Synners by Pat Cadigan
Bantam Specta, New York, 1991
A book read for the Science Fiction Experience and the Women of Genre Fiction Challenge. Also for the TBR Double Dog Dare.
Pure cyberpunk. I discovered William Gibson and Bruce Sterling in the 1980s , not sure how I missed Cadigan.
This is a big book crammed with many characters and many ideas that, except for the lack of wireless and smart phones, does not feel dated. The story takes place in LA, the cast of characters includes virtual reality programmers, corporate flunkies, rogue video makers, hackers and a mysterious internet personality named Dr. Fish. A company called EyeTraxx, known for making popular music videos, has developed a new technology that enables a direct connection between the human brain and the internet, opening up all kinds of commercial possibilities. But then things start to go horribly wrong.
Synners moves from one character to another but they are all connected through work or music of life. Most of the changes are easy to follow, but I found myself skimming through some of the chapters, just because I found them distracting from the main story. It was the relationships between characters that really caught me and carried me through ’til the end.
I am now curious about Cadigan’s other work, particularly something called Tea From an Empty Cup. Anybody read it?
Fountain of Age by Nancy Kress
Small Beer Press, Easthampton, MA, 2012
From my TBR pile.
This is a collection of stories previously published in magazines like Asimov’s and Fantasy. The opening story,” The Erdmann Nexus,” won the Hugo Award and the title story, “Fountain of Age”, won the Nebula.
I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything by Nancy Kress before and I am now jumping at the chance to read her novels. This collection runs the gamut from illegal genetic modification to alien intervention brilliantly. It is worth the price of admission for “Laws of Survival” alone. Read it.
I just found out one of my all time favorite magical realism tinged novels, Winter’s Tale by Mark Halprin, is being made into a movie starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay (for all you Downton Abbey fans). More here.
One of my favorite events of the year, organized by the inimitable Carl V and running from January 1, 2013 to February 28, 2013, The Science Fiction Experience is not limited to books. The discussions revolve around any science fiction medium, books, graphic novels, films, TV shows, art. The review site is here.
This is a perfect time to rediscover an old love, or introduce yourself to a new genre.
Another of Carl’s posts has reminded me of the great science fiction book and author website Worlds Without End. This year they are organizing a Women of Genre Fiction reading challenge. I think I will join in and read some new-to-me authors.