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Kalifornia: A Novel Hardcover – Feb 1993

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr (February 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312088302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312088309
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,128,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

With a breakneck pace and a wonk's sense of humor, Laidlaw ( Neon Lotus ) neatly satirizes our postmodern society in this wild, almost hallucinatory novel. In the future U.S.A. that is the book's setting, flat-screen entertainment has evolved into full virtual-reality experience; stars are "wired" to transmit from their senses directly to their worshipful audiences, who are themselves wired to receive more channels than a cable box. The Figueroas were the nation's favorite wire family before tragedy shattered their show; now only Poppy, the elder Figueroa daughter, remains on the air with her own production. During the taping of an episode to mark the bicentennial of California's statehood, her newborn child Calafia is kidnapped, and when all else fails it falls to Poppy's hitherto aimless brother Sandy to venture into the quarantined "Holy City' to rescue the baby--who, as the first person to be born wired, may have powers that neither Poppy nor Sandy expects. Laidlaw plays fast and loose with his premises, but it works: we're never quite sure how much of a wire star's life is shown, where the line between reality and fantasy is drawn, if it exists at all. Laidlaw's future is far from believable, but as a satirical extrapolation from our media-saturated times, the narrative drives its points home. A quick, enjoyable romp full of surprising twists and enlivened by an incisive wit.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

It is 2050, and television audiences are now wired to receive every thought and sensation from their favorite Hollywood icons. As California celebrates its bicentennial, Poppy Figueroa, popular TV personality/sender, is giving birth to the first electronic baby, a birth shared by millions of viewers/receivers. When the infant is kidnapped minutes after the birth, Poppy and her brother Sandy, also a sender, begin a wild hunt through the nightmarish wonderland of the future to find the child before its electronic nature can be manipulated by religious and political factions to control the world. A plot summary cannot do justice to this dark, imaginative satire on our obsessions with television and pop culture. Funny, frightening, and immensely enjoyable, the story has more twists than the electronic wires themselves. This excellent novel by the author of Dad's Nuke ( LJ 2/15/86) and Neon Lotus (Bantam, 1988) belongs in all popular and sf collections.
- Eric W. Johnson, Teikyo Post Univ. Lib., Waterbury, Ct.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Format: Hardcover
"Kalifornia" is a dizzy, fast-paced, fictional deconstruction of postmodern American society from Marc Laidlaw, among the major figures in the 1980s cyberpunk literary movement in Anglo-American speculative fiction. In many respects, it should be seen as quite prescient in its depiction of mid 21st Century reality television, with Laidlaw introducing us to the trials and tribulations of the Figueroas, the "first family" of "wired" - via artificial nerves - virtual reality. The book opens with Poppy, the only Figueroa still "wired", giving birth on California's bicentennial birthday, to Calafia, the first "wired" newborn, during a live "wired" broadcast seen by millions. Abducted by a secretive cult of Kali worshippers, young Calafia - or Kalifornia as she is renamed by the cult - realizes she can manipulate others through her "wires", and soon takes over the cult. Meanwhile, the governor of California, RevGov Thaxter Halfjest, has an agenda of his own through which he hopes to manipulate Kalifornia, and through her, rule the world. Laidlaw's near future novel lacks the grittiness and realism found in William Gibson's best cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk speculative fiction, but it's still a wild, entertaining, ride that remains a memorable fictional satire of contemporary American society and culture. It's definitely the funniest cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk speculative fiction novel I've read - and I note this having just read it again for the third time - and one that remains a neglected classic by one of cyberpunk's most notable writers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xb6a92e7c) out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3611060) out of 5 stars A Dizzying Fast-Paced Satirical Cyberpunk Novel from one of the Literary Movement's Masters June 26 2016
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Kalifornia" is a dizzy, fast-paced, fictional deconstruction of postmodern American society from Marc Laidlaw, among the major figures in the 1980s cyberpunk literary movement in Anglo-American speculative fiction. In many respects, it should be seen as quite prescient in its depiction of mid 21st Century reality television, with Laidlaw introducing us to the trials and tribulations of the Figueroas, the "first family" of "wired" - via artificial nerves - virtual reality. The book opens with Poppy, the only Figueroa still "wired", giving birth on California's bicentennial birthday, to Calafia, the first "wired" newborn, during a live "wired" broadcast seen by millions. Abducted by a secretive cult of Kali worshippers, young Calafia - or Kalifornia as she is renamed by the cult - realizes she can manipulate others through her "wires", and soon takes over the cult. Meanwhile, the governor of California, RevGov Thaxter Halfjest, has an agenda of his own through which he hopes to manipulate Kalifornia, and through her, rule the world. Laidlaw's near future novel lacks the grittiness and realism found in William Gibson's best cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk speculative fiction, but it's still a wild, entertaining, ride that remains a memorable fictional satire of contemporary American society and culture. It's definitely the funniest cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk speculative fiction novel I've read - and I note this having just read it again for the third time - and one that remains a neglected classic by one of cyberpunk's most notable writers.


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