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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Tea From An Empty Cup

Copyright 1998 by Pat Cadigan

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Awful (1/5)

I first read this in May 2001.

Dore Konstantin is investigating a murder. The murder is unusual in that the victim was experiencing full-body Virtual Reality and appears to have been killed simultaneously in both virtual and true reality.

Yuki Harame is searching for Tom Iguchi. He's gone missing and Yuki just knows that he needs her help.

Everyone who is anyone in VR is searching for the real Japan, a recreated Japan (the original lies in ruins) somehow beyond the world of VR.

Our two characters fumble their separate ways through the world of VR, and to some extent issues are resolved.

What a disappointment. Either it really wasn't so good, or its strengths just somehow slipped by me. It has the popular Japanese cultural backdrop. Quite why this has become such a common component of cyberpunk escapes me - it's a world away from Shibuya J-girls tap-tapping away on their imode keitai. But hey, I'm perceptually challenged.

What's it got? Great ideas: the normal VR stuff, of course, such as full-body hotsuits, but the concept of "speed" in VR - if you are fast enough you don't just see more detail, but you experience a different world - it's not simply bandwidth. Oh and it's got drugs as well.

I think I'm going to have to read this again and see if I like it better the second time around.

Loaded on the 30th May 2001.
Cover of Tea From An Empty Cup
Cover art by Bruce Jensen

Reviews of other works by Pat Cadigan: