Books

Virtual Light

William Gibson's novel Virtual Light builds a plot around a pair of sunglasses that change the lives of their users.

William Gibson

The millennium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich — or  get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of  DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash. (From Spectra)

From the book

The courier presses his forehead against layers of glass, argon, high-impact plastic. He watches a gunship traverse the city's middle distance like a hunting wasp, death slung beneath its thorax in a smooth black pod.
 
Hours earlier, missiles have fallen in a northern suburb; seventy-three dead, the kill as yet unclaimed. But here the mirrored ziggurats down Lázaro Cárdenas flow with the luminous flesh of giants, shunting out the night's barrage of dreams to the waiting avenidas — business as usual, world without end.
 
The air beyond the window touches each source of light with a faint hepatic corona, a tint of jaundice edging imperceptibly into brownish translucence. Fine dry flakes of fecal snow, billowing in from the sewage flats, have lodged in the lens of night.


From Virtual Light by William Gibson ©1994. Published by Spectra.

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