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[ Pdf All Tomorrow's Parties ¿ climbing PDF ] by William Gibson ¿ A fabulously satisfying end to Gibson s Bridge trilogy and of the four Gibson novels I ve read to date, the most enjoyable to read.
I think I knew the moment we are introduced to the character of Silencio that between the publication of Virtual Light a book I found difficult and stilted and this third instalment William Gibson had stepped his game up to a new level, that the readability of Idoru wasn t just a fluke As I mentioned in my review of Virtual Light, Neal Stephenson s Snow Crash made it hard for anyone to seriously write something in this genre without accepting that it would pale in comparison but with this novel Gibson seems to have risen to the challenge of both Snow Crash and the release of the idea stealing, genre defining, Wachowski sibling created movie The Matrix.
The pace and tension are quite relentless, with the combination of short chapters alternating character perspectives and a prose that is often poetic AND grubby but specifically designed to be labelled as tense I found it hard to stop reading this one as chapter after chapter flew past, the narrative and the characters being swept forward in a tide of pre determined social change The only character that seemingly knows what s happening is a half crazed, half dead Laney from Idoru who has been hiding in a cardboard box city and who quite happily admits from the start that he doesn t know WHAT is going to happen only that SOMETHING will.
If you can accept this kind of storyline, that blends social commentary with near future science fiction, action, thrills, suspense then William Gibson is the man for you and the Bridge Trilogy as a whole may well be worth consideration for comparison to Snow Crash Yes I know it s one book versus three and yes really SNnow Crash still wins, but still you can t just keep reading Snow Crash forever.
Although Colin Laney From Gibson S Earlier Novel Idoru Lives In A Cardboard Box, He Has The Power To Change The World Thanks To An Experimental Drug That He Received During His Youth, Colin Can See Nodal Points In The Vast Streams Of Data That Make Up The Worldwide Computer Network Nodal Points Are Rare But Significant Events In History That Forever Change Society, Even Though They Might Not Be Recognizable As Such When They Occur Colin Isn T Quite Sure What S Going To Happen When Society Reaches This Latest Nodal Point, But He Knows It S Going To Be Big And He Knows It S Going To Occur On The Bay Bridge In San Francisco, Which Has Been Home To A Sort Of SoHo Esque Shantytown Since An Earthquake Rendered It Structurally Unsound To Carry TrafficAlthough All Tomorrow S Parties Includes Characters From Two Of Gibson S Earlier Novels, It S Not A Direct Sequel To Either It S A Stand Alone BookCraig E Engler Gibson s deliberately cool, crisp writing it conjures using an intense specificity and delectable word choice conflicts with the frequently grubby and detritus laden settings of his stories.
This is the end of something The interstitial society of the Bridge is becoming contaminated by the larger culture, in the form of tourists and commercial media observation and outside investment and involvement The counterculture is becoming the culture and being absorbed or at least encroached upon and monetized.
It felt like a heist or caper, at least at the start, but the slow impression is that the caper aspects are not built around a plan or plot of human invention The characters are reacting to emergent or nonhuman behavior they don t understand, and the results are intensely disorienting This is a theme taken up with the later Blue Ant series a person a villain who does not as much cause or do a thing as take advantage of a thing already in progress Which is somehow even horrid.
The thing to remember when beginning and reading a William Gibson novel is to stay with it to the end.
I m a Gibson fan but even I know he can be difficult to follow, especially in the first few dozen pages, or the first third, or half Anyway, Gibson s 1999 summation of his Bridge trilogy, begun in Virtual Light and sort of continuing in Idoru, finds him winding things up nicely on the bridge in San Francisco in an alternate future where much of society has broken down and changed into an anarcho capitalistic world building reminiscent of Neal Stephenson s Snow Crash.
Actually, the Bridge trilogy is closely held together than either of the Sprawl or Blue Ant trilogies which were or less stand alone novels tied in with the same world building Gibson s great imagination and his succinctly descriptive writing is as good as ever.
Recommended but for this one a reader will really want to read the first two books in the Bridge series first.
A fabulously satisfying end to Gibson s Bridge trilogy and of the four Gibson novels I ve read to date, the most enjoyable to read.
I think I knew the moment we are introduced to the character of Silencio that between the publication of Virtual Light a book I found difficult and stilted and this third instalment William Gibson had stepped his game up to a new level, that the readability of Idoru wasn t just a fluke As I mentioned in my review of Virtual Light, Neal Stephenson s Snow Crash made it hard for anyone to seriously write something in this genre without accepting that it would pale in comparison but with this novel Gibson seems to have risen to the challenge of both Snow Crash and the release of the idea stealing, genre defining, Wachowski sibling created movie The Matrix.
The pace and tension are quite relentless, with the combination of short chapters alternating character perspectives and a prose that is often poetic AND grubby but specifically designed to be labelled as tense I found it hard to stop reading this one as chapter after chapter flew past, the narrative and the characters being swept forward in a tide of pre determined social change The only character that seemingly knows what s happening is a half crazed, half dead Laney from Idoru who has been hiding in a cardboard box city and who quite happily admits from the start that he doesn t know WHAT is going to happen only that SOMETHING will.
If you can accept this kind of storyline, that blends social commentary with near future science fiction, action, thrills, suspense then William Gibson is the man for you and the Bridge Trilogy as a whole may well be worth consideration for comparison to Snow Crash Yes I know it s one book versus three and yes really SNnow Crash still wins, but still you can t just keep reading Snow Crash forever.
After a good, if a bit inconsequential start with Virtual Light, and a much inconsequential, but promising, Idoru, the Bridge Trilogy finishes with All Tomorrow s Parties and what seemed like it s going somewhere and going somewhere big failed to meet my expectationsIf somebody wants to see the worst things about Gibson s writing, this book is where to look for them Tens of characters, many of them feeling like useless, pointless filler Creed or Boomzilla, anyone Recurring characters which get almost nothing to do Yamazaki, and, to a much greater degree, Maryalice Confusing style which makes it very hard to understand what s going on I actually managed to think that two characters were one and then was very surprised when I saw them both in different places An ending which feels very underwhelming and unsatysfying, not to mention unexplained Seemingly important characters with convoluted motivations Descriptions of cyberspace which give you no idea whatsoever of how its supposed to look like and work All that, and , in concentrated form, to be found in All Tomorrow s Parties The good things also show, like the realized, interesting setting, interesting characters, and novel concepts, but they are overshadowed by all of Gibson s faults.
Really, for an ending of a trilogy of books, which consisted of one solo book and a follow up which simply doesn t work very well on its own Idoru , this is as underwhelming as it gets At least in the Neuromancer trilogy the change made in the first book actually influences the world in an important way and it s not even foreshadowed a lot 3 4 of All Tomorrow s Parties is about how what s going to happen is going to CHANGE EVERYTHING And when it does, all it amount to is a weird, almost comical event which sounds important, to be sure, but isn t built upon in the slightest and just doesn t live up to the hype.
If you d like to read something by Gibson reach for the Neuromancer trilogy first The Bridge Trilogy as a whole gets a lukewarm 3 5 stars and I won t deny that All Tomorrow s Parties was a primary reason for barring the Trilogy from reaching a higher rating If it was different, the whole thing could leave the reader with a sense of Awe But as it is, it s just another of Gibson s great setting, interesting characters, lackluster plot deals.
After a good, if a bit inconsequential start with Virtual Light, and a much inconsequential, but promising, Idoru, the Bridge Trilogy finishes with All Tomorrow s Parties and what seemed like it s going somewhere and going somewhere big failed to meet my expectationsIf somebody wants to see the worst things about Gibson s writing, this book is where to look for them Tens of characters, many of them feeling like useless, pointless filler Creed or Boomzilla, anyone Recurring characters which get almost nothing to do Yamazaki, and, to a much greater degree, Maryalice Confusing style which makes it very hard to understand what s going on I actually managed to think that two characters were one and then was very surprised when I saw them both in different places An ending which feels very underwhelming and unsatysfying, not to mention unexplained Seemingly important characters with convoluted motivations Descriptions of cyberspace which give you no idea whatsoever of how its supposed to look like and work All that, and , in concentrated form, to be found in All Tomorrow s Parties The good things also show, like the realized, interesting setting, interesting characters, and novel concepts, but they are overshadowed by all of Gibson s faults.
Really, for an ending of a trilogy of books, which consisted of one solo book and a follow up which simply doesn t work very well on its own Idoru , this is as underwhelming as it gets At least in the Neuromancer trilogy the change made in the first book actually influences the world in an important way and it s not even foreshadowed a lot 3 4 of All Tomorrow s Parties is about how what s going to happen is going to CHANGE EVERYTHING And when it does, all it amount to is a weird, almost comical event which sounds important, to be sure, but isn t built upon in the slightest and just doesn t live up to the hype.
If you d like to read something by Gibson reach for the Neuromancer trilogy first The Bridge Trilogy as a whole gets a lukewarm 3 5 stars and I won t deny that All Tomorrow s Parties was a primary reason for barring the Trilogy from reaching a higher rating If it was different, the whole thing could leave the reader with a sense of Awe But as it is, it s just another of Gibson s great setting, interesting characters, lackluster plot deals.
Gibson is just such a great writer His imagery isn t distracting as one reads it, but has a way of transforming the most mundane things into the exotic and futuristic His settings are often barely sci fi but the way he talks about them, they seem as if they are Leads to philosophical musings about it s all in how you look at the world All Tomorrow s Parties is a sequel to Virtual Light and Idoru, but works as a stand alone as well Not much actually happens in the book It s about setting, characters, concepts.
Ex cop Rydell is now working as a security guard at a chain convenience store, when he gets an offer to do a mysterious job for his friend Laney, which sends him to a squatter s community of The Bridge Escaping an abusive ex boyfriend, former bike messenger Chevette also returns to the Bridge, towed by a bourgeoise friend, a film student bent on documenting the Bridge s interstitial community Meanwhile, Laney, ill in a homeless man s cardboard box in Japan, remains online, perceiving, with the abilities given him by experimental drugs, the convergence of a nodal point, which could mean the end of the world.
Of course, the AI idoru Rei Tei, is involved as well Slow to start and too quick to finish the conclusion could have used some development and clarity The characters, as usual for Gibson, are really well drawn and make this worthy of four stars What is most interesting here is the setting the focus on the interstitial bridge area and its symbolic connection to post industrial society and the effects of advanced capitalism and neo liberalism on specific groups of the population.
Whenever I need a dose of the future past, I turn to William Gibson I m catching up Soon I ll be able to read The Peripheral But first we need to return to Northern California, circa sometime in the near future that never was All Tomorrow s Parties definitely has a conclusive feel to it The Bridge trilogy has always felt somewhat laid back in its connections across books characters in common, vague references to events, but each book has been very much its own story This has a lot to do with the way Gibson creates his settings, and the way his characters interact with each other in his weird nearly post apocalyptic environments.
Gibson is famous for coining cyberspace and sparking the genre of novels that take place in entire digital realms Yet I think what makes his stories so interesting is not solely his depiction of cyberspace Rather, it s the juxtaposition of cyberspace with real space that matters The Bridge trilogy exemplifies this We return to the Bridge in All Tomorrow s Parties, and Gibson remarks on how its layout has influenced architecture, which in turn affects how Bridge denizens live and get around Physical space, its layout and decoration and the ideas of ownership over it, is a huge factor in our lives.
In the earlier books, we had characters attempting to control physical space by engineering it with nanotechnology Hackers of the Walled Garden created their cyberspace environment precisely because it was impractical and dangerous for them to communicate with each other in physical space Now in this book, the very existence of the Bridge comes under threat, while we spend comparatively little time in virtual worlds Gibson explores the tension between the real and unreal in subtle ways here, but it reminds me nevertheless of the ways in which some philosophers and sociologists have mused on the effects of the Internet on our society.
Amidst this meditation on space, Gibson gives us characters who are all isolated from the space of relationships Rydell, now that he broke up with Chevette, has no one His only friend is his coworker at the Lucky Dragon Laney has withdrawn almost totally from society, literally living in a cardboard box in a subway station and peeing into a bottle ewww Chevette is running away from an abusive ex boyfriend and an old life, running back towards the last place she had stable relationships, but connected to it all only by her friend, Tessa And we have the mysterious hyper capable assassin Konrad These are people who are alone despite being next to each other in some cases.
I admit I found the vagueness of All Tomorrow s Parties plot somewhat frustrating Laney keeps insisting we re approaching a nodal point similar to what happened in 1911 But of all the Gibson s ways of talking about the future, this one was least impressive or evocative I m down with the idea that we could somehow enhance our ability to spot patterns in data flow and anticipate the way events will develop But he doesn t really develop that here in the same way he has explored other ideas.
Towards the end of the book we see hints of the bright and dismal nanotech future, thanks to the Lucky Dragon nanofax service This is an entertainingly anachronistic use of future technology, but with the rise of 3D printing it no longer seems so silly Why buy a physical product online if there s a 3D printer nearby that will print it on demand for you Once again Gibson demonstrates that even if a science fiction author s job isn t to predict the future, it s still mighty impressive when the dart lands in the general vicinity of the bulls eye.
All Tomorrow s Parties is a rich, meditative conclusion the Bridge trilogy It s one last shot to see some of those old characters again, and it s another walk through Gibson s fantastically fertile imagination It didn t grab me as one of his impressive works, but it certainly has his characteristic originality mixed with a patient appreciation for characterization and setting.
My reviews of the Bridge trilogy Idoru This is Future Noir That s what he does Seems like he invented it A crashing good read, but I came out wondering what happened Nice short chapters read as prose poems Good book for waiting For anything Leading the chapters with pronouns, without reference, keeps me puzzling for a while who s he talking about sometimes I figure it out sometimes I don t Colorful, greasy, mechy techy, always a lower class view of world changing, and unclear, events Cultural textures are true and bright and consistent, no matter whether they refer to past our present or future their present And looking backward is very nearly as much fun as looking forward, though our digital soup does thin out rather rapidly, that way down the timeline Harwood, p 304 Great Dismal did not envision the internet , any than Al Gore, but he certainly did envision virtual reality, as cyberspace That vision keeps developing inside his books and out It was Dante that envisioned the internet, or maybe Wikipedia, in the 15th century What did Harwood make of that My dad was able to get along with just about any kind of person on earth, constitutionally, and I think also because he got heavy into drugs in his youth and drugs are, like the old secretive underground gay culture, a levelling mechanism, the dealer s being a place where all the classes meet, like in the Velvet Underground s Waiting for the Man My dad knew this guy, another Freddie, as he was, Freddie Facious, something like that Who knows how they met I barely remember it, as it was long, long ago, but Freddie Facious, who was my dad s age, had I think two boys our age, and they lived in a house Freddie Facious had built himself out of junk in the woods I remember the feeling of being inside it, the uneven floors, something like the Merzbau of Schwitters or that apartment for the elderly some artists designed to be treacherous and impossible to get used to, in order to keep the brain and muscles sharp and active in old age And I remember thinking, how cool to make a house out of junk, and I remember feeling, at the same time, how cold it was in there, in Connecticut, and how uncomfortable I felt to be inside it.
I reread this book in the aftermath of the Oakland Ghost Ship fire, in which many friends of friends were lost In that context, Gibson s ending seems overly optimistic, but perhaps that s the dark bitterness of 2016 talking In the context of his work, this is a far less awkwardly happy ending than is often the case it feels organic and the right balance of satisfying and ambiguous This helps, I think, to soften how hard this book hits whatever the self satisfying equivalent of fanservice is authorservice It s very very thick on the ground here All the major male characters in the story, it seems to me, are versions of Gibson all characters are probably versions of the author, but it s spectacularly visible here Rydell, the earnest Southerner, friendly, polite, and harmless Fontaine, the humane and lightly amused collector of 20th Century objects, frequently brooding on history and place via those objects Laney, the breathless tormented digester of torrential cascades of information, able to percieve change about to happen, but not predict or control it like the Whether Man, in The Phantom Tollbooth whether there will be weather, not what the weather will be Most nakedly aspirational, perhaps, of any character he s ever written, is Konrad, the Taoist assassin, so obviously Gibson s version of the anxious masculine longing he sees and mocks in knives, army surplus stores, military fetishism, etc, that he lampshades it, having Rydell literally weep with envy Yet even this is outdone, perhaps, by the use of Gibson s own hobby, wristwatch collecting, become the obsession of his final doppelganger, Silencio, the autistic or something street kid whose imagist perception turns into recitation of watch collecter nerd jargon totally gratuitous except in some high school English symbolism sense, watches time things changing Unusually for Gibson, the women are less developed and little than fantasies Rei Toei, of course, is nothing but a hologram engineered, successfully, to reflect the desires of every man in her audience But even Chevette has not much to do, and it s disappointing Early in the book, Tessa makes explicit Gibson s idea of Chevette You know what I like about you You aren t middle class You just aren t Yet returning to the Bridge, it doesn t seem that way at all Chevette is distanced from it, never seems like she ever had been a part of it Tessa, a sort of late 90s Slacker descended media obsessed hipster type, actually does a better job of act like you ve been here before as the saying goes she cheerfully hangs out in the Bridge environment without any actual feeling of slumming despite Gibson trying by making her talk like she is, and having her filming everything with drones, a prescient note , making friends with randos wherever she goes and seeming completely comfortable while Chevette, the supposed native street kid, hovers awkwardly, can t have a real conversation with her old friends, just wants to go home She s bourgeoisified, like Pip in Great Expectations, and it doesn t make much sense to me.
But I think that perhaps speaks to my own anxieties and feelings of inadequacy For me as for Gibson, the Bridge, like its inspiration the Walled City of Kowloon, is a dream, something beautiful, and nobody telling me how there s nothing romantic about this sort of anarchist squatter community can ever make me believe it in my heart and yet, we are living in the aftermath of just exactly that kind of community s inability to adequately self regulate, which killed 36 people in a beautiful, romantic deathtrap Gibson says he felt compelled to burn the Bridge because it was his biggest Cornell box , a collage of all his favorite things, and it spooked him the Ghost Ship too was a Cornell box people lived in, with no good exits and staircases made of pallets, and it didn t take obnoxious mercenaries with incendiary bombs to burn it down We never learn the number of casualties on the Bridge, but we do see it is not totally destroyed, and the city cares, and has a plan in place, and gets there in time to put the fire out overly optimistic, as I say, although perhaps Gibson couldn t have known that.
But the thing that really hurts, for me, is that I m not like any of the characters in the book, except perhaps the new middle class ified Chevette What makes me feel guilty about the Ghost Ship is not even that I romanticize that kind of illegal artist space, though that guilt certainly exists and is what separates me from Tessa, for example, who is gleefully unconscious of what might be problematic of her fetishism of the interstitial Rather, it s that, with my introversion, my awkwardness at parties, my need for my own room and a door I can close, to have my own books and music with me, and my acquired somewhere, and hideously deepening seemingly no matter what I do inability to get along with people, exactly the opposite of my dad when I did Food Not Bombs, back in Connecticut, I was shy around the bright young college kids and the earnest religious people and the homeless guy actively hated me for reasons I never understood I know I could never have lived there I never even went, though I d heard of it, though it seems like everyone I know in California knew someone who was in there, and though I am constantly longing for an artist scene to be a part of I couldn t live there, and so I couldn t be there, to die with them Only, like another slumming bourgeois tourist, to look at pictures and say, how beautiful it was, they were, and donate some money to the victims.
I hadn t read any of William Gibson s works for many years, so it was a pleasure to find that All Tomorrow s Parties gave me the same sense of delight that Neuromancer did Gibson understands the world changing impact of digital media and creates a series of delightful riffs on the subject A number of characters are in play, from Tokyo to the Bay Bridge ghetto in San Francisco One of the nodal points of history is about to happen involving Rei Toei, the Japanese Idoru, a digital being who is about to play a direct role in history Good stuff Gibson s deliberately cool, crisp writing it conjures using an intense specificity and delectable word choice conflicts with the frequently grubby and detritus laden settings of his stories.
This is the end of something The interstitial society of the Bridge is becoming contaminated by the larger culture, in the form of tourists and commercial media observation and outside investment and involvement The counterculture is becoming the culture and being absorbed or at least encroached upon and monetized.
It felt like a heist or caper, at least at the start, but the slow impression is that the caper aspects are not built around a plan or plot of human invention The characters are reacting to emergent or nonhuman behavior they don t understand, and the results are intensely disorienting This is a theme taken up with the later Blue Ant series a person a villain who does not as much cause or do a thing as take advantage of a thing already in progress Which is somehow even horrid.