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?Parker saw his first ASP unit in a Texas shantytown called Judy?s Jungle. It was a massive console in cheap plastic chrome. A ten dollar bill fed into the slot bought you five minutes of free-fall gymnastics in a Swiss orbital spa, trampolining through twenty metre perihelions with a sixteen year old Vogue model.?
Burning Chrome (Fragments of a hologram Rose), page 52


Burning Chrome is a collection of ten of William Gibson?s short stories. All published before Neuromancer, his first novel; these ten mark his early career as a different type of writer. Whilst not all are cyberpunk, all have that same gritty realism, that make his work so absorbing.

The book includes:

Johnny Mnemonic
The only things this shares with the movie of the same name, are Johnny, the brain as a storage device for hire, and a dolphin. Other than that, it takes a completely different path; a better, more intense, more rollercoaster ride of a path. Slick with grime and oil, sweat and dark violence.

The Gernsback Continuum
If all realities are possible, then somewhere out there is the dream world of 1930s American hopes; shining towers, steel-fin cars, a populace that never questions anything. It is there, and it would like to come in.

Fragments of a Hologram Rose
The first story Gibson ever had published, Fragments of a Hologram Rose is something of a love story, post love.

The Belonging Kind
This could almost have come from Stephen King, it is that kind of a story. It showcases the direction Gibson could have gone, didn?t.

Hinterlands
A depressive tale of the unfortunate success of human space travel and interstellar flight, like flies in an airport.

Red Star, Winter Orbit
Even more depressing than Hinterlands, a tale of the failure of human space travel, of pulling back to the mother planet, and the determined fight not to retreat, not to leave space.

New Rose Hotel
A cyberpunk story, not involving VR at all, full of biotech research espionage.

The Winter Market
At the end of a life fought hard, grit determination, realism and humanity, limping from false success to false success, the mind fights on, wel after the body is dust. Cyberpunk and mind uploading.

Dogfight
The ultimate step in computer gaming ? planes willed into existence with sheer force of concentration, controlled by AR displays. In existence only as long as the mind concentrates, they dogfight for owner prestige.

Burning Chrome
Two cowboy, freelance hackers looking to retire, pull off one last, big job. They use a Russian icebreaker and go toe to toe with Chrome, highly placed mob moll, and the glittering ice fortress of her cyberspace defences.

 

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