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Anyone read Burning Chrome?

I was just curious if anybody on here knew about William Gibson’s short story Burning Chrome, written in 1981, which appears to be the source for a lot of the background for Netrunner (not Android though). It bears a striking similarity to many aspects of the game, from the idea of programs having a pseudo-physical state to the name ICE. I’m sure this has been discussed to death already, but in case it hasn’t I’d thought I’d post it here.

The story is here: http://mith.umd.edu/digitalstorytelling/wp-content/uploads/GibsonW_Burning_Chrome.pdf

ye, I read that and the whole sprawl trilogy, and currently I am in the middle of the last book of the bridge trilogy. Sprawl and burning chrome really gave to cyberpunk that hi-tech low-life feeling, I’d definitely recommend them.

There’s a short story collection from Gibson named after that story which, in conjunction with the Sprawl books and some stuff Bruce Sterling amongst others were doing absolutely forms the basis for “Cyberpunk” fiction as a whole :slight_smile:

Should definitely check out that collection; in addition to “Burning Chrome”, it has “Johnny Mnemonic” and “New Rose Hotel”, which are two of my favorite old-school Cyberpunk stories, and “The Gernsback Continuum”, which is just plain great, but harder to categorize!

The Android world is less Cyber-punk and more Cyber-noir; while it does invoke many of the same tropes as Gibson’s world, it is considerably more positive, presenting a world that is more than just “high-tech, low-life” :slight_smile:


There was a reading list thread a while ago. If you’re into the genre there are a lot of recommendations there: Archived Memories: Toward an ANR Community Reading List

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That’s All Tomorrow’s Parties, right? How’s the rest of the Bridge trilogy? I found ATP at a thrift store and thought it was pretty good, though definitely not my favorite by Gibson.

Ye, All Tomorrow’s Parties. The rest of the trilogy is pretty good in my opinion. It is different from the previous books, feels more like a dystopian immediate future. You still have hi-tech and low life but it feels more ‘realistic’, the accent is on the impact of corps and media on society. I enjoyed both the first two books, especially Idoru. I also like how the same characters appear throughout the three books, which feel much more ‘connected’ than the Sprawl trilogy ones.

They love saying that at FFG, but noir was always a big part of cyberpunk. Neuromancer itself was VERY noir, and it influenced the entire genre. And of course Blade Runner is both the most noir and the most cyberpunk piece of art ever made and that’s been absolutely seminal!
Sure, the Android universe seems a bit less dark than other noir settings, but, then again, it’s pretty dark for SOME people in it… Which was kinda Gibson’s point.


Oh, I’d agree that there’s a spectrum of noir present in all cyberpunk, but the Android world is, I think, not usually very punk, though the Anarch and Weyland flavor often taps in to that level of grit. Where The Sprawl (and other Cyberpunk mainstays like Phillip K. Dick, Sterling, etc.) leans more nihilistic / pessimistic, ANR’s future leans brighter and less existential. I didn’t mean to imply that noir and punk are either-or :slight_smile:; I just think that ANR leans more heavily on the noir and less on the punk.

It’s actually interesting to me to compare Android the board game to Android: Netrunner–I almost think that something like ANR might fit well as an in-universe NBN product inside the very Noir/Blade Runner-y boardgame!

I bet you that’s what the documentary they made about Maxx was like! :smile:

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