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Tea From An Empty Cup (1998)

by Pat Cadigan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Artificial Reality Division (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
444843,661 (3.09)10
"How can you drink tea from an empty cup?" That ancient Zen riddle holds the key to a baffling mystery: a young man found with his throat slashed while locked alone in a virtual reality parlor. The secret of this enigmatic death lies in an apocalyptic cyberspace shadow-world where nothing is certain, and even one's own identity can change in an instant.… (more)
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» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
A little too impressionistic for my taste. A cop investigates an murder that takes place in a virtual reality, but the victim dies for real (in a closed/locked room). Plot is too convoluted.
  JohnLavik | Mar 29, 2020 |
I have admitted this before, science fiction is usually not my cup of tea. Or in this case, an empty cup is completely accurate. I made an exception with Willis's Doomsday Book because it was clever and, more importantly, there was substantial character development. I had a hard time drinking in Cadigan's Tea From an Empty Cup because it was missing the element that matters most to me - the character development. I ended up not really caring about a single character. Unfortunately, that made the ending bitter and hard to swallow.
The premise is simple, a young man is found murdered with his throat slashed. He isn't the only victim but for homicide detective Dore Konstatin, it is important enough that she dons the victim's 'skin suit and enters the artificial reality of Nee Yawk Sitty, the apocalyptic cyberspace playground. She needs to play the same game Tomoyuki Iguchi played before he died. She needs to be him before he died. Her first lead is an allusive witness by the name of Body Sativa. Meanwhile, Tom's friend, Yuki, is trying to uncover the same mystery.
Confessional: At first I thought this was a science fiction erotica story. The references to sex come quickly and often (pun completely intended). ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jan 17, 2018 |
This is one of the many books set in cyberspace that came out after Neuromancer. And, its average. Not bad, not great. It suffers from the ending being bigger than it should be - which many books from this era seem to have.

We have Yuki, one of the few remaining ethnic Japanese trying to find her lost friend in the cyberworld. Theres a detective, trying to figure out why people are dying in the virtual world parlours. And then there is an inception like world inside the virtual reality, where if you go far enough, you can find old Japan recreated again.

The characters are average - nothing to spectacular, the dogged detective, always a few minutes late, the girl, trying to find something that might not exist, and a world that isn't real. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Sep 10, 2016 |
A cyberpunk near future: murder investigation meets immersive artificial reality (AR). Hotsuits offer full body stimuli, making make virtual experiences hyper-real. So that means all too imaginable thrills for the wealthy. While those who earn too little to own actual property can hire a suit and spend enough billable time in post-Apocalyptic Noo Yawk Sitty to build an unreal home. (One grimily realistic dead end job is cleaning rented hotsuits.) Detective Konstantin is investigating how a kid got his throat cut in both AR and for real, behind a locked door. Yuki’s parallel search for missing Tom leads to the truth behind the dark rumours about Joy’s Boyz. Meanwhile in AR, virtual human salamanders take up home in virtual burning cars, and everyone’s looking for the mythical egress. ( )
  Bernadette877 | Jul 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cadigan, Patprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jensen, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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'Now why would anyone become a prostitute?' the white guy asked, sipping his iced coffee through a long, skinny straw.
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"How can you drink tea from an empty cup?" That ancient Zen riddle holds the key to a baffling mystery: a young man found with his throat slashed while locked alone in a virtual reality parlor. The secret of this enigmatic death lies in an apocalyptic cyberspace shadow-world where nothing is certain, and even one's own identity can change in an instant.

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