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Burning Chrome

(Sprawl #0)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  37,118 ratings  ·  977 reviews
Ten tales, from the computer-enhanced hustlers of Johnny Mnemonic to the technofetishist blues of Burning Chrome.

Johnny Mnemonic (1981)
The Gernsback Continuum (1981)
Fragments of a Hologram Rose (1977)
The Belonging Kind (1981) with John Shirley
Hinterlands (1981)

Red Star, Winter Orbit (1983) with Bruce Sterling
New Rose Hotel (1984)
The Winter Market (1985)
Dogfight (1985) wit
Paperback, 220 pages
Published November 27th 1995 by Voyager/Harpercollins (first published April 1986)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  37,118 ratings  ·  977 reviews

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Kevin Kelsey
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Posted at Heradas

William Gibson blew the Science Fiction world wide open in the mid eighties with his cyberpunk novels, particularly the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick award winning Neuromancer. Ridley Scott gave us the visual aesthetic with Blade Runner, but Gibson firmly established Cyberpunk as a literary movement. As a genre it would go on to live a fairly short life, plateauing in the late eighties, followed by a handful of peak post-cyberpunk moments in the nineties (Snow Crash, Ghost in
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I jacked into the Toronto construct matrix and downloaded Gibson’s Burning Chrome onto my deck, plugged the simstim recorder on and zoned out.

Gibson’s Sprawl collection from eighty-six was as lethal as black ice, but my neural implants would keep me dosing through all ten shorts. A handful of amitriptyline and a slug of Sobieski would also keep me running. Gibson is at his best in the short medium and I wanted to catch it all.

Some stories shine on BAMA and others are stand-alones, but all good.
picoas picoas
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1992
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Future Technologies: "Burning Chrome" by William Gibson

Hippies have known about these dangerous technologies for a long time, and the state cracks down hard on them, and not entirely without good reason either. The world cannot run (for long anyway) on raves and drugs and loud music, any fool can see that. There is also a false economy in these supposedly 'efficient' economies, because if you run a sustainable event and people attend y
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a Canadian, I'm very proud of a seemingly little known fact about our country; my favourite subgenre of science fiction, cyberpunk, was born here. Its most influential founding texts were written in Vancouver, B.C., by legendary Canadian science fiction author William Gibson. In his excellent short story collection Burning Chrome, he actually sets one of the stories in Vancouver, mentioning other nearby cities and districts like Richmond and Granville Island in it as well.

There has been a lon
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
“if poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, science-fiction writers are its court jesters.”
― Bruce Sterling introducing William Gibson's, Burning Chrome

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
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
I know I am repeating myself, but after having already read Sterling, Reynolds and Gibson’s Neuromancer, this collection didn’t surprise me the way I expected.

However, I do not contest its originality and groundbreaking impact it had at the moment of its appearance; it’s just that some books should be read at their time, especially in science fiction.

I still liked it a lot, though. More than 30 years after it was published, the stories seem both fresh and vintage at the same time; the audio cass
Kara 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
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
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
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Wired West

"Burning Chrome" is a fascinating collection of stories that chart the origin of the Sprawl Trilogy. You can watch William Gibson building the world of the Sprawl ("of cities and smoke"), cyberspace and the characters who would later be explored in the three novels.

Equally importantly, you can observe him developing a unique style of writing suited to this world.

It's data- and sensory-rich, almost exhausting in its detail, which is revealed without information dumps or definitions. It
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I seen the error of my ways. William Gibson isn't an easy author to get into and my mistake was jumping directly into Neuromancer without any prior knowledge of his writing. So from now on when somebody asks me if they should get into Gibson I will advise them to start from this anthology. It shows the themes he likes to tackle, his writing style and the worlds he likes to create and is an excellent way to ease new readers into his works.

Now, onward to rest of his works!
Mar 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2021

Summary: William Gibson, Grandmaster of SF, published some 20 short stories in his long writing career since 1981. Half of them found their way into this 1986 collection. They are representative of his works in the 1980s given that three of them - Johnny Mnemonic, New Rose Hotel, and Burning Chrome - are set in his famous Sprawl universe. You know, the one he became famous with: Neuromancer (review). 

Gibson set out to revolutionize the stale SF business, creating with a handful other authors a n

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
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
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
Oleksandr Zholud
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of early (1977-1985) short stories and novelettes by the master of cyberpunk, William Gibson. It contains two stories from Sprawl universe and I decided to read them before continuing with the Sprawl Challenge in Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels group.

Here are the stories and their ratings

Johnny Mnemonic 5 stars this story won Nebula. It is about a man who uses his brain to transport sensitive data. Once he got data from wrong and powerful people.
The Gernsback Continuum 5
Sarah Sammis
Sep 09, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released, scifi
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
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This short story collection was awesome. Everything I've been wanting in literature. "The Matrix" in literary form. Gibson creates these worlds that make you experience them as if he has taken unseen plugs and jacked you in to the story, or he has laced every one of the copies of his books with nanobots that create the experience as an interface in the brain when you read it.

He has this powerful, poetic style. He is a master of the craft.
Erich Franz Linner-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" **
Did not finish. Giving up due to the book being too confusing. I didn't understand anything; perhaps I've just been too tired when trying to read it, perhaps I just don't get it. ...more
Jan 18, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was my first encounter with cyberpunk. And it took me some time to get into it. But once I did, it was a hell of a ride! Good basic ground for next trip, Neuromancer.
Deborah Ideiosepius
While always hard to review short stories - some you love, some not so much- this is a pretty solid collection.

I first read them in the early 90's when they were cutting edge sci-fi and the inspiration for all the cyberpunk and (in my honest opinion) so very much of the new waves of science fiction, space opera and dystopia that have resurrected one of my favourite genera from the slightly fusty reputation they were acquiring.

These stories demonstrate the very best of science-fiction, the thing
Yuko Nakamura
disclaimer: science fiction is one of my least favorite genres

One of the most difficult books I read as most stories were more about the mood and the setting than character development. and I found it difficult to be interested. I could not bring myself to care about any of the characters nor his Japan fetish.
Miloš Petrik
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not one missed beat.

The slang seems a little dated now, as does the tech, but isn't this collection the daddy of a whole new genre of sci-fi?
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are books out there which still surprise me by the fact I thought I knew so much about them but in reality know so little.

This book and the works of William Gibson in general are a perfect point in case. I think the height of my reading was while I was at university. I was lucky enough to fall into a crowd on my course that not only shared my humour and my taste in music (now that is a challenge in its own right) but also my taste in books.

However one of my friends was in to cyberpunk an
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
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anth-coll
This is the year of rereading William Gibson, though I read Neuromancer at the same time as a friend last year. Burning Chrome is a collection of stories, some loosely connected to Neuromancer (and the Sprawl setting). I quite enjoyed Burning Chrome and Johnny Mnemonic, both in the Sprawl. I didn't like the Gernsback Continuum. As a collection, I found this uneven.

It is perhaps telling that this anthology doesn't make it into the top half of anthologies I have read in the last ten years.
Kat  Hooper
Dec 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adapted from

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
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Burning Chrome - missing page numbers 5 16 Aug 06, 2019 11:02PM  
Science Fiction A...: * April 2019---Burning Chrome-works of Willliam Gibson 3 24 May 09, 2019 07:20PM  
William Gibson's short fiction-- 4 37 Aug 04, 2018 10:21PM  
Classic Trash: Burning Chrome: Book as a Whole 7 14 Feb 27, 2018 01:18PM  
Classic Trash: Burning Chrome: Individual Stories 23 9 Feb 27, 2018 01:16PM  
The Sword and Laser: Burning Chrome in January? 7 241 Nov 06, 2012 08:51AM  

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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

Other books in the series

Sprawl (3 books)
  • Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)
  • Count Zero (Sprawl, #2)
  • Mona Lisa Overdrive (Sprawl, #3)

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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.”
“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.” 23 likes
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