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Virtual Light by William Gibson
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Virtual Light (original 1993; edition 1994)

by William Gibson

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4,477381,094 (3.61)55
Member:AltF4
Title:Virtual Light
Authors:William Gibson
Info:Spectra (1994), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Virtual Light by William Gibson (1993)

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» See also 55 mentions

English (37)  French (1)  English (38)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Dystopic details (“Fine, dry, flakes of fecal snow”), language with attitude, techy goodies, a god-awful font and page layout, and anti-nostalgic looks at defunct San Francisco, LA, and Mexico City, all woven into a mashup of current historical forces pushed out twenty plus years: privatization (Golden Gate Park is now the gated SkyWalker), militarization, globalization (Singapore runs things) in a coming-of-age thriller showcasing the naïve, tough bike messenger, her senile old fart roomie, the young, ex-cop/ex-private security hero? who believes in doing right, and his buddy, an apostate from the powerful movie-Jesus sect.

Halt—this is too much (But it’s always that way with Gibson) and it works. ( )
  kerns222 | Aug 24, 2016 |
Interesting, I think reading the series out of sync didn't help, as the 2nd & 3rd books in the trilogy had more going for them ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Gibsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brautigam, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunter, StuartCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The courier presses his forehead against layers of glass, argon, high-impact plastic.
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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)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140157727, 0241953502

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