peteg's blog - noise - books - 2023 12 05 Gibson CountZero MonaLisaOverDrive

William Gibson: Count Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive. (1988)

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Kindle. Revisiting the latter parts of the "Sprawl trilogy" was inevitable after re-reading Neuromancer. As with its derivative The Matrix, this pair feels like a tacked on two-part sequel. Many words are spilt on colour but not on anything critical to the plot. For instance I had no idea why Kumiko (sprog of a big cheese in the Yakuza) felt it so important to inform Sally Shears / Molly Millions ... well, about what? Also the ultimate "marriage" of Count Zero and Angie Mitchell seemed to have no consequences, and nor does Angie's replacement with Mona Lisa on the TikTok of the day. Slick Henry's robotic sculptures were derivatives of what we saw in Bladerunner. What made no sense at all was the use of payphones when everyone is jacked into cyberspace, and more generally, having all these characters zoom around in meatspace. Gibson seems to have conceived cyberspace as mostly a spectator thing apart from those cracking crypto (ice) or living in it (artificial intelligences and insane reconstructions of humans). He nailed the ghosts of Yakuza past though ... we're there now. Wintermute gets a walk-on role in the first and is little more than a shadow in the second.

I guess I just wish there was more there, here.