Thursday, 7 April 2011


Title: Neuromancer

Author: William Gibson

Number of pages: 317

Started: 29 March 2011

Finished: 7 April 2011

Opening words:

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

"It's not like I'm using," Case heard someone say, as he shouldered his way through the crowd around the door of the Chat. "It's like my body's developed this massive drug deficiency." It was a Sprawl voice and a Sprawl joke. The Chatsubo was a bar for professional expatriates; you could drink there for a week and never hear two words in Japanese.

Ratz was tending bar, h is prosthetic arm jerking monotonously as he filled a tray of glasses with draft Kirin. He saw Case and smiled, his teeth a webwork of East European steel and brown decay. Case found a place at the bar, between the unlikely tan on one of Lonny Zone's whores and the crisp naval uniform of a tall African whose cheekbones were ridged with precise rows of tribal scars. "Wage was in here early, with two joeboys," Ratz said, shoving a draft across the bar with his good hand. "Maybe some business with you, Case?"

Read a longer excerpt here.

Plot summary:

Case was the hottest computer cowboy cruising the information superhighway--jacking his consciousness into cyberspace, soaring through tactile lattices of data and logic, rustling encoded secrets for anyone with the money to buy his skills. Then he double-crossed the wrong people, who caught up with him in a big way--and burned the talent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courted death in the high-tech underworld. Until a shadowy conspiracy offered him a second chance--and a cure--for a price....

What I thought:

This is the book that inspired the film “The Matrix” and I could certainly see the similarities between the two (with an occasional character name change). Science fiction is not really my kind of genre. I like John Wyndham, but he would not have described himself as a science fiction writer as such.

Whilst I found Neuromancer a decent enough read, it did not entirely inspire me and it has not convinced me that science fiction is a genre that I want to indulge it at the expense of others that I enjoy more. That said, this book is a really foundation stone of all sorts of science fiction that followed it and worth reading for that reason alone.

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