Friday, December 17, 2010

Fragment Friday: Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson

[Fragment Friday is a book blog meme hosted by James at Book Chic. One makes a vlog while reading from a current or favorite book.]

This is another current read. Despite only reading a few of his books, I usually call William Gibson one of my favorite authors. He's mostly known as practically the founder of Cyberpunk and the coiner of the word "cyberspace". I think he also coined the term "The Matrix" in the same context. His three early books, Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive are collectively known as The Sprawl Trilogy. (Although in my opinion they are more of a trio than a trilogy.) Anyway they are the books that are responsible for the style of basically every instance of gritty near-future science/speculative fiction since their release in the mid 80s.

Neuromancer has been one of my favorite books since I read it sometime in high school, but it's taken me a while before I actually got around to reading more of his work. Kind of bad of me, I guess.

I am reading from Mona Lisa Overdrive today, and before I read I talk a bit about the way that Gibson uses technology in his prose. The more I think about it, my other favorite author, Neal Stephenson, does the same thing in his more cyberpunkish books.

I put some background music, as an experiment. In the beginning you are hearing "Circuit Breaker" by Röyksopp, and once I start reading you hear "Sprawl I (Flatland)" and then "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)", both by The Arcade Fire. Chosen for hopefully obvious reasons.


  1. Wow, you can really tell how Arcade Fire borrowed from Gibson when the excerpt is juxtaposed with the music! I liked this experiment although I think the music was a little too loud and distracting. But it had cool results. :)

    I've been thinking of jazzing up my Fragment Fridays, too, a bit, although I'll probably do it with something visual if I do. We'll have to wait until 2011, though.

  2. @heidenkind Yeah I had to make decisions concerning the volume. Some of them might
    not have been made correctly but I figure it wasn't terrrrible. I
    actually changed it from what I originally said--I had to turn down the
    one in the room because it kept distracting me, but then to make up for
    it I mixed in the original at low volume, had to sync it. But yeah that
    gave me volume control but made it sound closer to the listener than my
    voice, not what you want.