Cover image for All tomorrow's parties
All tomorrow's parties
Gibson, William, 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [1999]

Physical Description:
277 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



"Gibson remains, like Raymond Chandler, an intoxicating stylist."--The New York Times Book ReviewAll Tomorrow's Parties is the perfect novel to publish at the end of 1999. It brings back Colin Laney, one of the most popular characters from Idoru, the man whose special sensitivities about people and events let him predict certain aspects of the future. Laney has realized that the disruptions everyone expected to happen at the beginning of the year 2000, which in fact did not happen, are still to come. Though down-and-out in Tokyo, his sense of what is to come tells him that the big event, whatever it is, will happen in San Francisco. He decides to head back to the United States--to San Francisco--to meet the future.The Washington Post praised Idoru as "beautifully written, dense with metaphors that open the eyes to the new, dreamlike, intensely imagined, deeply plausible." A bestseller across the country (it reached #1 in Los Angeles and San Francisco), and a major critical success, it confirmed William Gibson's position as "the premier visionary working in SF today" (Publishers Weekly). All Tomorrow's Parties is his next brilliant achievement.

Author Notes

William Gibson was born on March 17, 1948 in Conway, South Carolina. He dropped out of high school and moved to Canada, where he eventually graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1977. He is the author of Mona Lisa Overdrive, The Peripheral, and Neuromancer, which won the Phillip K. Dick Award, the Hugo Award, and the Nebula Award. He also wrote the screenplay for the film Johnny Mnemonic.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Colin Laney, the "netrunner" of Gibson's Idoru (1996), is hiding in a hovel in a cardboard city in the heart of Tokyo, with his eyes seemingly permanently attached to eyephones connecting him to the console on which he scans information from around the world. Attuned to subtle alterations in the data flow, he can sense an approaching paradigm shift, one of the "nodal points in history." "Last time we had one like this was 1911," he remarks. In Gibson novels, change happens not in small increments but massively, in a cataclysm, an apocalypse. The approaching change here is somehow linked to Rei Toei, the idoru (a virtual being), who is at large in San Francisco; Berry Rydell, a former security guard at the Lucky Dragon convenience store on Sunset, who first appeared in Gibson's Virtual Light (1993) and is now in Laney's employ; Chevette the bike messenger, also from Virtual Light; and Cody Harwood the "uncharismatic billionaire," whose plans to network his Lucky Dragon stores with the aid of a device that transmits objects across space are at the crux of everything. Gibson's protagonists are misfits. Their disparate stories get woven together in time for a showdown of sorts on the Bay Bridge, which has become a community of outsiders since the earthquake that made it unsuitable for automobiles but ideal for squatters. Gibson's new book is less a cyberpunk novel about virtual reality than one that realizes an almost recognizable future filled with new and exciting technologies. Although most of the action occurs in the "meat" world, Gibson's vision is inextricably linked to the advent of the Internet, whose possibilities he envisioned in the book that made him a big sf name, Neuromancer (1984). --Benjamin Segedin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Gibson is in fine form in his seventh novel, a fast-paced, pyrotechnic sequel to Idoru. In the early 21st century, the world has survived any number of millennial events, including major earthquakes in Tokyo and San Francisco, the expansion of the World Wide Web into virtual reality, a variety of killer new recreational drugs and the creation and later disappearance of the first true artificial intelligence, the rock superstar know as the Idoru. However, Colin Laney, with his uncanny ability to sift through media data and discern the importance of upcoming historical "nodes," has determined that even more world-shattering occurrences are in the offing. Letting his personal life fall apart, suffering from an obsessive-compulsive disorder related to his talent, Laney retreats to a cardboard box in a Tokyo subway station. There he uses his powers and an Internet connection to do everything he can to head off worldwide disaster. Contacting Berry Rydell, former rent-a-cop and would-be star of the TV show Cops in Trouble (and a character in two of Gibson's previous novels), Laney first maneuvers him into investigating a pair of murders committed by a man who is mysteriously invisible to the psychic's predictive powers, and then into recovering the Idoru, who is seeking independence from her owners. Also involved in the complex plot, centered on the bohemian community that has grown up on and around San Francisco's now derelict Golden Gate Bridge, are several other returning characters, such as the incredibly buff former bicycle messenger Chevette, plus a number of new eccentrics of the sort the author portrays so well. Gibson breaks little new thematic ground with this novel, but the cocreator of cyberpunk takes his readers on a wild and exciting ride filled with enough off-the-wall ideas and extended metaphors to fuel half a dozen SF tales. Author tour. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Roused from his self-imposed isolation in Tokyo, cyberjock Colin Laney enlists the aid of freelance security cop Berry Rydell to investigate a series of postmillennial upheavals centered in San Francisco. Building on the story begun in Idoru, Gibson achieves another milestone in his stunning portrayal of a dystopic 21st century filled with virtual paradises and real-life squalor. A master of the cyberpunk genre, Gibson excels at visually exciting storytelling. A good selection for sf collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/99.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.