“Hardwired” by Walter Jon Williams
Review ©️ 1995 by P. Douglas Reeder
Okay cyberpunk action-adventure, shading toward paramilitary action-adventure at the end. The characters are not terribly deep, but the two main characters, Cowboy, a smuggler pilot out of the Rockies, and Sarah, a bodyguard based in Florida, have some differences of outlook that carry some interest in the middle section of the book. Cowboy believes he is living the last free life, while Sarah has had to struggle and compromise her values to survive on the dystopian future Earth. Williams could have done more with the difference of outlook, and made the book deeper. The characters fail to come alive for me, partly because of their conventionality and the conventionality of their problems (Sarah is burdened by her brother Daud). You may find them more compelling than I. Cowboy and Sarah’s romance is predictable, but competently done.
The novel explicitly echos Zelazny’s Damnation Alley in places, and Williams acknowledges this. The happy ending with the ray of hope for Earth will come as a surprise to few.
%T Hardwired %A Walter Jon Williams %I Tom Doherty Associates (“A TOR Book”) %C New York %D copyright 1986 %N ISBN 0-812-93303-7 Lib. of Cong. CCN 85-52255 %O hardback, 343 pages %X cyberpunk shading toward paramilitary action-adventure