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Burning Chrome: 10/16/07

Burning Chrome

In 2005 Ian and I rented Johnny Mnemonic; it was one of the stupidest films we had ever seen. Curious to see if it was a problem with the translation to film or the source material, I decided to get a copy of the book: Burning Chrome, the first story being "Johnny Mnemonic." Having now suffered through the entire collection of stories, I can say that both the filmmakers and the author can share the blame equally.

I know that there are many fans of William Gibson's books but he doesn't do much for me. The worst of the stories in Burning Chrome bored me. The others were vaguely derivative of Philip K. Dick and Jack Kerouac but with some new cyber-babble thrown in. The three best stories of the book were ones that Gibson co-wrote: "The Belonging Kind" with John Shirley, "Red Star, White Orbit" with Bruce Sterling, and "Dogfight" Michael Swanwick. These collaborations allowed Gibson to world build (his strong suit) while the plot was left to the collaborator.

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