Original Title: The Shockwave Rider
English Title: The Shockwave Rider
Turkish Title: Şok Dalgası Süvarisi
Author: John Brunner
My Rating: 3/5
While I was reading this book...: ... I tried hard to finish it off on the way from Istanbul to London.
WHY THIS BOOK?
Actually I wasn't planning to read this book in 2012. My final sci-fi book for 2012 was going to be Neuromancer by William Gibson and with that book I would have read a book of cyberpunk and completed Leslie's sci-fi challenge. Then, the Turkish translation of Neuromancer turned out to be a total failure and I had to read a book of cyberpunk subgenre: The Shockwave Rider was the quickest replacement I was able to think of.
It is the story of Nick Haflinger, a fugitive computer hacker who uses the telephone networks to hack the global network to create new identities for himself and outrun a government agency that is trying to capture him.
This book was published in 1975 and it is one of the early books of cyberpunk (It is older than the well-known cyberpunk classic of Neuromancer). Considering the period Brunner wrote his novel, things like computer viruses or global network hackers were hardly imaginable for many people. The book desribes internet before there was internet. From this perspective, the content of the book is way ahead of its time.
When it comes to story telling, it is not that much of a success from my point of view. Although the main character of the story, Nick Haflinger was neatly described, the character development for other characters of the book were not that good. This made me get lost in certain chapters but overall it was OK.
This is a cyberpunk novel but it was written before cyberpunk was named or even roughly described. It makes the book a sci-fi classic.