William Gibson, author of the extraordinary multiaward-winning novel Neuromancer, has written his most brilliant and thrilling work to date . . .The Mona Lisa Overdrive. Enter Gibson's unique world--lyric and mechanical, erotic and violent, sobering and exciting--where multinational corporations and high tech outlaws vie for power, traveling into the computer-generated universe known as cyberspace. Into this world comes Mona, a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is on a collision course with internationally famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell. Since childhood, Angie has been able to tap into cyberspace without a computer. Now, from inside cyberspace, a kidnapping plot is masterminded by a phantom entity who has plans for Mona, Angie, and all humanity, plans that cannot be controlled . . . or even known. And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yazuka, the powerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulate people and events to suit their own purposes . . . or so they think.
1855: The Industrial Revolution is in full and inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven cybernetic Engines. Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine and the computer age arrives a century ahead of its time. And three extraordinary characters race toward a rendezvous with history--and the future:
Sybil Gerard--a fallen woman, politician’s tart, daughter of a Luddite agitator
Edward “Leviathan” Mallory--explorer and paleontologist
Laurence Oliphant--diplomat, mystic, and spy.
Their adventure begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose. Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for….
Part detective story, part historical thriller, The Difference Engine is the collaborative masterpiece by two of the most acclaimed science fiction authors writing today. Provocative, compelling, intensely imagined, it is a startling extension of Gibson’s and Sterling’s unique visions--and the beginning of movement we know today as “steampunk!”
From the Paperback edition.
2005: Welcome to NoCal and SoCal, the uneasy sister-states of what used to be California. Here the millenium has come and gone, leaving in its wake only stunned survivors. In Los Angeles, Berry Rydell is a former armed-response rentacop now working for a bounty hunter. Chevette Washington is a bicycle messenger turned pickpocket who impulsively snatches a pair of innocent-looking sunglasses. But these are no ordinary shades. What you can see through these high-tech specs can make you rich--or get you killed. Now Berry and Chevette are on the run, zeroing in on the digitalized heart of DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high. And a mind can be a terrible thing to crash...