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Burning Chrome Hardcover – Aug 1 1986

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Amazon

When "Burning Chrome," the title story in William Gibson's first short story collection, appeared, it grabbed readers by the collar and shook them up a bit. Science fiction in the late '70s had grown a little bit stale and, worse, safe. "Burning Chrome" offered a fresh look at a future that was gritty, real, and more than a little dangerous. These stories brought high tech out of antiseptic university laboratories and corporate boardrooms and put it in the streets and alleyways where people found their own uses for it. Sometimes those uses were even legal.

The philosophy of cyberpunk, the movement that Gibson's early books kicked off, is most explicitly stated in "The Gernsbach Continuum," with its rejection of the '30s ideal of a future of flying cars and shining cities. But the real meat of this collection is found in those stories where Gibson involves us with the people who inhabit his world. The technical boy of "Johnny Mnemonic" and the thief-turned-game-player of "Dogfight" (cowritten with Michael Swanwick) would be right at home on the same streets. Most intense and more enigmatic is the recording engineer of "The Winter Market," who is overwhelmingly attracted to and repulsed by the greatest artist he ever worked with. Still, "Burning Chrome," with its tale of vengeance and high-stakes theft, remains the centerpiece of this collection. Read it and you will know why William Gibson became and remains one of the top writers in science fiction. --Greg L. Johnson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In his enthusiastic description of the '30s and '40s "moderne" style of industrial design (featured in one of these stories), Gibson might be writing about his own work: "The change was only skin-deep; under the streamlined chrome shell, you'd find the same Victorian mechanism . . . . It was all a stage set, a series of elaborate props for playing at living in the future." That dexterous, shallow artifice has won Gibson awards and fervent fans (especially for his first novel, Neuromancer but beneath it is something old, worn and tired. Thus "Johnny Mnemonic," whose body computer stores secret information, is just a variation of Mr. Memory from The 39 Steps. Gibson's gangsters, corrupt industrialists, young techies and lowlifes eager to belong to any in-group that will have them, are cliches without conviction. This weak collection of 10 short stories seems to have been rushed out to cash in on Gibson's current popularity. Paperback rights to Berkley.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Featuring stories by the "father of cyberpunk", William Gibson, as well as collaberations with many other important figures in the genre, BURNING CHROME, is as good a collection of cyberpunk short fiction as can be found (short of Bruce Sterling's MIRRORSHADES, which has been out of print for some time). First and foremost, the first story in the anthology, "Johnny Mnemonic", will, no doubt, garner the most interest. (Readers of Gibson's NEUROMANCER will easily make the correlation between Molly and Johnny.) Gritty and imaginative, "Johnny Mnemonic" is worth the price of admission alone, spinning the story (made into the movie of the same name), of Johnny Mnemonic, a data courier, and his gal Molly Millions. "Burning Chrome" and "Dogfight" are considered to be two of Gibson's best short stories, showing off Gibson's creative powers at their strongest. "Fragments of a Hologram Rose" is a lyrical masterpiece, exquisitely detailed and haunting in delivery. Gibson's work is prophetic and amazing, rounding out his Sprawl series (NEUROMANCER, COUNT ZERO, and MONA LISA OVERDRIVE). Bordering on poetic at times, crystal clear at others, Gibson is truly a versatile author.
All in all, fans of Gibson's other works or fans of cyberpunk in general will find this anthology immensely rewarding.
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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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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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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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