Mona Lisa Overdrive

This is the book which wraps up the Sprawl series (Burning Chrome, Neuromancer and Count Zero). Its a great book, with several separate story lines which are beautifully molded together by the end of the book. It also wraps up the confusing elements of the various other stories nicely. I really enjoyed it.

Mona Lisa Overdrive Book Cover Mona Lisa Overdrive
William Gibson

Living in the vast computer landscape of cyberspace, young Mona taps into the mind of world-famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell who deciphers cyperspace plans, including those devised by Japanese underworld

Count Zero

The voodoo aspect of this book is a bit odd, but its a very readable story set about eight years after Neuromancer. I like that it is not a “me too” story, and has its own unique and interesting plot arc. Overall a good read.

Count Zero Book Cover Count Zero
William Gibson
Business & Economics

In the future world of the Sprawl, an urban complex that extends from Boston to Houston, a sentient computer data base known as the Cyberspace matrix dominates humanity's fate.

All The Weyrs of Pern

This is the science fiction that I thought the Pern stories should have been all along. Its fair enough that there is a build up to this point, although it took a long time and involved a lot more light weight fiction than I would have liked. This was a good book, and I enjoyed it.

[award: nominee hugo 1992]
[isbn: 0345368932]


This book is a classic, and I first read it a long time ago. Its pretty clear in retrospect why it kicked off the cyberpunk movement, and I’m glad that the future it proposed hasn’t come to pass (yet). Despite being written in the 1980s the book isn’t dated, although it does make more sense if you’ve spent some time in Japan.

[isbn: 0586066454]
[award: winner nebula_novel 1984; winner hugo 1985]

I, Robot

The 1950s must have been a great time to be a science fiction author. WW2 was finally over, and seemingly massively stupid ideas like mutually assured destruction, nuclear rifles so powerful that they were as much a danger to those firing them as those who were on the receiving end, and Brylcreem were all the rage. Into this atmosphere of run away idiocy comes Asimov’s I, Robot, the book which defined the three laws of robotics, and some how managed to not suggest that humanity should nuke each other all into submission. This book is still an excellent read almost 60 years later, and I think still shows us some of the future. Its a little depressing to think how little we’ve achieved towards Asimov’s proposed future world, given the time line laid out in this book.

One of the interesting aspects of this book is Asimov’s failure to predict things which seem so mundane now, but must have not been obvious to an observer in 1950. For example:

  • The commonness of computers now. One of the short stories revolves around a secret batch of robots, and the need to debug them. The protagonists can’t use a computer though, because that would draw too much attention. Why not use a laptop? Because Asimov failed to predict them.
  • The use of wire recorders to record sound. No optical media (or whatever we’ll have in the future) here.
  • The assumption that robots contain vacuum tubes.
  • The failure to account for inflation. This one should have been obvious! A batch of 63 robots for instance is valued at $2 million dollars in one of the stories, a sum so great that no one can conceive of deliberately destroying the batch.

A good book.

I, Robot Book Cover I, Robot
Isaac Asimov

The development of robot technology to a state of perfection by future civilizations is explored in nine science fiction stories.