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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I don’t know why either. But with regard to Gibson I can relate. I did read Neuromancer and liked it, but it was a difficult read. At various stretches, I had to force myself to keep reading (particularly at first), while at other times when all the parts came together, it was a first-grade page turner. And then suddenly there’d be another slow patch in the middle of it. On the whole I liked it, though. So I tried to read the rest of the trilogy, but I couldn’t manage – there were pa

    • I've never read John Brunner, I try him.

      Jack Chalker's Wonderland Gambit series had a similar feel to Neuromancer, but I enjoyed it. It's part of why I picked up Neuromancer.

      • Try the Shockwave Rider [wikipedia.org] first then. Quoting Wikipedia on Brunner [wikipedia.org]:

        Brunner’s best-known work is perhaps 1975’s proto-Cyberpunk The Shockwave Rider, in which he coined the term “worm”, used to describe software which reproduces itself across a computer network.

        He also managed a fairly impressive extrapolation of the way a virtually omnipresent computer network would affect people’s lives, in that book.

        You may want to plan on reading this book at least twice (eventually, anyway), because a lot of peripheral details make more sense on subsequent passes, so you get more out of it. The main plot is always clear, though.

        Sheep Look Up is the other of his works that I’ve read so far. To say that I enjoyed it would be just wrong. This book is not enjoyable. What I can say is I do not regret reading it. It’s a really depressing piece of near-future fiction, featuring a seriously wrecked environment, corruption on all levels, and a confused and derailed Western society. It’s deeply unsettling because it’s extrapolated fairly accurately, even though exaggeratedly, from today’s point of view. From the perspective of the ’60s when it was written, it was quite plausible. It’s harder to read than the Rider – the same kind of narrative spider web, but there is no hero and no main plot, just a number of recurring characters and interconnected stories developing towards an inconclusive end.

        Next on my list is Stand on Zanzibar [wikipedia.org], which a friend said is great, and is also one of Brunner’s critically acclaimed works.