Thursday, January 6, 2011

Book Review: Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams

(Original cover art)

I read this book--sheez--about 2 decades ago.  From what I remember, it was a cool story about a smuggler running illicit goods across a politically fractured and dystopian America. 

There are 27 reviews of this book, originally written in 1986, on  Of which, 17 of us gave the book a 5-star rating, while another 8 gave it 4 stars.  One of the 5-star reviewers considered this novel one of the original books defining the cyberpunk subgenre of science ficition;  the others being William Gibson's Neuromancer and Bruce Sterling's The Artificial Kid.

However, one of the 2-star raters disagrees with this assessment and considered Hardwired a mere imitation of cyberpunk.  The other 2-star rater felt the story was not for her.

Okay, despite the overwhelming praise for Hardwired, why am I writing a book review now about a story I read over 20 years ago?

Yesterday I read the following post on the Romance Magicians blog: 

Chris' aside comment about the growing popularity of writing in present tense caught my attention.  Hardwired was the first, and so far, only book I've read that's written in this style.

And as soon as I read Walter Jon Williams' novel, I fell in love with present tense prose and have tried to emulate it in my own work ever since.  The appeal of present tense makes the reader feel like he's reading a story as it is unfolding, rather than reading about something that has already happened.

For additional information on Hardwired and Walter Jon Williams, check out the following links--

Hardwired synopsis according to Wikipedia:

Wikipedia entry on the author:

Walter Jon Williams blog and website:

And check out the new cover art:

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