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Headcrash (1995)

por Bruce Bethke

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343357,750 (3.49)4
A Junior Engineer for Monolithic Diversified Enterprises, Jack Burroughs finds himself caught in a tangled cyberweb of corporate double-dealing and virtual espionage. And when he's forced to put his life on-line, it becomes apparent that his grip on (virtual) reality is by no means secure.
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I'm an IT guy. It didn't age well. ( )
  Hawk34 | Jan 24, 2020 |
I'm so pissed off I read this book. It took a real stretch of imagination to buy into the virtual reality world the author creates, but then you reach the ending and it's so insanely stupid, you wonder what the hell you just did and why. I'm never going to get those hours of my life back!

Jack Burroughs is a sysadmin for a large multinational corporation who loses his day job because of a vindictive new boss. However, in his off hours -- which he now has a lot of -- he resides in cyberspace, in a virtual reality world. He likes to hang out in a virtual bar called Heaven, where he has created a cool version of himself, unlike his mega-nerd reality. He hangs out there with his best friend. Strangely, a hot woman calling herself Amber comes along offering him a million dollars to commit cyberpiracy and steal some files from his former employer, or so he thinks. He takes her up on it, with the support of his buddy, and is shipped some cutting edge virtual reality gear, which includes gloves, footwear, a bra, and yes, an anal dildo. That took some doing on the author's part. Still, he jacks up, goes in, gets the info, delivers it and is told it was only a test. Now he has to do the hard part -- the real job. Well, you would think thievery from a large corporation with strong defenses would be hard, but now he has to go up against -- get this -- an author. Yep, a big, bad writer. Who works with the Department of Defense on his insipid novels, so he allegedly has all of the cutting edge cyber defenses. That was really hard to believe. Nonetheless, he and his virtual reality buddies storm the place and he gets waxed, waking up -- I think -- in what's supposed to be a semi-real courtroom, staffed by a teddy bear judge, a prosecuting doll, and a bird, among others. There he's sentenced to exile on a deserted island, where he apparently goes, only to wind up a beach boy in Hawaii. And that's the end. How freakin' STUPID is that??? It's like the author wrote himself into a corner with his craziness and decided to go balls to the wall with total insanity to end the book because he couldn't think of anything better. This was a stupid book and I can't believe I wasted parts of two otherwise good days on it. Certainly not recommended. Not even good cyberpunk. Oh, and the author claims to have invented the word "cyberpunk," just as an FYI. Whatever. ( )
1 vote scottcholstad | Jul 22, 2014 |
My, how things change, and how they stay the same.

Headcrash brings us the story of one Jack Burroughs, a sysadmin for a multinational conglomerate, who keeps his day job only because it finances his excursions into cyberspace, where in virtual reality he is cool dude MAX_KOOL instead of a nerd. Unfortunately, due to internal politics and the innate inability to keep his mouth shut at inopportune moments, Jack loses said day job. Thus unemployed, he plunges head first -- or butt first, as the case may be -- into his virtual world, eventually taking on a commission to do a little cyberpiracy in exchange for a considerable remuneration. The fact that he'll be looting the database of his former employer has nothing to do with his acceptance of the job. Nope, nothing at all.

Written in 1995 and taking place in 2005, the storyline is somewhat dated and improbably technologically advanced from the perspective of 2011. Not being a gamer, I can't say whether the virtual reality environment as depicted here is realistic or even possible. The story moves at a frenetic pace, with hardly a break to catch one's breath. Regardless, it's great fun, full of inside geek jokes and pop culture references.

And seriously, how can you not like a book that begins:

C:DOS
C:DOS RUN
RUN, DOS! RUN! ( )
1 vote avanta7 | Mar 21, 2011 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Bruce Bethkeautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Carlotti, GiancarloTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pinketts, Andrea G.Contribuidorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Warner, BobArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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A Junior Engineer for Monolithic Diversified Enterprises, Jack Burroughs finds himself caught in a tangled cyberweb of corporate double-dealing and virtual espionage. And when he's forced to put his life on-line, it becomes apparent that his grip on (virtual) reality is by no means secure.

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