Saturday, 4 March 2017

"Pip. Pop. Bim. Bam": The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

After reading a review by HP, one of the bloggers at Castalia House, I picked this up knowing what to expect, and you can go there if want to read a thorough overview rather than my tangential ramblings.

What mainly interested me after I finished was William Gibson’s remark on the back cover that all the SF writers he respects are enthusiastic about Bester’s work. Which made sense, because Bester’s descriptions of peepers burrowing into people’s psyches was clearly one of the starting points for Gibson’s portrayal of entering and navigating the matrix. On Gibson’s side, it was an inspired choice; the dataspaces Case hacks are analogous to neurological networks, and Bester developed some interesting ways of talking about how a person with ESP might discern things.

Ace Books published Neuromancer in July 1984, and Bester died in September 1987. I'd like to think he might have read the book that made Gibson famous.

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