Thirtieth Anniversary Edition
Hardwired, the acknowledged inspiration for the games Cyberpunk Red and Cyberpunk 2077, is now available in a deluxe edition for its thirtieth anniversary, with new content by the author.
Earth lies prostrate beneath the lash of the Orbital powers, and Earth’s Balkanized nations have no choice but to let the Orbitals plunder their remaining wealth. Below the zone of Orbital control, buttonheads, panzerjocks, dirtgirls, and hustlers scramble for their ticket out of the gravity well.
But now, if the criminal underworld and the guerrilla underground can join forces, there is a chance to shift the balance of power— in a war fought on the ground by hardwired commandos, in the air by high-flying deltajocks, and by genius hackers in the neural interface.
As Roger Zelazny said, "Hardwired is a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars— glittering, nasty, and noble— and told in a style perfectly suiting its content. It has all of my favorite things— blood, love, fire, hate and a high ideal or two. I wish I’d written this one.”
The Thirtieth Anniversary Edition of this cyberpunk classic includes essays by the author devoted to the origin of the novel, the unexpected source of the term “panzerboy,” and an amused guide through some of the oddities of the first German edition.
“Cowboy is no Rambo; he is a thoughtful, intelligent hero. He and Sarah are two of the many good things about HARDWIRED. Another is the world they inhabit--- an incredibly detailed future of personality transfers, bizarre drugs, cybernetic implants, and complex political and economic power maneuvers . . . It is one of the best SF novels I have read in years; I heartily recommend it.”
Providence Sunday Journal
‘The story moves with the speed of a hovercraft, the climax has all the action and excitement of Star Wars and the ending has a delightful twist.’
“Williams' use of language is as explosive and as techno-tinged as the world he describes. Reading the book is like taking a jet ride across a futuristic America, with acceleration forcing you back in your seat all the way.”
After his thoughtful, elegant novel Knight Moves, Williams wrenchingly shifts gears for this heavy-metal adventure. It is set with acknowledgement in Roger Zelazny's Damnation Alley, when corporate Orbitals control what's left of a postwar America, now balkanized and armed to the teeth. Ex-fighter pilot Cowboy, "hardwired'' via skull sockets directly to his lethal electronic hardware, teams up with Sarah, an equally cyborized gun-for-hire, to make a last stab at independence from the rapacious Orbitals. The story, though, is buried under an elaborate techno-punk style of the sort William Gibson popularized in Neuromancer. In both cases, it is a pose, a baroque nostalgia for Hemingway and film noir; it only plays at nihilism, terror and despair. The best effect is Williams's future version of a brain-scrambled vet: a dead buddy of Cowboy's whose scattered bits and pieces of computer memory now constitute a ragged semblance of a man. Such nuggets are hard to find amid the amplified, rock-'n-roll prose.
Building slowly, this read gets better as you advance into the story. Well built characters, finally tying together as a team. I enjoy how the end of the book kept the story alive, while tying up several loose ends and suggesting possible sequels. Well done!