Literature: Bridge Trilogy

aka: Virtual Light
The Bridge trilogy is the second trilogy of science fiction novels by William Gibson (better known for his Sprawl Trilogy), set Twenty Minutes into the Future. To be exact, it takes place in 2006, so it's obviously fallen victim to Science Marches On, but the books are nowhere near irrelevent. When one projects them another twenty or fifty years into the future, it's quite easy to believe in the world in which they are set.

The Bridge trilogy is set primarily in the cities of San Francisco and Tokyo after a major earthquake that caused the Oakland Bay Bridge to be abandoned and then rebuilt as a shantytown of sorts. Tokyo, on the other hand, was rebuilt using nanotechnology and is, in many ways, more impressive than it was before the quake. The Bridge, from which the trilogy takes its name, is an important location in the first and third books, but not mentioned in the second.

The books in the Bridge trilogy are, in order, Virtual Light (1993), Idoru (1996), and All Tomorrow's Parties (1999).

This trilogy contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Chevette Washington.
    • Chevette is really more of a subversion of this trope. While strong-willed, independent, and intelligent, she spends most of Virtual Light running and hiding from her pursuers. In one case, she gets in way over her head and only escapes thanks to Rydell.
  • Aggressive Negotiations
  • The Cameo: Blackwell, an important character in Idoru, makes a brief appearance near the end of All Tomorrow's Parties. The book doesn't identify him by name, but rather by a description of his disfigured ear.
  • Celebrity Resemblance / Textual Celebrity Resemblance: Berry Rydell is mentioned to look like a young Tommy Lee Jones-the first time by someone who ran his picture through a computer application that provides an In-Universe exploitation of this (the idea being that it helps people remember someone for identification purposes if they know which famous guy/girl they resemble). Ironically enough, Rydell doesn't even knows who Jones is.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Virtual Light, the bag of drugs Chevette gets from her ex-boyfriend. She later uses it to spike Lovelace's drink while he's holding her and Rydell at gunpoint.
    • In All Tomorrow's Parties, the knife given to Chevette by Fontaine.
  • Cyber Punk: Or Post-Cyberpunk, depending on who you ask.
  • Dystopia
  • Femme Fatale - Rei Toei
  • Hitman with a Heart - Konrad, from the third book.
  • Shoot the Messenger - Chevette
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: The Soviet Union collapsed, but the U.S. hasn't fared much better, either - as with Neuromancer, the Cold War went white-hot and then faded in a nuclear haze, but not before giving birth to the rise of the technology in Gibson's novels.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future

Alternative Title(s):

Virtual Light