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William Gibson – Pattern Recognition September 26, 2007

Posted by taryn in cyber punk.
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william gibson pattern recognitionAn interesting read, but not one of my favourites. The first few chapters in particular are very tough going, however, it does get better! Hold in there. Gibson writes his heroine all messed up by jet lag, feeling like her soul is twisted and left behind in the atlantic.

Cayce Pollard is a cool hunter, she has a physical aversion to brands and works for corporates vetting their design, logo development and hunt for the latest style. But, her passion is for the ‘footage’ a series of mysterious and enchanting film stills released all over the net.

Ultimately, this is a mystery, sending Cayce to London, Moscow and Tokyo in search of the elusive footage. Inspiring descriptions of cities kept me reading, but the story petered out at the end.
Check out this synopsis at the author’s website.

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Top ten sci fi of the noughties July 27, 2007

Posted by taryn in best books ever, cyber punk, sci fi.
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Check out this great post by Marc Andreessen on the top ten books of the noughties. Its a great list. Some of them I’ve read, some I was thinking of reading. In fact I went out and bought Gridlinked by Neal Asher and I am completely loving it!

Thanks, Marc.

Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson November 28, 2006

Posted by taryn in cyber punk.
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I’m heading o/s in a week or two and David was kind enough to lend me some books before I left – the least I could do was read them, the first one I jumped into was Snow Crash.

I haven’t read alot of cyber punk, but I couldn’t put this book down. The hero of the story, Hiro Protagonist, love the name, is fascinating – hacker, samurai, detective and lovesick pizza guy.

I was absorbed by the punk world he created, corporation-states, the mafia and of course Greater Hong Kong – I loved that touch. Anyone who has been to HK will recognise the feel of it in the book.

The only downer for me was the info-dump in the middle of the book where we work our way through the intricacies of the religious angle of the plot, but the chases, fights and new bizarre setting grabbed me again.

The great thing about this book is that it was written in 1992 – it has hardly dated at all – perhaps programmers will disagree, but I thought it was a recent release. Considering it’s publication date it must have been a trailblazer for cyber punk. I would now like to read Stephenson’s new series about alchemy..

Interesting side note – Stephenson thought he had invented the word ‘avatar’ for the book, but humbly acknowledges Habitat in the endnote.