Burning Chrome • 1986 • Cyberpunk collection by William Gibson

★★★★★

Summary: William Gibson, Grandmaster of SF, published some 20 short stories in his long writing career since 1981. Half of them found their way into this 1986 collection. They are representative of his works in the 1980s given that three of them – Johnny Mnemonic, New Rose Hotel, and Burning Chrome – are set in his famous Sprawl universe. You know, the one he became famous with: Neuromancer (review). 

Gibson set out to revolutionize the stale SF business, creating with a handful other authors a new subgenre known as Cyberpunk. Two of them, John Shirley and Bruce Sterling, can be found as co-authors here, adding to Gibson’s special style. 

Why would one want to read stories which were visionary at the time but nearly fourty years old now? True enough, Gibson coined the word “cyberspace” in the novelette Burning Chrome. His “matrix” and memorable, super cool fighting lady Molly Millions from “Johnny Mnemonic” were adapted in the 1999 action film “The Matrix” (just think of Trinity). But then again, this is 20 years ago. Add to this that Cyberpunk is way past its hype phase, Post-Cyberpunk anthologies are old again already, and one could ask: Why bother?

First of all, Gibson is a fantastic author, juggling techno language with real life sceneries like no one. Come here to read that, at least. Some of the stories, like Johny Mnemonic, Dogfight, or Burning Chrome, have fast-paced plots or draw interesting characters. There’s something in it for everyone and there isn’t a single bad story in it, they range from good to great, feeling both fresh and nostalgic at the same time.

In my humble opinion, this collection should be part of every SF library as a milestone of the genre.

See you at Chiba city, drinking a beer with Molly.

Contents:

  • 1 • Preface • essay by Bruce Sterling
  • 6 • ★★★★☆ • Johnny Mnemonic • 1981 • Cyberpunk short story by William Gibson • review
  • 28 • ★★★☆☆ • The Gernsback Continuum • 1981 • SF short story by William Gibson • review
  • 41 • ★★★☆☆ • Fragments of a Hologram Rose • 1977 • Cyberpunk short story by William Gibson • review
  • 49 • ★★+☆☆☆ • The Belonging Kind • 1981 • Horror short story by William Gibson and John Shirley • review
  • 65 • ★★★★☆ • Hinterlands • 1981 • Space Opera short story by William Gibson • review
  • 87 • ★★★+☆☆ • Red Star, Winter Orbit • 1983 • Alternate History novelette by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling • review
  • 110 • ★★★★☆ • New Rose Hotel • 1984 • Cyberpunk short story by William Gibson • review
  • 125 • ★★★★☆ • The Winter Market • 1985 • Cyberpunk novelette by William Gibson • review
  • 150 • ★★★★☆ • Dogfight • 1985 • Cyberpunk novelette by William Gibson and Michael Swanwick • review
  • 176 • ★★★★★ • Burning Chrome • 1982 • Cyberpunk novelette by William Gibson • review

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8 Responses to Burning Chrome • 1986 • Cyberpunk collection by William Gibson

  1. Wakizashi says:

    100% agree with your thoughts on this fantastic collection, Andreas. It’s been a few years since I last read it. I have so many books to read but you’ve made me want to dig this one out and jack into it again. 40 years seems almost unbelievable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andreas says:

      Well, what hinders you? In a couple of days those reviews are long gone and the urge will have faded away. That’s Mt TBR‘s revenge.
      40 years and I feel old. Sometimes, I need to read the 80s to kinda feel young again. I guess you know what I mean.

      Liked by 1 person

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