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Burning Chrome Hardcover – Aug 1 1986


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Hardcover, Aug 1 1986
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (Aug. 1 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575038462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575038462
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)


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First Sentence
i put the shotgun in an Adidas bag and padded it out with four pairs of tennis socks, not my style at all, but that was what I was aiming for: If they think you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go crude. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Roberge on Jan. 24 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a sci-fi fan from way back and particularly fond of short stories. I'd never read any stuff by Gibson, so I thought that Burning Chrome would be a good place to start. The blurb on the back of the book had quotes saying "father of the term cyberspace" and "truly original" and "new classic that has revitalized the genre" etc. The funny thing is that all that stuff was true, but I still didn't like the book. I guess the best way to put it is that he's got great ideas, but that's not enough to make a sci-fi story rise to the level of good literature. You still have to be a good writer, and in particular, Gibson's characters stink. They're one-dimensional and poorly realized; he's in love with technology but not so good at people. Maybe Gibson would be better at a full length novel; not everyone can write shorts. (my favorite sci-fi shorts still have to be Ray Bradbury's) His ideas were interesting enough for me to give him another try, though, and read Neuromancer.
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Format: Paperback
Burning Chrome is a collection of ten short stories by cyber-punk innovator William Gibson, three of which are collaborations with other authors. It's an eclectic ride as a whole. There is no overriding theme that ties all of the stories together - they range from cyberpunk to surreal. Gibson's prose can be very poetic and he does an excellent job of setting the mood in each story. Even when his characters aren't very likeable, you can still identify with their emotions.
"Johnny Mnemonic", "New Rose Hotel" and "Burning Chrome" are written in the same "Sprawl" setting as many of Gibson's novels. They are sharp and explosive cyberpunk stories that grab your attention and run. "The Gernsback Continuum" and "The Belonging Kind" are trips through what could be present day America with surreal twists. "Red Star, Winter Orbit", written with Bruce Sterling, is the poignant tale of an aging Russian cosmonaut on an equally aging space station. "Hinterlands" is an eerie view of how far humans will go to satisfy the need for progress and exploration. "Fragments of a Hologram Rose", "The Winter Market" and "Dogfight" are powerful studies of emotion, need, and what it means to be human.
Overall, I enjoyed Burning Chrome. Gibson's writing style is fun to read - he can establish mood and atmosphere in a few short sentences. I also like that he uses technology as a means not an end - the focus in the stories is how people interact with each other and technology intstead of showcasing what a cool idea a particular future technology would be. His stories tend to deal with the grittier side of human nature, and are not always comfortable to read, but they make you think.
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By R. Sundquist on Oct. 21 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
All of the stories in this brief collection were astounding. Never very involved with hard science, opting more for dark, intense noir shaded by futuristic technology, Gibson creates a variety of worlds that amaze you with their detail and imagery. He is one of the few writers who approaches science-fiction this way, giving his reader a view of society from the ground up. He doesn't try that often to explain why things have happened, or why the world is a certain way; instead he drops you into his stories and forces you to come to terms with his reality.
The Sprawl series, prefacing his first three novels (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive) are the clearest standouts in this collection, even though I thought "Johnny Mnemonic" tried to do too much in too little space. "New Rose Hotel" and "Burning Chrome" are absolute classics of cyberpunk, moreso than most books that find their way into the genre.
"The Gernsback Continuum" is uncommonly lighthearted for Gibson, and whether or not you believe Bruce Sterling's comments in the introduction, it's a great story. It's barely science fiction, but since the "cyberpunk" label was invented after Gibson's debut, this isn't surprising.
Gibson's collaboration with John Shirley, "The Belonging Kind", is also incredible. It's interesting to try to figure out each writer's influence. Like the previous story, it's more surreal than scientific.
"Fragments of a Hologram Rose" and "The Winter Market" are fantastic stories that combine complex plots, characters, and romance with vivid near-future settings. These are some of the most powerful statements of the effects of technology on humanity in any field of literature.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By deth Okay on Dec 28 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This books shows the range of the writer. making it clear he can incorperate technology into various theams and plots from the simple, red star orbit. to the rose continum. taken individule each story shows a particular slant on the gritty nature of technology. Its amazing that anyone could not see the range william gibson has as a writer I would recomend this book and neuromance for anyone for a first read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By NeuroSplicer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 6 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It can be stated that it is worthy for one to learn English only to be able to read NEW ROSE HOTEL in the original. No translation can do justice to Gibson's fresh prose. I realize that the cannon-setters might not agree, however, for me, these are the BEST 28 pages ever written in English. With Gibson SF entered its Golden Age.

All of the short stories contained are excellent. However, my favorites are all of the three Sprawl ones: JOHNY MNEMONIC, NEW ROSE HOTEL and BURNING CHROME; at par is the Soviet retro (nowadays) HINTERLANDS.

Never before or since have I came upon comparable poetic dreamscapes of futuristic noir dystopia. The images are so concentrated they just burst from the reader's mind to create a detailed alternative reality. And it is not that the Novels are diluted - they are just more of the good stuff!

My advice: read BURNING CHROME *AFTER* the famous trilogy (NEUROMANCER, COUNT ZERO, MONA LISA OVERDRIVE). They will help you understand the precursor ideas for the rich atmospheric world that followed.
[Do not watch the NEW ROSE HOTEL movie. Do so for JOHNY MNEMONIC neither. They do no justice to these literature gems].

Highly Recommended!
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