberpunk genius. A collection of short stories ( a couple are in mirrorshades-ones I didn't care for, actually ) one of which is more horror, and a few that are just straight sci-fi, but the rest are pure cyberpunk. Quick, gripping tales from a variety of dark futures. I used this and Mirrorshades to prepare to read Neuromancer and I feel I am ready. Gritty, no nonsense fun.

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