Digital Leatherette is an ethno-techno cyberpunk novel about sex, drugs and drum'n'bass. Digital Leatherette is a London science fiction novel featuring the Rave at the End of the World in Battersea Power Station, UFOs over Heathrow Airport, street riots sponsored by fashion designers, MI6 agents running their own reality cop shows, a stock market crash triggered by a starDigital Leatherette is an ethno-techno cyberpunk novel about sex, drugs and drum'n'bass. Digital Leatherette is a London science fiction novel featuring the Rave at the End of the World in Battersea Power Station, UFOs over Heathrow Airport, street riots sponsored by fashion designers, MI6 agents running their own reality cop shows, a stock market crash triggered by a star in the sky, a dangerous new drug called Starflower and barcode tattoos. A surrealist narrative consisting of text fragments pulled down from invented internet web-sites by an imaginary intelligent agent, Digital Leatherette is a Clockwork Orange for the chemical generation....
|Number of Pages||:||256 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Digital Leatherette Reviews
Disorienting, creepy transmission from a reality not quite ours but mirroring it in some ways. Beard resembles Moorcock of The Cornelius Quartet, William Gibson’s more abstract moments, and Iain Sinclair’s occult ranting (in both meanings of occult). Some of the references may date this but the form is furious and unsettling.
You know that bit in the Old Testament which is just page after page of names begatting other names? Well towards the end of this book are two and a half pages of similar, only it's the synonym of beget which begins with the letter 'f'. I skipped those pages to be honest as they washed over me completely without adding any insight into my understanding of the narrative. Much like great swathes of the book in fact.The style is a merging of ancient myths given a makeover by being melded with the new virtual technology and data streaming. (New that is in 1999 when this book was first published). Then throw in some pop culture references (the opening chapter is a fictional interview with Morrisey of The Smiths fame) and some history around Queen Elizabeth I's alchemist John Dee. Every chapter is just this barrage of data, of unusual conceptual combinations where John Dee is mixing up some nasty alchemical infusions using live harvested stem cells, while he communicates by very end de vingtieme technology. I understand and appreciate the author's sticking to a tight narrative style, where every chapter is some sort of emailed report of surveillance, but it makes the narrative entirely one paced.Now I'm a big fan of hyper-reality, after all it's what I write myself, but if there is no contrasting with accepted reality by which to blur the edges between the two, then you just have a datastream of typography, words and fragmented concepts suspended in the ether. There is no heart to this book. No anchorage for the reader to grasp hold of and orient themselves into the world of the book. It's akin to reading ticker tape reports, as it whisks through your fingers and disappears into the void the moment it's out of contact with you and already rendered obsolete by the next input. Jeff Noon, with whom Beard's work is often compared (not least because both emphasise music with their cyberpunk world cultures), at least has the basic human quest to find the lost girl in his novels. But Beard offers nothing so personal or intimate here. Just codified linguistic and symbolic data. An agglutination that doesn't really agglomerate to anything of import. Close the final cover and the last words evanesce on the air and out of your memory and grasp for ever.There are some good set-pieces. Following the navigation through an online security labyrinth is well rendered, with interesting 'digitising' of familiar words by spelling them with numbers and other computer codification tweaks. But then side by side you have the impenetrable such as this: Widmanstatten intergrowth ov matched-lattice alloyz coding energy band gaps in nanotech circuits. The dispersed body ov PRISCILLA tags discarnate electronz in the multi-state memoryz ov the LONdon Stone."