Synners (1991)

Three storylines that converge later on are the meat of synners. The title is a wordplay on synthesizers, the main line of work of one of the characters, Gina. Synthesizers are a form of future’s music creators, and that connection alone shows that we’re in cyberpunk land. Another main character is Gabe, who works for a company named Diversifications, which has swallowed up Gina’s small company, to get her synthesize for them. The plot revolves around a new technology from Diversifications that allows to induce the music the synthesizers make directly into the human mind by way of a man-machine interface. But what begins as a way of making money grows into much more.

The main problem I had with the novel is that the whole pacing is too slow, and the interesting things that happen near the end come too late. Interestingly, like in her story “Pretty Boy Crossover”, this is one of the proto human-mind-uploading stories, yet while later writers embraced this idea, Cadigan seems to feel reluctance for this concept and because of that doesn’t do much with it.

Another problem is that while the characters were okay, I didn’t cared about them enough. I think Cadigan’s strength is telling a story through the eyes of one character, here her attempt to use a larger cast worked against her strengths. My general disappointment with the novel might stem from the fact that her novels Mindplayers and Fools nearly blew my mind away, and anything less stellar could have only failed in my eyes.