Cracking the Ice: Cyberpunk SF for Collectors and Sellers (Page 2 of 2) Cracking the Ice: Cyberpunk SF for Collectors and Sellers - Collecting Science Fiction (Page 2 of 2)









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Other notable Gibson titles include:

Count Zero (London: Gollancz 1986; ISBN 0575036966; hardback $100; also, New York: Arbor House, 1986; ISBN 087795769X, hardback $50 - $75)

Burning Chrome (London,Gollancz,1986, ISBN 0575038462, hardback $150; also, New York: Arbor House, 1986, ISBN 0877957800, hardback $30)

Mona Lisa Overdrive (London,Gollancz,1986, ISBN 0575040203, hardback $30; also, New York: Bantam Books, 1988, ISBN 0553052500, hardback, <$5).

An interesting variation on cyberpunk is the sub-sub-genre called steampunk. K. W. Jeter's Morlock Night (New York: DAW Books, 1979, ISBN 0586204385, paperback original $7), in which the Morlocks have stolen Wells' time machine to invade 1892 London, is credited as the first of the steampunk novels. The Difference Engine (London: Gollancz, 1990, ISBN 0575047623, hardback $10; also, New York: Bantam, 1991, ISBN 0553070282, hardback $5), co-authored by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, is set in Victorian England, the Information Age arriving 100 years early and technocrats ruling with the aid of huge gear-driven mechanical computers (Charles Babbage's difference engine writ large). James Blaylock has written two related steampunk novels, Homunculus (Bath: Morrigan Publications, 1988; another Philip K Dick Award winner, limited/trade $50/$25), and Lord Kelvin's Machine (Sauk City,WI: Arkham House, 1992; $15). The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a comic book series written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O'Neill, is set in a technologically advanced Victorian London where literary figures (both great and minor) are real - for example, characters such as Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, and Allan Quartermain are recruited by the British government to fight evil and alien invasion. Two volumes of The League have been released in book form:

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Book 1, collects vol 1 #1-6
Paperback: ISBN 1563898586 (DC Comics, 2000) $10 - $15
Hardcover: ISBN 1563896656 (DC Comics, 2001) $50
The Absolute Edition: ISBN 1401200524 (DC Comics, 2003) $50
The Absolute Edition: ISBN 1840236884 (Titan, 2003) $75

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Book 2, collects vol 2 #1-6
Paperback: ISBN 1401201180 (DC Comics, 2004) $10
Hardcover: ISBN 1401201172 (DC Comics, 2003) $20

See also The Time Machine (1960 film), Young Sherlock Holmes (1985 film), and The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne (1999 TV series).

Bruce Sterling, an important figure in cyberpunk, has numerous novels and short story collections to his credit. He is also the editor of Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology (New York: Arbor House: 1986; ISBN 0877958688 $50 -$75).

As influential as Sterling has been in the genre, very few of his books seem to have generated very much collector demand. As of this writing, signed first printings of nearly all of Sterling's books are readily available online for less than $30. Two exceptions include Mirrorshades (see above) and Schismatrix (New York: Arbor House, 1985; ISBN 0877956456 $25 to $35 unsigned).

After Gibson and Sterling, the last of the Big Three cyberpunk authors is Neal Stephenson. Snow Crash (New York: Bantam, 1992, ISBN 055308853X, hardback $750 to $1000; the book club edition is also collectible, with prices in the $50 to $75 range) represents a more developed take on the cyberpunk novel. It has all the style and flash of Neuromancer, but it draws the reader into a deeper, richer, funnier and, ultimately, scarier world as well. It also performs a neat inversion of the classic cyberpunk trope of increasingly human-like robots/androids by positing a means of accessing a hard-wired human meta-language that allows the bad guys to reprogram the brain, in effect turning people into robots.

Other Neal Stephenson titles to watch for:

The Big U (New York: Vintage, 1984; ISBN 0394723627, trade paperback original, $50). This book used to be nearly impossible to find, and prices ranged beyond $150. For many years, Stephenson adamantly refused to approve a re-issue of his first book, but apparently he gave in as a reprint was issued in 2001 (New York: Harper, 2001; ISBN 0380816032, trade paperback, $5). Since then the price on the original edition has dropped.

Zodiac: The Eco-Thriller (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1988; ISBN 0871131811, trade paperback, $5 to $10). Stephenson's second book.

The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (New York: Bantam, 1995; ISBN 0553096095; hardback, $5 to $10). A fascinating fusion of cyberpunk and steampunk (cybersteam?), The Diamond Age is set in the oppressively restrictive neo-Victorian age that grew out of the chaos brought about by the introduction of nanotechnology. Nano-engineer John Percival Hackworth illegally duplicates the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, a custom commissioned nanotech supercomputer in the shape of a book designed to educate a young woman to think for herself in spite of the neo-Victorian norms. But Hackworth loses his copy, and the consequences will shake the very foundations of his society.

Related links:

The Cyberpunk Project

The Post-Modern Culture Ezine

Post-Modern Science Fiction, hosted at Georgetown University

The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier by Bruce Sterling

A list of William Gibson links

Online resource for cyberpunk writers

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Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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