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Posted October 28, 2011
Cyberpunk with hints of military SF and a western mixed in -- a favorite...
Though it involves a somewhat dark vision of earth's future, Hardwired is a fun, fast-moving cyberpunk thriller featuring flawed heroes.
Considered one of the novels that jump-started the cyberpunk movement (and released not long after William Gibson's Neuromancer helped cyberpunk achieve mainstream status), Hardwired is a different kind of cyberpunk novel -- one that details the attempts of a few individuals to remain free.
In some instances, it borders on space opera, but Williams' prose is lively and rich, and the book incorporates elements of post apocalypse urban cyberpunk alongside military SF and even some western elements.
So much cyberpunk is uniformly depressing (darkness, rain, etc), but Williams manages to evoke the spare, unforgiving landscape of the American Southwest, which ultimately releases the reader from a bout with what I call cyberdepression.
I first read it in the late 80s after hearing it was an homage to Zelazny's Damnation Alley, and I've read this novel several times since (when the covers fell off my original copy I bought another, and bought the ebook as soon as Williams released it).
Filled with deeply flawed heroes, deeply creepy bad guys and a lot of people struggling to be human (and failing) in often inhuman circumstances, Hardwired is pure fun -- a high-powered, high-octane adventure.
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Posted October 27, 2008
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