peteg's blog - noise - books - 2009 08 23 Gibson VirtualLight

William Gibson: Virtual Light

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Another book I stole from mrak's bookshelf a while ago. Definitely by 1993, and probably quite a bit sooner, William Gibson had developed a fairly rigid stucture for his novels: roughly, fibrous chapter-long episodes that climax in entanglement. This is the book that proves the rule.

In essence the plot is cops-and-robbers, without real cops. Well, one of the ex-cops is the Knoxville hero who saves San Francisco from gentrification, and post-book is presumably ravaged by an increasingly cyberspunky pseudo-heroine. The cyberpunk elements are well-used, lending the cities a Bladerunner-ish ambience. There are some clangers though, like having Swiss-style data fortresses and yet requiring some critically-important information to reside on a pair of virtual reality glasses for plot, and probably tax, purposes.

As with most of Gibson's output, I found myself hurrying to finish it, wondering what it is all going to amount to, and afterwards being somewhat saddened that he didn't bother with a take-home message.