June 12, 2015

Book Review—Neuromancer by William Gibson

Case is a former computer hacker who stole from his boss and had his central nervous system corrupted by mycotoxin as punishment. Unable to enter the computer matrix that was his source of income and his preferred habitat, he has resorted to hustling in Chiba City, Japan, in the near future where he hopes the black clinics will be able to heal his nervous system so that he can once again enter cyberspace. His hopes are seemingly met when a potential new employer offers to have him healed in exchange for his services.

Neuromancer not only put Gibson on the map but also sparked the cyberpunk subculture in literature, its mix of “high tech and low life” inspiring a host of other writers and film makers. This mingling is most effectively executed with the two worlds Gibson creates. First is the 'real world', a menagerie of the damaged and the predatory, with these often being indistinguishable. This is contrasted with the high tech dream scape of the cyber world where the clutches of the real world are challenged and transformed. But those that traverse the landscapes of this world are the real energy of the novel. These are the new romantics, who bring new life through the electrical impulses of cyberspace and extend these visions into warped reality.

A seminal mindbender, Neuromancer is a world warping thrill ride.

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