Shiner is another important author who's works are difficult to locate. Frontera, his first novel, is incredibly rare, and I was only recently able to locate a copy. Though it is not an incredible piece of literature, one can definitely detect the element of cyberpunk within, and I would mark it as an important piece in the progression of the genre. It should also be added that he worked closely with both Gibson and Sterling, and a short story can be found within Mirrorshades that was a collaborative effort between Shiner and Sterling ("Mozart in Mirrorshades"). The following quote can be found in the introduction to another short story from that anthology ("Till Human Voices Wake Us", by Shiner):
Since his first publication in 1977, Lewis Shiner has written a widely ranging spectrum of short stories: mysteries, fantasies, and horror as well as SF. But the 1984 apearance of his first novel, Frontera, demonstrated his important role in Movement fiction. Frontera combined classic hard-SF structure with a harrowing portrait of postindustrial society in the early twenty-first century. The book's gritty realism and deflating treatment of SF icons aroused much comment.
Shiner also edited a collection of short stories titled When The Music's Over. Contained within are a number of stories by a wide range of cyberpunk authors. The aim was put forth situations (new realities) in which the struggling protagonists "choose to turn away from violence or war [and] realize that humans --and other races-- can learn to live in peace" [back cover]. The proceeds from the book were donated to Greenpeace. Shiner writes the following in his introduction:
This is a book about possibilities. Most of the writers are my age. This may simply be a result of the way the project grew out along my networks of friends. Or it may have to do with values that are so closely identified with this generation: idealism, nonviolence, environmental awareness, spirituality.
I believe this book will change things. And I believe the stories will change things too. They don't preach, they don't offer easy answers. They offer real people facing hard choices who try to do the best they can.
Keep all this in mind the next time you pick up an old-school cyberpunk novel. The above were the beliefs of many an influential author of the time, and this philosophy undoubtedly carried over into this decade. Thus Shiner brings a different take to the genre, and one can look for similar ideas within novels by Williams, Shirley, Sterling, and Cadigan (all of whom appear within WTMO).
Update: hey you Brown people, I found one of his more recent novels at the Rock: Deserted Cities of the Heart (copyright 1988). I haven't yet looked it over, so I don't know how relevant to the genre it is. I'll keep you posted. It does say in back that Shiner lives in Austin, Texas, which incidentaly is where Bruce Sterling hangs out.