The sky above the port was the color of television

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kxmode
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07 Jul 2009, 7:16 pm

Quote:
Now he slept in the cheapest coffins, the ones nearest the port, beneath the quartz-halogen floods that lit the docks all night like vast stages; where you couldn't see the lights of Tokyo for the glare of the television sky, not even the towering hologram logo of the Fuji Electric Company, and the Tokyo Bay was a black expanse where gulls wheeled above drifting shoals of white styrofoam. Behind the port lay the city, factory domes dominated by the vast cubes of corporate arcologies. Port and city were divided by a narrow borderland of older streets, an area with no official name. Night City, with Ninsei its heart. By day, the bars down Ninsei were shuttered and featureless, the neon dead, the holograms inert, waiting, under the poisoned silver sky.


An excerpt from Neuromancer


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buryuntime
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07 Jul 2009, 9:20 pm

Did you write this?

"Now he slept in the cheapest coffins, the ones nearest the port, beneath the quartz-halogen floods that lit the docks all night like vast stages; where you couldn't see the lights of Tokyo for the glare of the television sky, not even the towering hologram logo of the Fuji Electric Company, and the Tokyo Bay was a black expanse where gulls wheeled above drifting shoals of white styrofoam."

This sentence is huge. I'd like it better if it were shorter. A bit confused about it too but I'm guessing I would need to read more than an excerpt to figure out why gulls are flying abvoe white Styrofoam, etc.



DeaconBlues
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07 Jul 2009, 10:42 pm

As kxmode said, it's an excerpt from the first chapter of William Gibson's seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. The section is trying to put across the despair and angst being felt by ex-console cowboy Henry Case, formerly one of the hottest data rustlers in the Matrix, the consensual hallucination of cyberspace created by those who jack their brains directly into it. He tried to hold out on his employers from one job, and they damaged his nervous system so that he can never jack again. He spent all his money chasing cures; now he's reduced to running in the underworld of Chiba City, a nonterritorial enclave off the coast of Japan. (Incidentally, the title of the thread comes from the novel's first line - "The sky above the port was the color of television tuned to a dead channel.")

Interestingly, while this novel invented both the concept of cyberpunk and the word "cyberspace", it was written on a manual typewriter - Gibson couldn't afford an electric, and when it was written, in 1981, very few people had anything resembling word-processing capability at home.


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Prof_Pretorius
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07 Jul 2009, 11:50 pm

I wanted to write a story in the cyberpunk vein, but tend towards the 1930's instead ...


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kxmode
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08 Jul 2009, 2:45 am

buryuntime wrote:
Did you write this?

"Now he slept in the cheapest coffins, the ones nearest the port, beneath the quartz-halogen floods that lit the docks all night like vast stages; where you couldn't see the lights of Tokyo for the glare of the television sky, not even the towering hologram logo of the Fuji Electric Company, and the Tokyo Bay was a black expanse where gulls wheeled above drifting shoals of white styrofoam."

This sentence is huge. I'd like it better if it were shorter. A bit confused about it too but I'm guessing I would need to read more than an excerpt to figure out why gulls are flying abvoe white Styrofoam, etc.



Now he slept in the cheapest coffins. Ones nearest the port, and beneath the quartz-halogen floods that lit the docks all night like vast stages. It is here you couldn't see the lights of Tokyo for the glare of the television sky; not even under the towering hologram of Fuji Electric Company's logo. Meanwhile the Tokyo Bay was a black expanse where gulls wheeled above drifting shoals of white styrofoam. Behind the port lay the city, where factory domes dominated by the vast cubes of corporate arcologies. Port and city divided by a narrow borderland of older streets that became an area with no official name other than Night City, with Ninsei its heart. By day, the bars down Ninsei were shuttered and featureless. The neon dead, the holograms inert, waiting, under the poisoned silver sky.

Is that better?


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January issues of the
Watchtower - Raising Considerate Children in a Me-First World
and Awake - Should You Fear the End of the World?

Download both in PDF format for free!