by William Gibson
Although considered the master of “cyberpunk” science-fiction, William Gibson is also one fine suspense writer. It’s California in the year 2005. A disaffected bike messenger who lives in a shantytown on the Oakland Bay Bridge steals a pair of sunglasses and finds herself on the lam. Meanwhile an ex-cop with a penchant for getting into trouble is looking for work. Starling with these vectors. Gibson gradually fills in a latticework involving electronic surveillance, computer hackers, molecular engineering, a TV cop show and the cure for AIDS.
The cinematic intensity and narrative inventiveness of the story combined with his technological focus make this Gibson’s most accessible work to date. Beyond the thrill of figuring out why so many people are so upset about a missing pair of glasses, the deeper suspense in Gibson’s writing lies in his deft extrapolations from current pop culture onto an ironic postindustrial collage that is both exhilarating and terrifying. (Bantam, $21.95)