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Burning Chrome

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  22,067 ratings  ·  391 reviews
Best-known for his seminal sf novel Neuromancer, William Gibson is actually best when writing short fiction. Tautly-written and suspenseful, Burning Chrome collects 10 of his best short stories with a preface from Bruce Sterling, now available for the first time in trade paperback. These brilliant, high-resolution stories show Gibson's characters and intensely-realized wor ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 29th 2003 by Harper Voyager (first published April 1986)
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Neuromancer by William GibsonSnow Crash by Neal StephensonThe Diamond Age by Neal StephensonAltered Carbon by Richard K. MorganDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Best of Cyberpunk
9th out of 206 books — 787 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
215th out of 4,449 books — 16,020 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ben Babcock
We are very spoiled, and very privileged, to live now in the twenty-first century. We look back on works of science fiction from the 1950s, 1960s, and onward that reference the 1990s or 2000s as "the future" and make grandiose predictions: we'll have flying cars! a eugenics war! robot apocalypse! It's interesting to note that such extrapolation, while often falling very short of the mark, tends to be conservative when it describes the technological platforms through which we acquire these flying ...more
Darwin8u
russian matrix

A set of 10 short stories: early Gibson cyberpunk and sic-fi that anticipate both his SPRAWL and BLUE ANT series. All the Gibson tropes are there just waiting to bud and bloom. Gibson's cyberpunk, dark and messy near-future; his obsession with technology, music, clothing; his uncanny ability to describe and name the bleeding edge where culture and technology blend; his noirish tribalism; his satire; his slick style; his curvy asians. The book is an uneven group of stories that approximate a pimp
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Oscar
’Quemando Cromo’ (Burning Chrome, 1986) contiene los primeros relatos de William Gibson, el aclamado autor de ‘Neuromante’, que dio lugar a todo un subgénero, el cyberpunk (pequeña definición de cyberpunk: normalmente transcurre en un futuro cercano, distópico, dominado por megacorporaciones, donde se aúnan personajes marginales con alta tecnología, en un ambiente cercano al género negro, todo ello bajo una estética que recuerda a ‘Blade Runner’).

Hacía tiempo que no leía a Gibson, y ha sido todo
...more
Tfitoby
I think this is the collection where I finally understood the cyberpunk of William Gibson despite having read four of his novels.

For me he is all about the mileau, the crafting of the dystopian world that his stories exist in and his characters evolve from is his primary skill, everything that comes evolves from there. Not to doubt his acknowedged talent as an ideas man.

I was particularly impressed with New Rose Hotel, his style of narration called to mind Chris Markers La Jetee and Wong Kar-Wai
...more
Brad
Is it okay, do you think, to say I find William Gibson's cycle of short stories, Burning Chrome, to be a work of profound beauty? Probably not, but I'm going to say it anyway: Burning Chrome is beautiful.

But how can it be? How can something like the Sprawl, Gibson's pollution choked mega-city, and our shared technological-future-nightmare be beautiful? My description suggests it can't, yet I find much beauty in Gibson's future.

There's something magnificent about monomolecular wires and Razorgir
...more
Rob
Executive Summary: An anthology of 10 short stories mostly related to or set in Mr. Gibson's Sprawl world. I enjoyed some, but not all of the stories. Only worth picking up if you really like the Sprawl books in my opinion.

Audio book: 10 stories. 10 different narrators. None of them stand out one way or another. Nobody was excellent and nobody was terrible. A few did occasional voices or accents, but none of them struck as particularly memorable.

Full Review
Neuromancer is one of those books tha
...more
Erich Franz Guzmann

This is the fist time I have read anything by William Gibson and I have to say since I have already purchased each book in the Sprawl Trilogy I am really excited to read some more by him, especially Neuromancer; being next on the William Gibson list!

"Source Code" *****
"Johnny Mnemonic" *****
"The Gernsback Continuum" *****
"Fragments of a Hologram Rose" ***
"The Belonging Kind," with John Shirley *****
"Hinterlands" ****
"Red Star, Winter Orbit," with Bruce Sterling *****
"New Rose Hotel" ****
...more
Sarah Sammis
In 2005 my husband 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 m
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The stories in this volume pre-date Neuromancer by date of composition, but were published slightly after as a set. I had no idea that Molly in Neuromancer was also Molly Millions in Johnny Mnemonic (I also didn't know William Gibson wrote that story! Time to watch the movie....)

Burning Chrome is the most significant story in this volume, because it contains most of the ideas and atmosphere that would later become Neuromancer - the cybercowboy, ICE, and the idea of viruses.

The other stories con
...more
Simon
This was... a very different read than I expected, but I liked it. I already knew that Gibson's a writer who really divides readers, and even though I generally prefer the New Wave/cyberpunk school of science-fiction over the genre's "golden age" (for reasons related to writing style rather than political ideology might I add) there were still several surprises.

One thing that struck me very much was how unlike the cyberpunk stereotypes the stories found in "Burning Chrome" actually are. Less tha
...more
Monk
Oct 25, 2007 Monk rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cyberpunk Enthusiasts, Manga Readers
I remember heading out to get this book after reading Neuromancer, solely on the strength of one story, Johnny Mnemonic (don't waste your time watching the movie - it's awful). While there's a lot of good work in the book, Johnny Mnemonic is really the show stopper, the tale of a 'mnemonic courrier' who can store data in wetware implants in his skull, and never know a scrap about what he's carrying. Whhatever it is he has in his head, the Yakuza wants it bad, and they're willing to send their be ...more
Mike
One of the best finds ever.

The movie trailer for Johnny Mnemonic was running at the time and I dug the concept. Wired said the movie was based on a short story from Burning Chrome. I remember deciding between the screenplay and the Johnny Mnemonic story combo book or the short story collection. I'm so glad I picked the collection. Johnny Mnemonic is an amazing story and the rest of the collection is strong too.

The 13 pages of Johnny Mnemonic rock my world every time I read it. Gibson creates a w
...more
Adam
Is Gibson’s cinematic, dense, noir infused Sci/Fi best in small doses? Since this is his only collection, we have to guess. But if you want a quick welcome to his world, here it is. Vat grown assassins, criminal underground trafficking in information, razor girls, heroin addicted militarized dolphins; and that’s just the first story. There is also hints of a Gibson that could have been, with the perfect Waldrop meets Borges of “The Gernsback Continuum” and “The Belonging Kind” co-written with Jo ...more
Daniel
I can hardly think of a better introduction to Gibson's world and what he is all about. I really loved most of these bleak, sad stories, specially Hinterlands and Dogfight (the ones I didn't love I still liked). Gibson's future seems almost a reality now and his fiction has aged well enough for one to relate to his stories and to fear his predictions of the future.

I look forward to reading Neuromancer and I'm really glad I took up Burning chrome first.
[Redacted]
Re-read. I liked this volume, but not as much as I did many moons ago when I first read it. After the passage of many years, Gibson's stories seemed less revolutionary than they did before. Not because the WERE less revolutionary, but because the world and literature has changed in the intervening time. All-in-all, still a worthy collection of historical cyberpunk stories.
Raj
Cyberpunk is a genre that can date very quickly. It says something about Gibson's work, here in this collection, and elsewhere in the Sprawl series, that it still feels fresh and relevant, even though the technology itself has dated.

To pick some highlights, I think my favourite story in the collection is one of the low-key ones: The Gernsback Continuum. The protagonist in this story keeps having flashes of a world that never existed: the future projected by the golden age science fiction of the
...more
Brooke
A mixed bag, as early-short-story collections often are, and it took me a while to get through the first few - I kept picking up other things to read in the meantime. However, it's worth reading for "Hinterlands" alone, which was totally fascinating and creepy and left me dying to know more. "The Winter Market" was a close second.
Wealhtheow
What I really loved was not the cyber-punky coolness, but rather the sensory details. Gibson has an incredibly descriptive style. Many years later, I still remember the story about meeting a girl with an exoskeleton at a party.
Joseph Harris
Amazon.com Review

Ten brilliant, streetwise, high-resolution stories from the man who coined the word cyberspace. Gibson's vision has become a touchstone in the emerging order of the 21st Century, from the computer-enhanced hustlers of Johnny Mnemonic to the technofetishist blues of Burning Chrome. With their vividly human characters and their remorseless, hot-wired futures, these stories are simultaneously science fiction at its sharpest and instantly recognizable Polaroids of the postmodern c

...more
Rob
Superb.

This is a short story collection by William Gibson, the father of cyberpunk, most famous for his seminal novel Neuromancer. To read Gibson is to realize just how completely every other work in the genre has cribbed from him, right down to the slang he invented.

Not all of Gibson's work is up to the standard of Neuromancer. I'm happy to say that this one is. Burning Chrome collects ten short stories of varying lengths. I would prefer not to describe the stories; I believe a critical part of
...more
Loren
Adapted from ISawLightningFall.com

If the novel is a sojourn in a foreign land, short stories are trips to the municipal park. Much of their provinciality is a function of length. Long-form fiction has the space to luxuriate in detail, dwelling on tertiary characters, describing each bit of their surroundings and spawning hydra-headed plots that wriggle every which way. But while the novel remains the champion of the marketplace, it can seem downright clumsy when compared with the elegance of a w
...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

William Gibson is one of those authors whose style is so distinct that it’s immediately recognizable. Anyone who’s read one of his novels could pick up another and, without looking at the cover, probably identify it as Gibson’s merely by reading the first page. His popularity indicates that legions of readers love his neon-infused plastic sheeting-coated visionary style, but as evidenced by reviews of his novels at Amazon and other places, many readers jus
...more
mentor&muse
Burning Chrome is a collection of William Gibson’s early short fiction and a good starting point for anyone unfamiliar with his work. These seminal cyberpunk stories were written in the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s. And although technology has gathered substance and taken form in the intervening years, they’ve lost none of their power. Of the ten stories included in this collection, “Hinterlands” and “Burning Chrome” are my particular favorites.

“Hinterlands” is a lonely, evocative tale about a sp
...more
Anesa
This is not the type of book I usually choose, but I did and I loved it! Wm. Gibson collaborates with other writers on some of the stories in this collection, characterized as cyberpunk science fiction.

In racy language that reminded me of the hard-boiled detective genre laced with acronyms and foreign borrowings, specialized high-tech terms (Neologisms, since most of the signifieds don't exist?), these stories capture the type of futuristic nightmare Frederic Jameson predicts: rakish computer jo
...more
Jason Gardner
A dystopyian view of dystopia, an utterly dissappointing anti - climatic apocalypse woven with sheer poetry. The daily dirty life of the could be future has never looked so menial and yet be so beautifully told. The short stories of William Gibson remind me of Mark Twain's own peculiar endeavors. Snarky, bleak, and sometimes comical snippets of society, I highly recommend any reader to take a stroll through.
Tim
Japan. Japan. Japan. Chiba City. Japan. Sensei. Japan. Japan. Japan. In the 80s Japan was synonymous with the future, and Gibson is obsessed with it. There must be a reference to Japan or something Japanese every few pages. But three decades of economic stagnation later and the country doesn't look so bright. The stories here haven't held up so well either.

Dog Fight is brilliant, and in Burning Chrome you can get a taste of what was to come later, and much better, in Neuromancer, but the rest ar
...more
Pamela
Jun 23, 2008 Pamela rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: SF fans, cyberpunk fans
A fascinating collection of short stories, two of which were cowritten with other authors. "Johnny Mnemonic" is probably the most well-known of this collection, but honestly, I thought it was the least-developed, and it's the one I liked the least. "The Gernsback Continuum" was my favorite; I love the utter strangeness in the two worlds melting into each other. "Hinterlands" is another good one, more straight science fiction than Gibson's usual cyberpunk. The title story, "Burning Chrome" is my ...more
Patti
William Gibson is a master of science fiction. Rather than explaining every little detail of his predictions of the future, he gives the reader new words that they themselves must give meaning to from the context of the situation. I love Doctor Who, but Gibson is a nice break into the more serious and thoughtful aspects of well told sci-fi. These aren't silly stories about aliens coming to take over, or cybermen wanted to assimilate the world, they're stories about the little guy in a big world ...more
Mike
Feb 26, 2011 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Probably worth a "4.5" just on the originality of a couple of the included stories.

I read this a while back, so details of dates. etc. are less than perfect.
I may have had a difficult moment or two in one or another of Gibson's novels, but by and large he is a spectacular writer, a newer, "New Wave" SF author who has succeeded in extending and redefining the genre.

If you have little taste for novels, this short story collection is excellent and I heartily recommend it. You can read all the spoil
...more
E
Mostly went through this anthology the other day for the story "Johnny Mnemonic", which inspired the highly campy yet guiltily enjoyable Keanu Reeves cyberpunk flick of the same name, and also because it takes place in the same universe as "Neuromancer", for which I'm beginning to feel the yearly urge to read through again. Many things strike me as I read about Johnny, the so very technical boy, Case, the deck cowboy on a devil's mission, and of course Molly Millions (I named my cat after her wh ...more
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The Sword and Laser: Burning Chrome in January? 7 236 Nov 06, 2012 08:51AM  
Short stories... 3 19 Oct 07, 2012 02:04PM  
William Gibson's short fiction-- 3 25 Apr 17, 2012 04:04PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

William Ford Gibson is an American-Canadian writer who has been called the father of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction, having coined the term cyberspace in 1982 and popularized it in his first novel, Neuromancer(1984), which has sold more than 6.5 million copies wor
...more
More about William Gibson...
Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1) Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant, #1) Count Zero (Sprawl, #2) Mona Lisa Overdrive (Sprawl, #3) Virtual Light (Bridge, #1)

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“Hell of a world we live in, huh? (...) But it could be worse, huh?"
"That's right," I said, "or even worse, it could be perfect.”
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“If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, science fiction writers are its court jesters. We are Wise Fools who can leap, caper, utter prophecies, and scratch ourselves in public. We can play with Big Ideas because the garish motley of our pulp origins make us seem harmless.” 11 likes
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