In the previous (short) installment, Azibo gets his first dose of life without Unity. He also gets a surprise note from Horace, their Collective contact, who wants to meet him one-on-one. Why does Horace want to meet so urgently? What does this mean for Azibo’s potential suicide mission?
Let’s jump into Part 13, as the series starts to wind down, and Azibo tries to find solace for his worries by talking to a priest after Catholic mass.
In the previous installment, Unity finally puts her foot down and walks out on Azibo. After his increasingly erratic and sullen behavior, Azibo begins to see consequences. Feeling lonely and depressed, he assures himself he’s doing the right thing by intending to carry out the suicide mission for The Collective. Now, without Unity by his side, will he still go through with it? Or will he reconcile with her and drop his fanaticism?
Let’s jump into Part 12 (a much shorter scene), where Azibo considers what he’ll do next.
In the previous installment, we get a glimpse of Azibo’s increasingly erratic and repulsive behavior as he physically assaults an older man. We also catch him daydreaming at work about becoming a martyr and carrying out a suicide bombing mission for The Collective. Will he go through with it?
Let’s jump to Part 11, where we get another look at Azibo and Unity’s rocky relationship.
In the previous installment, Azibo and Unity’s Collective contact offers them a life-changing assignment: suicide bombing. Azibo jumps at the opportunity, but Unity pleads with him to think about it. For Azibo, the chance to be a martyr gives him meaning to his unfulfilling life.
Let’s jump into Part 9, where we learn a bit about Azibo’s traumatic childhood and how he ended up in the Collective.
In the previous installment, we get background about Sebastian Fuller, the televangelist cult hero that inspired the creation of The Collective. Fuller is serving a life-in-prison sentence for his role in bombing the federal building that houses Portia, and he continues to inspire religious zealots like Azibo.
Let’s jump to Part 8, where Azibo and Unity will meet with their Collective contact and talk about a new mission that will change both of their lives forever.
William Gibson is one of those authors who people either love or hate. The Canadian-American science fiction writer is known best for coining the term “cyberspace” in the title story of this collection. Yes, his books can be difficult to read sometimes, so his work is possibly an acquired taste.
I’ve read Gibson’s Neuromancer and the rest of the Sprawl trilogy multiple times, and I was excited to dive into Burning Chrome, which collects all of the short fiction he’s ever written. It’s a great collection of stories.
In the previous installment, we get some background about the Church of Machina and how society is now almost a utopia. Portia has solved nearly every major societal problem, and people barely work anymore. The sole pursuit of most people’s lives is pleasure and leisure. What could be better than that?
Let’s jump into Part 6 and return to the world of Azibo and Unity, the Collective members and informants who are dissatisfied with the so-called utopia and hate the almighty Portia.
(Disclaimer: There’s a brief mention of cutting and self-harm in this part of the story. If this is triggering for you, please skip this part).
In the previous installment, we get some background about how Portia developed and how the Collective started. A televangelist by the name of Sebastian Fuller became the inspiration for the rebel group, leading a bombing of the Utah facility that housed the AI. Soon after, Fuller was imprisoned for life and an underground movement started.
Let’s jump into Part 4!
In the previous installment, we meet Unity, Azibo’s companion and fellow Collective member. We find out that, perhaps not surprisingly, Azibo has never connected to the feed to commune with Portia. We also get a glimpse of Azibo’s black-and-white thinking as he scolds Unity for reading a book about Portia.
Let’s jump into Part 3!
In the previous installment, we see our main character, Azibo, observe the Church of Machina. This is where people are gathering to worship Portia, the super-AI. We also find out about how Portia came to be and the great good she’s done for mankind. Not everyone is happy about people worshipping Portia, though. Religious fundamentalists start an underground movement known as The Collective with the intent to destroy her.
Let’s jump into Part 2!