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3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,267 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
In Synners, the line between technology and humanity is hopelessly slim. A constant stream of new technology spawns crime before it hits the streets; the human mind and the external landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with "reality" is incidental.
Mass Market Paperback, 435 pages
Published February 1991 by Spectra (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sylvia Kelso
Jan 07, 2013 Sylvia Kelso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Took me three times through to be fairly sure I had all there was in this book, when I first read it back in the early 90s. It's dense. It's cryptic. Its narrative cuts are very, very sharp. It's got its own slang and a heap of expert-IT-argot and it bristles with wicked lines. "If you can't eat it or fuck it and it can't dance, throw it away." - "Ninety percent of life is being there, and the other ten percent is being there on time." And the key-motif, the one the whole book's about: "Change f ...more
Feb 11, 2016 MichaelK rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I did not get very far with this one. I found Cadigan's writing extremely irritating. I felt like she was trying too hard to be cool, down with the kids. The story is about tattooed druggie hackers who listen to rock music and go against a big corporate record label, or something.

At the start of chapter 2, one character (who is of course very cool) is in court, wondering whether she will be found guilty of anything and charged. The speculation concludes with:

'Fuck it, what difference did one m
Sep 01, 2011 Alexandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011

I'd kinda forgotten how much I love good cyberpunk until I read this. Turns out I really really like it.

Interestingly, in many ways this feels like a prequel to much of the cyberpunk I've read. The main contention is the invention of putting sockets into people's heads to allow them to experience and manipulate the datelines (read: internet) more directly... the result of which, or something similar, is what Gibson and Scott and their friends are basically examining. So from a 'getting started'
Alison Dellit
Jan 06, 2014 Alison Dellit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sf
What if the tech revolution, instead of being made by start-up and college geeks, was driven by MTV-era creatives? That's essentially Cadigan's premise in this cyberpunk classic. It's impossible, obviously, not to read this 1991 novel with 2014 eyes, but I suspect that simply enriched the experience (particularly as I find cyberpunk mostly irritating as a rule). It's why a lot of this review will focus on the future-vision of Cadigan.

Cadigan got some things spot on - the concept not only of buil
I have often joked at work that I can't wait for the day when I can just plug in and let my company use my brain-power while I entertain myself with a book. It's a fun thought, but Synners explores what that might really be like. What if we could get information out of our heads as easily as thinking? What if we could experience things virtually by inputting sensory information directly into our brains? For Gina, Gabe, and Visual Mark the invention of "sockets" in conjunction with brain mapping ...more
I really wanted to like this book because I enjoy cyberpunk-ish stories. The novel has innovative elements, my favourite being Sam's "potato" powered computer!

I suspect that when it was published most people were unaware that computers could have viruses. (Given that I had an Amiga computer from 1989, I was well aware that viruses could and would infect a disk whenever they could - if only the characters in this story could have slid the write-protect tab to prevent infection).

Overall, I had two
In many ways this book simply reinforced my opinion that I don't really like "cyberpunk". Apparently another of the leading beacons of the sub-genre and another that I have broadly not liked.

The story contains an interesting premise and explores what might happen (and go wrong) when the brain and cyberspace become too closely connected. But there were several things about the way this was executed that I didn't like.

For one thing, there was a large number of (not particularly memorable) characte
Apr 30, 2012 T4ncr3d1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, statunitensi
Cosa ti sembra questa –una finestra aperta o una ferita aperta?

Sarebbe troppo scontato partire dalle forti analogie di questo romanzo con il più celebre Neuromante, fosse solo perché di entrambi non si capisce niente. Eppure ti piace. Molto. Forse proprio perché non ci capisci niente.
In realtà Sintetizzatori umani pare molto più ricco e complesso del romanzo simbolo del cyberpunk, pur conoscendo, tuttavia, cadute di tono e uno stile comunque più grezzo di quello di Gibson. La differenza tra i du
Sep 01, 2014 Eddie rated it it was ok
Shelves: cyberpunk
I love a good cyberpunk novel and "Synners" tries hard, but falls short. The problem is, the author spends all her time mimicking other cyberpunk novels rather than doing her own thing. At times it felt like I was reading bad fan fiction for another author.

Another nit to pick was the author's liberal use of references to pop culture from the 80s -- there were way too many 80s colloquialisms, and this really ruined the illusion of the story taking place in a future setting.

I'm a bit surprised tha
Cory Brandley
Nov 05, 2015 Cory Brandley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My biggest problem was that the book didn't flow as smoothly or present as strong of a storyline as I would have liked. Having said that, it was still a very interesting take on the future of technology and artificial intelligence and I'm glad I stuck to it and finished the book
Apr 17, 2016 Louis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It can take a bit to get in to because you're introduced to a buttload of new characters and in different contexts so it's not entirely clear who the protagonists are at first but all those different plot thread interweave and come together in a way that's very satisfying. It also help the book's world feel more vast as you do see it from the perspectives of different social classes and positions.
Some of the technology does feel dated but a lot of it feels quite cont
Dec 27, 2012 Gary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed because I've found Pat Cadigan's stories imaginative and enjoyable. This is supposed to be a classic and when it came out way back when it was probably futuristic and 'far out' but reading it today it is rambling and often incoherent. I'm afraid it is dated and somewhat tedious to my eyes that are accustomed to cutting edge technology and a tighter plot style. I can't recommend you buy it but if a friend has a copy borrow it and decide for yourself.
Nicholas Barone
Jul 27, 2011 Nicholas Barone rated it really liked it
A lot of crappy books were written under the "cyberpunk" label in the late 80s. Pat Cadigan's _Synners_ is definitely not one of them. I would put it right up there with Gibson's Sprawl novels as one of the great examples of the sub-genre. Imaginative, prophetic, and dripping with attitude - I really enjoyed this book. It isn't a quick read, I often found myself re-reading passages to wrap my head around the words, but i didn't mind in the least.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I've been curious about this ever since someone, I don't remember who, mentioned Cadigan's thoughts on pornography in conjunction with this book. I don't remember if this interview was specifically cited or linked, but you can read them there.
I read the first 25 pages before deciding not to continue reading this one. Synners was published in 1991, and it is very dated, including items such as: only landline telephones; routine to print out items from the internet (called a "dataline") See: Chapter 3: "... a tailored hardcopy of The Daily You printed out from the dataline...". The author makes up slang for the world in the novel, and while some of it I could make out what it was, other slang words were puzzling. There were no "info-du ...more
Jan 12, 2016 morbidflight rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminist, cyberpunk
I don't normally give five star ratings, and I definitely thought hard about this one. I think this book is perhaps one of the best cyberpunk books out there, and I'm amazed I hadn't heard of it because I like to think I'm pretty well-read in cyberpunk stuff (I think it's because it's a woman author with a girl main character--she tries to be a woman sometimes and it starts working). It suffers from some of the same problems as snow crash and neuromancer, and I guess all cyberpunk to some extent ...more
Linda Robinson
Jul 15, 2015 Linda Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book version of a rock video produced by Fellini with Andy Warhol as production designer. And the Wachowskis are involved, but no, maybe they aren't really in the picture, but wait, yes they are, and does it matter if it's real? Or not? And was that Fincher that just walked by? I'm still not sure if I have all the players straight, but that's still okay. Gabe, Sam, Visual Mark, The Beater, Gina, Fez, Adrian, Manny Rivera, LeBlanc come into focus in our peripheral vision and change the scener ...more
Dec 29, 2015 Jani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Synners is a wonderfully ambitious novel that reinvented the young yet already torpid genre of cyberpunk. While the ideas about the future of computer use and hacking have not quite come through, the characters and mostly engaging writing keep the novel readable twenty odd years after its release.

Cadigan's follows a group of people whose lives are tied to computers and computer-based entertainment industry in future California. Whether corporate lackeys, visionaries, or hackers the characters'
Any cyberpunk library collection needs to include Pat Cadigan's Synners. And a potato clock.
Marjorie Jensen
For someone who isn't great with computers, I've read a decent number of cyberpunk novels. Pat Cadigan's prose isn't quite as slick as Gibson's, but it is more accessible than Stephenson's. She's funny and clever. I'll admit, I spent at least the first third of the novel trying to figure out who everyone was and what the heck was going on, but it was brilliant once I did. What really got me were the similarities between the "dataline" and Facebook (and other apps)--the way information is fed thr ...more
Robert Corbett
Feb 13, 2015 Robert Corbett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Synners has the feel of a long gestated book. It has too many ideas, a trait it shares with Neuromancer and basically anything by Bruce Sterling. And it mashes up videos, feelgood drugs, nanotechnology, human-machine symbiosis, AI, and SoCal apocalypse in an ungainly way. But it still reads (in the fifth time) un-put-downable, and Gina Aeisi is as stone home a badass female as Molly Mirrorshades, and much more direct. It is a wondrous meditation on what it is to go virtual, written long before d ...more
May 28, 2015 Alis added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 90s kids, cyberpunk fans, Secret World players who're confused about John
Shelves: sci-fi, read-2015
I really wish I'd read this book fifteen-plus years ago, back when I was a teenager and trying to convinced myself I was "into" cyberpunk.

Synners is startlingly modern in a lot of ways, and displays a startlingly diverse cast (no all-white all-straight all-male LA on show here, thank gods, and who caught the casual, passing reference to same-sex marriage?). The book's technology is also prescient, predicting everything from ubiquitous in-car GPS to internet memes to debates around hyper-tailored
I read this book because I heard Pat Cadigan was a good author, and in the era in which it was published, the only female member of the seminal Cyberpunk "Brat Pack" (which included Bruce Sterling, Willian Gibson, John Shirley, and a few others.) The novel was so incredibly dense, however, that I finished it never understanding what the plot or conflict was.

What the author DID catch, and did well and presciently way back when, is the image overload of our current culture where impecably fashione
In Synners we are plunged headfirst into a gritty alternative future where a grimy L.A. is broadcast through the eyes of its inhabitants during a technological breakthrough. The world is intricate, multi-faceted and well imagined, with some impressive predictions, their “everything on demand” lifestyle seems to mirror our internet enriched lives today.

The plentiful cast can sometimes be hard to keep up with but that doesn’t stop their interactions delivering an edgy narrative through punchy dia
May 13, 2016 Chloe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in dystopian worlds and rock and roll
This is a fun read. It seems better structured and more thought out than the previous books of Cadigan's that I've read. This is in every way a "typical" cyberpunk book: standard setting- Los Angeles after its crumbled from the Big One, standard characters- misfit band of hackers against a snooty corporate middleman who unwittingly unleashes new technology into the world with unforeseen consequences. That in no way denigrates the appeal of this novel, formulas work for a reason.

More interesting
Mar 26, 2016 Lucas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I originally read this over ten year years ago and really liked it, getting through it now was a real struggle. Long scenes in virtual reality, synthesized abstract video, and within the heads of characters used to be interesting, now they aren't. The slang speech is now mostly annoying.

The part of the novel that really stuck with me from the first read involved cars and computer virus generated traffic jams in Los Angeles, and the 'dataline' which is sort of like the internet but more like broa
Sean Stempler
Aug 01, 2015 Sean Stempler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant cyberpunk trip through a late-80s-early-90s look at a dingy, sprawling future LA. Incredibly perceptive with technology predictions throughout, at times startlingly familiar or at the cusp of imagination. Equal parts a dream of what is and of what could have been and what might be, Synners is terribly hard to describe without launching into its plot but certainly a memorable journey through a wonderful cast with each page.
Bob Newport
I put this book down after 105 pages and a sudden raft of new characters, with little or no set up. Also, one would think that after 105 pages the author would have made clear what this book was really about. I know, its about 'hacking' and corporate malfeasance, but that is all I know. very confusing. I can handle convoluted plots and technical themes, but this is a mishmash. Two stars instead of one because the dialogues are colorful.
Stig E.

This is a bit of a toughie to read. It is longer than it needs to be, and I am still on the fence as to whether the length was warranted for a bigger satisfaction at the conclusion or just indulgent. There's a lot of new words and concepts and very little hand-holding in this book, and coupled with a lot of points of view and rapid scene changes this makes for a read that requires the reader to pay attention.

There's some amazing scene setting in here and it is one of the cyberpunk books that se
Synners are synthesizers—not machines, but people. They take images from the brains of performers, and turn them into a form which can be packaged, sold, and consumed. This book is set in a world where new technology spawns new crime before it hits the streets. The line between technology and humanity is hopelessly slim; the human mind and the external landscape have fused to the point where any encounter with reality is incidental. This classic novel from one of the founders and mainstays of th ...more
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The Sword and Laser: Synners by Pat Cadigan 7 37 Jun 29, 2013 04:46AM  
SF Masterworks Group: Synners, by Pat Cadigan 1 3 May 31, 2013 11:55AM  
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Pat Cadigan is an American-born science fiction author, who broke through as a major writer as part of the cyberpunk movement. Her early novels and stories all shared a common theme, exploring the relationship between the human mind and technology.

Her first novel, Mindplayers, introduced what became a common theme to all her works. Her stories blurred the line between reality and perception by mak
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“Because if you didn’t speak your truth, there was always something that would speak it for you that much louder.” 1 likes
“[Gina] I got them Bad Old Cosmic C-Word Blues Again.
[Mark] What does ‘c-word’ mean?
[Gina] It means continuing to believe even when you don’t feel it. Not letting go even when you can’t find squat to hold onto. Going all the way from the beginning to the end.”
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