peteg's blog

William Gibson: Burning Chrome

/noise/books | Link

A sparkly little collection of short stories by Gibson at the height of his neuromantic period. Bruce Sterling has an ego far larger than his talent, and his attempts early in his introduction to bracket himself with Gibson made it easy to skip the rest of it. Moreover I'd read their collaboration Red Star, Winter Orbit in Mirrorshades, and here it really jangles against the purely Gibson efforts.

Stand-outs were:

  • Johnny Mnemonic. Was the movie really all that bad? I guess I had better find out.
  • Hinterlands. Provincialism.
  • New Rose Hotel is much better than the movie, more's the pity.
  • The Winter Market is Gibson observing Vancouver, keenly. I wish he'd do more social commentary in general. (As well as, not instead of.)
  • The titular Burning Chrome is a dry run for Neuromancer, and is fine for all that.

/noise/beach/2009-2010 | Link

Clovelly, Rob, gropers, stingaree, early evening, a bit rough but very clear, water a tad cool.

Johnny Mnemonic

/noise/movies | Link

Who would have thought that Keanu's power animal was a dolphin? This one has a bit of everything, except a plausible plot, characters, continuity, tension. As such it is fine except where it obviously fails to match grasp and reach; it is something of a dry run for The Matrix. Lundgren hams it up well as the preacher, but Rollins is only convincing when aggressive. Keanu markedly improves in his next few movies after this one.

The animation is Tron-ish. Gibson's work is debased as he is usually focussed on the immediate, the local: his characters don't save the world. Also there was a lack of sexual deviancy, a central theme of cyberpunk. It could have been worse, but it could also have been a lot more than just a quest.

Those with sharp eyes will spot a frequency counter (or something) with nixie tubes in one of the climactic scenes.