Monday, 9 June 2014

Episode 9: Book Wyrm

In this episode our heroes discuss how their new decks are treating them. In the second half of the episode Eady talks about the latest Netrunner book he has read, Golem. Then they both delve into cyberpunk books they have both read and enjoyed. If you don't like books, stay clear of this one.

A few of the books we mentioned:
Nuromancer by William Gibson (Out of print audiobook read by William Gibson)
Virtual Light by William Gibson (Start of the Bridge trilogy)
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Glasshouse by Charles Stross


  1. Snow Crash is the best one. It does have that historical element, which wasn't great when I was a kid, but because it's snuck in between a skateboard messenger who magnetically harpoons cars (much cooler than roller blades) and like you said, the samurai-hacker. I am surprised it hasn't been butchered into a movie by now because it's so cinematic in a self-aware and a little pulpy way.

    I also think you did Neuromancer a bit of an injustice. Gibson used invented slang to really help create the setting and tone. I think he used it better than Burgess (A Clockwork Orange) in that it could effectively make his prophetic concepts very normal and understandable to the modern man. I think in terms of narrative it falls apart after the first act, but I also think it's unfair to slight Gibson's style. I know you were talking about his storytelling more than his style, but the latter is what makes it so good.

    To make a recommendation, I love cyberpunk that isn't as Western-centric. It might not be really cyberpunk, but I read a book called The Dervish House by Ian McDonald a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Nanotech and NBN-speed finance in a vaguely realistically futuristic Turkey. I also very recently read a short story by Bruce Sterling called "Green Days in Brunei". I had first read it at a book store in high school in my first reading Neuromancer days. It was a random selection from a collection that seemed promising and it was excellent. Pro-hacker in a society made equally strange by technology and culture. Because it's so short it is dense in setting-storytelling and action packed.

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      I need to give Snow Crash a re-read, haven't read it for a fair few years and as you said its really very good.

      The style and setting of Neuromancer is amazing and what really makes the book as you said; I don't think we touched on that enough in this episode though as I repeatedly said it was excellent but forgot to explain why. We'll almost certainly come back to Neuromancer (a games segment is in the pipeline at some point) and hopefully we'll get a chance to talk more about the style then.

      Thanks for the recommendations, The Dervish House and the short story collection the Bruce Sterling short story is in look excellent and are now winging there way to me.