Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gibson's cyberpunk thriller set in a near-future L.A.--a two-week PW bestseller--depicts the hunt for virtual reality glasses containing classified data. (Aug.)
Since the ground-breaking "Neuromancer" (1984), Gibson has been the acknowledged dean of cyberpunk, the sf subgenre that merges cutting-edge technology with the street-smart grittiness of crime fiction. In a departure from his first three novels, which plumbed the intricacies of the cyberspace universe called the Matrix, Gibson here follows the sometimes violent misadventures of Rydell, an ex-security guard, and Chevette, a San Francisco bike messenger, as they unwittingly become ensnared in a plot involving a pair of high-tech-virtual-reality sunglasses. When Chevette impulsively steals the glasses from a wealthy customer at a party, she immediately attracts the heat of a private security team that hires Rydell as a driver. After running afoul of his noticeably corrupt employers, Rydell joins forces with Chevette in a perilous contest with their adversaries when the pair discovers the real nature and dire purpose of the sunglasses. Once again, Gibson proves masterly at fusing razor-edged characterizations with a richly textured, crisply described background via electrifying prose. (One particularly ingenious idea here is the transformation of the San Francisco Bay Bridge into a sprawling enclave for the city's homeless.) Much of the novel's conceptual turf is already well-traveled territory for Gibson, but routine Gibson is still superb science fiction. Discriminating fans, whether of cyberpunk in particular or not, won't be disappointed by his latest.
From the Publisher
"A stunner... A terrifically stylish burst of kick-butt imagination." Entertainment Weekly
"Convincing... Frightening...Virtual Light is written with a sense of craft, a sense of humor and a sense of the ultimate seriousness of the problems it explores." Chicago Tribune
"In the emerging pop culture of the information age, Gibson is the brightest star." The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Although considered the master of 'cyberpunk' science fiction, William Gibson is also one fine suspense writer." People