VURT, by Jeff Noon

The Book

Pages: 376
Age Group: Adult
Published on 10/10/2023
Publisher: Angry Robot
Available on:


Hailed as the novel that reinvented cyberpunk, The 30th Anniversary edition of Jeff Noon's award winning cult classic, Vurt.

Scribble and his gang, the Stash Riders, haunt the streets of an alternate Manchester, chasing the immersive highs that come from Vurt Feathers. Place a feather in your mouth and it takes you to the another place, a trip, a shared reality of all our dreams and mythologies.

Different coloured feathers provide different experiences, but Scribble is searching for his lost love and only one feather offers the hope of finding her. It’s the ultimate feather, it may not even exist at Curious Yellow.

But as the Game Cat says, “Be careful, be very careful. This ride is not for the weak.”

First published in 1993, Jeff Noon’s extraordinary, influential, award-winning novel transcended SF boundaries and resisted categorization. Alluding to noir and surrealism alike, it was defiantly its own thing and remains so thirty years later.   

My Review

Reviewing a book like VURT is definitely challenging for any blogger, and especially when I think that we are talking about a book that became a classic and shaped a genre (a book that is even older than myself). It's difficult to think about something that hasn't been said before, but the publishing of this 30th anniversary edition published by Angry Robot Books seems like an excellent opportunity to dive into it.

VURT is quite unique in certain aspects, a novel which I would define as a drug fueled trip set halfway in a brutalist Manchester and the other half in the VURT world. Noon is not going to handheld you, requiring your full attention to follow the subtle nuances of the narration, of how Scribble is trying to recover his sister from that other reality.

You are thrown into the world, and it's on the reader to start reconstructing the pieces that make sense of this story; and let me tell you, it's an amazing experience the more you are immersed into it. While Scribble is the narrator, it's true that the some of the characters take the focus sometimes, like the Beetle, and all is alternated with the Game Cat chapters, which acts as your guide to the VURT world.

Narrative style is a bit weird, but it does a great job reflecting what could be the results of a trip; the pacing is not fast, Noon is great at adapting it to the scene and the urgency our character is feeling.

It's incredible once you understand how many elements from this book have influenced the subsequent art pieces; some more adapted than others, but the cyber sci-fi subgenre has been shaped by it.

VURT is an excellent novel; if you are ready to be challenged, give it a try and discover why it became a classic. Nothing like old science fiction to have an unique experience!

The Author/s

Jeff Noon

Jeff Noon

  Jeff Noon was born in Manchester, England in 1957. He was trained in the visual arts, and was musically active on the punk scene before starting to write plays for the theatre. His first novel, VURT, was published in 1993 and went on to win the Arthur C. Clarke Award. He had written many books since then, each one exploring the ever-changing borderzone between genre fiction and the avant-garde. If a label is needed, he thinks of his work as being part of the Avant Pulp movement. He believes the modern world can only be portrayed in all its complexity by using new forms and techniques. To this end, he has often taken ideas and methods from musical composition and production, applying them to short stories and novels. Above all, Jeff sees himself as a storyteller. His plays include WOUNDINGS and THE MODERNISTS for the theatre, and DEAD CODE: GHOSTS OF THE DIGITAL AGE for radio. He also writes screenplays and lives in hope of actually seeing one of them produced, one day soon! Jeff lives in Brighton and Hove. He writes microfictional "spores" more or less every day via @jeffnoon on Twitter.