Wednesday, April 6, 2016

All Tomorrow's Parties

All Tomorrow's Parties (Bridge, #3)All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

This is the third book in the very loose “Bridge” trilogy. (The first two are Virtual Light and Idoru.) Despite the connection among these books, it’s not really necessary to read the first two before reading this one. While I have read the first two, it’s been decades since reading them, and I don’t remember many details, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. That being said, reading this one has made me want to reread those two, and maybe I’ll find more links among them than I remember.

On to this book:
Like all of Gibson’s books, ideas and their implications for society are at the fore. His world building shines again, with a not-too-distant future full of tech that is just barely beyond today’s science. (Note: this book is copyrighted 1999.) The main characters are Colin Laney, a man whose consciousness has been altered by an experimental drug; Rydell, an ex-cop; and Chevette, Rydell’s ex-girlfriend. Colin’s new abilities to “see” data has him convinced that a major “node” is coming, which will end the world as we know it. Because Laney is sick and dying, he hires Rydell to be his “boots on the ground” in San Francisco, where the node is centered. It is there that Rydell runs into Chevette again, and all of them have roles to play in the Big Event.

Gibson is a master at creating his vision of the future, and totally immersing the reader. His descriptions are evocative and make the world come to life. The first part of the book, where we meet each character, is chock full of little vignettes that help draw the reader deeper into the world he’s created.

Once he’s set up the characters and the situation, then the action starts. And it goes at a break-neck pace from there on out. The ending is a little abrupt, however, and if you’re not paying attention, you won’t understand what just happened, and how it really does change everything.

Anyone who enjoys future tech and/or thrillers will find this book quite satisfying. It’s believable, the characters are interesting, the future world is fascinating, and the story is compelling.

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