Do any of you weirdos like William Gibson?


#1

There must be some of you Waypointers out there. So -

  • if you think descriptions of objects are waaaaaay better when they include an almost obsessive focus on specific materials and brands

  • if you played dark souls and thought this game explains itself a lot tbh

  • if your loathing of late capitalism only equalled by your morbid fascination with it

Have you read any Gibson? What’s your favourite novel/sentence/character/made up word. I’ve always loved everything about the first half of Count Zero but I think it’s all pretty cool. (Although I haven’t read the bridge trilogy in a while so it’s a bit hazy in my mind, and let’s not talk about the Difference Engine, but that was Bruce Sterling’s fault probably.)

Also, comics people, what’s Archangel like?


#2

I was introduced into Gibson by the classic Neuromancer and I really couldn’t get enough of the world he had created for it. The characters and locations were just so cool, even when I got around to hearing about it just in 2009.

After that, I went on a tear through every Gibson novel I could find. I think that I have read every single one except The Difference Engine, any of the short stories, and everything published after Spook Country.

The book that eclipsed my interest in Gibson’s more fantastical cyberpunk stories was Pattern Recognition. I found the more grounded look at the sci-fi tendencies of our own world more alluring, somehow, and Cayce was a really cool character. The central focus on the “impossible” video footage that she was tasked to find appealed to me as a creator.

It’s rare that I go on a really intense kick of reading one writer’s entire body of work, and it’s weird that I only remember plots and some characters after doing it. But my favorite word might be a place name from Neuromancer: Villa Straylight. It’s got a really good mouth-feel and I used to run it over in my head a bunch of times whenever it came up in the books.


#3

I just recently read Neuromancer for the first time and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Somehow, I read Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash first and maybe simply because it was first, it has always stuck with me more as the quintessential Cyberpunk novel. Still, I really liked the novel, the wonderfully seamless blending of cultures in a way that seems both natural and alien was particularly impressive to me.

Favorite phrase, I know it’s cliche: “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”


#4

I started reading Neuromancer earlier this year but i kind of feel off with just 50 pages left. I kind of liked it but i think i had a hard time to tangle with the weird descriptions and sometimes i lost track of what was actually happening.

But right now i am reading Spook Country and i am around 150 pages in. So far i like this and i’m not having the same problem of losing track of what is actually going on, and when that happens it seems to be on purpose.


#5

Pattern Recognition didn’t immedietly set my brain on fire when I first read it back in 2012, but in the time since then its definitely been the book that I’ve thought about the most, and that I keep referencing back to


#6

I can’t get in to his recent novels. His older stuff (prior to the most recent two), is really great though. I especially like the Pattern Recognition and Virtual Light trilogies.


#7

I listened to Snow Crash, and I thought it was really good. I also read Diamond Age, but it was for school, so I didn’t absorb it too much. Love Gibson, too. And he has aged fairly well, too!

Also, Heero Protagonist is a great name.

Edit: Whoops! It seems that I have mistaken Gibson for Neil Stephenson. Sorry about that!


#8

Snow Crash and the Diamond Age are great, I often wonder if a lot of the jerks I used to know who recommended them to me noticed the distinctly feminist leaning in both of them.

As for Gibson, I am woefully under-read, but I had to go through Burning Chrome for uni. It is mostly smart, entertaining stuff. I think my favourite from the collection is Hinterlands.


#9

Yeah dude - Gibson is the homie, though especially in Neuromancer, it’s sometimes impossible to follow what’s happening because everything is a swirling, abstract, word salad. His work following is much more legible.

Uhhhh favorite part? I think in Count Zero when they’re setting up to abduct the scientist from the military base and the blinding fuckup that ensues. Or in Neuromancer, any scene with Molly Millions. Because that’s the coolest fucking name ever invented.


#10

Same!!! I feel like I’m hyper aware to books that feel influenced by it now too. I just read A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers and she does forums in the same way. But Pattern Recognition really sticks with you.


#11

Huge Gibson fan, even if his books after Pattern Recognition (which was phenomenal) haven’t done a ton for me.


#12

Huge, huge fan.

I feel a little bad for folks who read Snow Crash before Neuromancer, though. Snow Crash pretty much demolished the entire genre that Neuromancer started, so if you read them out of order then it’s hard to go back.

Then again, if you ask me (or Gibson), Neuromancer is his weakest book by far.

The Cayce Trilogy was fantastic. I need to re-read The Peripheral. He’s a pretty oblique writer so I always get a lot more out of a book the second/third time.


#13

I really, really need to get on Gibson. I’ve read enough about him and his work that I should be all about his stuff, but I just haven’t spent the time. Is Neuromancer a good place to start?


#14

I’d say so. It remains the work I return to most frequently out of all Gibson’s stuff and the one I recommend the most.


#15

I usually tell people to start with Virtual Light, the first of his second trio of books


#16

Actually. I changed my mind. Read Burning Chrome, the collection of short stories leading into the Sprawl trilogy. Then read Neuromancer.


#17

This. Same with Zero History - gripping but kind of lightweight feeling while you’re in them, but seem to hang around in my brain for ages after.


#18

I like Neuromancer, but that’s the only work of him that I’ve really read. I need to read more, so I might re-read Neuromancer and then go for some of his other work. Or maybe I should read Burning Chrome first.


#19

Is it ok if I just copy my post from the “What are you reading?” Thread?

Also read neuromancer and the short story collection that Johnny Mnemonic is a part of. I appreciate Gibson for the ideas and setting he put out and in large parts popularized, not a very good writer of prose at all times, though “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” Is a pretty awesome way to start a cyberpunk Novell.


#20

I think I must have re-read the Sprawl trilogy something like 10 times by now. I “know” it’s not “good” literature (my college literature professor was intent on making me acknowledge that) but I’ve never liked any books as anywhere close to as much as these. It’s not surprising, they are mixing some of my favorite things with the technological philosophical issues and the writing style of Raymond Chandler.

I really need to pick up Pattern Recognition, but I haven’t read a lot of stuff lately. Every book I look at just seems daunting compared to my other hobbies these days.