padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I'm driving in a black on black Porsche etc
yeah the vibe is less aspirational than Sharivari and the Belleville Three but the aesthetic is right, 80s cyber futurism

in Neuromancer their crash pad in NY is described as being in an area "where art isn't quite crime and crime isn't quite art"

I assume what he's referencing is the downtown scene pre-gentrification

yr no wave etc musicians/painters and such in cheap lofts in fucked up neighborhoods

@Leo was there he could fill in the details
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
btw I saw Mike Davis speak once in high school and he remains perhaps the most inspiring public speaker I've ever seen

not sensational or anything, just so on point

he was on a double bill with Angela Davis and he absolutely blew her out of the water

tbf she'd just come from a faculty party - it was at a college - and she was half in the bag
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I actually started Count Zero last night. He says "microsoft" a lot. Also every few paragraphs there seems to be a line that could end the chapter. He'll say a bunch of things followed by something like "He flew to Mexico" or "The woman beside him stirred".
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
he doesn't think it's cool (necessarily) but the people he's writing about do
yeah. the vibe is cool but most of his characters aren't actually cool.

Molly definitely is - she's a nerd's fantasy of a cool fighting lady - but that's it

Case is a wiry nerd, Turner is a square-jawed professional, Count Zero himself is a total goober, etc

there are some cool sidekicks and tangential characters

actually it's developed in one the short stories, "Burning Chrome", the hollowness behind that facade of cool

it's pretty obvious anyway but that story is specifically about that - they get their big score, final payday...and then what? emptiness
 

woops

is not like other people
also "slamhound" does sound like what some marketing team would name their assassin dog robot product
gibson is the absolute master of this instantly comprehensible neologism. the datedness is part of it. it's a very clear eyed ability to extrapolate the future from the 80s. this is in his early stuff i'm talking about of course
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I think he'd like to
no I don't think so, he's too concerned with people and their messiness for those kinds of hard surfaces

Ballard's protagonists are all some variation on an upper-middle class white professional

the doctor or engineer or etc who is confronted with the world unraveling or disintegrating in some way

Gibson's characters are just trying to make it through

also he's much more concerned with young people, youth culture

there's that whole bit in Neuromancer where he goes on about how the Panther Moderns (sick name, one of his best creations in general) are really just the Big Scientists plus new technology and this whole secret history of youth cults. it's a very 80s pre-Internet view of subcultures it has to be said. otoh his teen subcultures are posthuman nihilistic terrorists, like if 4chan x100000. iirc there's literally a line where he says they commit terrorism "as a kind of private joke" i.e. for the lolz.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Also every few paragraphs there seems to be a line that could end the chapter. He'll say a bunch of things followed by something like "He flew to Mexico" or "The woman beside him stirred".
yeah it's kind of Hemingway

I like it. it contrasts with his exact descriptions of things, or flashbacks, or whatever.

always the ellipsis - elide the worldbuilding, elide the action, elide the emotions

sometimes it gets - idk if precious is the word, up itself maybe, everyone does kind of turn into a cool taciturn badass

it's hard to say tho cos people have been ripping him in inferior projects for 40 years, mistaking the cool facade for the substance
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
i think he would like to, at least when he is talking about capital, technology, affectless frictionless worlds of the wealthy his credit chip was a rectangle of black mirror, edged with gold
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
it's the one P referenced earlier WG: Yeah, like Escape from New York never made it big, but it's been redone a billion times as a rock video. I saw that movie, by the way, when I was starting "Burning Chrome" and it had a real influence on Neuromancer. I was intrigued by the exchange in one of the opening scenes where the Warden says to Snake: "You flew the wing-five over Leningrad, didn't you?" It turns out to be just a throwaway line, but for a moment it worked like the best SF, where a casual reference can imply a lot.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
its a way of making the prose mimic what it is describing
that's true

the cool blue geometric lines of cyberspace or whatever

or going the other way, his messy descriptions of Night City or other slums

but his books overall aren't crystalline like Ballard
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I can imagine you liking Count Zero for this line alone,

“And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.”
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
gibson is the absolute master of this instantly comprehensible neologism. the datedness is part of it.
I like the line about the character whose brain has been enhanced with an implant containing "500 megabytes of hot RAM" (or however many it was). Like, wow, literal megabytes!
 
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