Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Virtual Light by William Gibson

Virtual Light (original 1993; edition 1994)

by William Gibson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,403371,116 (3.61)55
Title:Virtual Light
Authors:William Gibson
Info:Spectra (1994), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Virtual Light by William Gibson (1993)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 55 mentions

English (35)  French (1)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig Doesn't Fatten It...

was disappointed with the highly acclaimed Neuromancer, but I thought Gibson nonetheless had an interesting way with words, so I decided to give another one of his novels a chance. Virtual Light is mostly set in San Francisco, and is mainly a thriller about a bike courier that steals high-tech sunglasses with important data on them and finds herself chased by the male protagonist and an assortment of goons, dirty cops and a hit-man with gold canine teeth.

The cyberpunk/sci-fi component isn’t that important actually, and (...) ( )
  bormgans | Dec 15, 2015 |
I have a couple of distinct memories of this book from the first time I read it: the cop getting into trouble and then getting involved with a TV show about cops who get in trouble; and the vision of the city building itself when Chevette puts on the glasses. What I didn't notice, or don't remember noticing at the time, is that Gibson, compared frequently to Chandler for reasons I never quite cottoned to, is clearly doing Elmore Leonard. It's slightly easier to spot now, because Rydell immediately appears on page as Timothy Olyphaunt playing a younger, rawer Raylan Givens, so that was a bit of a joy to behold.

Published in 1993 and set in 2005, Virtual Light knows it's going to be passed out by the present, and is very much about the late eighties, early nineties. Haunted by the secular ghost Shapley, martyred to cure AIDS, or, no, who helped cure AIDS and was martyred: AIDS hysteria would have been just past its height, and was probably AT its height when Gibson was writing it. What else? There's nanotech, bicycle couriers, a kind of reality TV that seems like an offshoot of COPS, balkanisation, the huddled masses of the poor, earthquakes, the rise of private security, crazy religions and a black president.

So much for the future. Story wise: a courier impulsively steals a pair of glasses and bad people chase her. Rydell, ex-cop-in-trouble and now ex-private security is hired to drive for a man looking for a missing pair of glasses. It's all go from there, but centre stage is Virtual Light's great image of the Golden Gate bridge wrapped and encrusted with the shops and shelters of the poor and the homeless who took it over and made it their own. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
Engaging characters and snappy writing. Gibson is becoming one of my most favorite authors. ( )
  unsquare | Feb 6, 2014 |
Was rather disappointed by this one, and I'm starting to get the feeling that Gibson's been writing the same book over and over. While the technology mattered in Gibson's Sprawl trilogy, Virtual Light seemed more like a on-the-run-from-bad-guys thriller set in a vagueishly sci-fi setting. The tech that was stolen could have just as well been a candy bar. I wanted to find out more about the plan on the tech (to rebuild San Fran after an earthquake), the Bay Bridge community, and all the other interesting bits that Gibson created. Instead, all of that seems to be zooming by on the outside while the story focuses on one long chase scene; it's always present but is very blurry and merely serves as a backdrop. ( )
  BrookeAshley | May 23, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Gibsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brautigam, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunter, StuartCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Gary Gaetano Bandiera,
major dude, our friend
First words
The courier presses his forehead against layers of glass, argon, high-impact plastic.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553566067, Paperback)

The author of Neuromancer takes you to the vividly realized near future of 2005. Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millennium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pick-pocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich--or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:37 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Berry Rydell, an ex-cop, signs on with IntenSecure Armed Response in Los Angeles. He finds himself on a collision course that results in a desperate romance, and a journey into the ecstasy and dread that mirror each other at the heart of the postmodern experience.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
43 avail.
18 wanted
4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.61)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 4
2 60
2.5 22
3 289
3.5 62
4 359
4.5 23
5 128

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140157727, 0241953502

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,884,447 books! | Top bar: Always visible