Neuromancer – William Gibson

The daddy novel of cyberpunk, this sci-fi classic should have been on my to-read list a long time ago, but I only read it recently (thanks Pharren). I wish I had been able to read it when it first came out, actually, considering it started a whole movement and introduced any number of very cool concepts that were then heavily borrowed throughout the following years, but considering I was, like, five at the time, I doubt that would have worked out. Still, cool to see where so many references originated.

The writing is very slick (and how I love to read words well turned), a sexy blend of smoky noir and gritty dystopian sci-fi rendered in streaming sentences and fragile little fragments. You have to be really damn good, in my mind, to get away with using the amount of newly invented slang and turns of phrases that he peppers liberally throughout the novel. Of course, so many of these Gibsonisms are now in common usage (the most obvious example being cyberspace) that it doesn’t matter. It’s the kind of writing that lingers in the back of my mind for days, that I just want to wash up on and roll around in, infectious like a song that gets stuck in my head.

The world is reminiscent of Blade Runner (and really, the writing has a similar feel to Dick); bleak, crumbling, top-heavy with the crushing weight of everything wrong and corrupt in humanity. They move around a lot, so you really get to explore what Gibson has done with the place. It ain’t pretty, but it makes for engrossing reading. I feel like a good world is one you want to dwell in long after the story is over, and while I’m not saying this is the future I’d like to live in or anything, I could read so much more in this universe of his.

So I dug the writing, liked the little details and ideas involved in the world building (in fact, I would love to read some short fiction that explores any of the compelling but minor elements he introduces), the story itself obviously captured me – but omg what about the characters? This book isn’t just about a bunch of cool shit, it’s actually about people that you can really sink your teeth into. (Literally! *bites Molly, breaks tooth – or not!). I certainly have my favorites, but the whole cast really is creatively and intelligently rendered.

Anyway, I know this book has been recommended here before and it’s so well known (especially for its famous opening lines), but we didn’t have a thread to talk about it, so. Here is a thread!

pharren 13 years ago
I grabbed the book off my shelf, determined to find a suitable passage representative of Gibson's style. I ended up reading 50 pages of the book before I made myself put it back. I'll let someone else look for quotes.
Wystro 13 years ago
OooOooOooOoo! I'm going to find this book on Monday!
pharren 13 years ago
Do it!

If you're interested in any of the following:
Organ Farms
Artificial Intelligence
Computer/Human interface ("jacking in" from the Matrix movie)
Human relationships on all levels
Reading a book that was so influential it not only spawned an entire genre, but affected other genres - and real, every day life - so deeply, that parts of its made-up vocabulary have made it into everyday speech or other fictitious works: cyberspace, the matrix, etc

....then this book is worth reading.

If you don't like any of that stuff, fuck you. Read it anyways. It's a classic!
Eve 13 years ago
LoL Had to read your commentary to my hubby cuz I started laughing, Pharren. He says very well put! He says we have it somewhere, so I'll have to dig it up and read it if I haven't already, and maybe even if I have
Vulash 13 years ago
I was under the impression it was a really tough read - is this true?
pharren 13 years ago
Wystro 13 years ago
grrrr....a used copy of Neuromancer is $5.50. I think I'll go to the library and snag a copy.
Verileah 13 years ago
Wystro I would be happy to loan you my copy if you're willing to write something on the inside jacket and then ship it to the next person here who wants to read it. I think it would be merry fun to send this book all over the place. I just have a cheapie paperback, though.

Or! If you have a kindle or don't mind reading on your computer screen, I believe I can loan you my ebook. I'll look into it if you're interested.
Wystro 13 years ago
I'm totally interested! I can put a little pencil sketch on the inside cover.

I wonder how an eBook reads on a regular computer screen...I'm willing to try out that option as well =) Yay, Verileah!
Vulash 13 years ago
That would be fun - I'd be willing to read this for the price of writing inside the cover and shipping it along
Eve 13 years ago
I found our copy last night yay! Soon as I'm done reading my Zodiac book I'm gonna start it
Wystro 13 years ago
I finished reading Neuromancer!

Cyberspace? Microsofts? It gave me chills how something written in 1984 could peg so well the culture that we are moving so quickly into today. This guy's imagination effortlessly jumped into a world where biology and technology are blurred, and even where identities and flesh are mutable and plastic in nature.

Written in the age of electric typewriters, this thing smells as fresh as an iPad!

Thank you so much for mailing the book, Veri! Who is next on the mailing list for this copy?
Vulash 13 years ago
I'd like to jump in on that!
Verileah 13 years ago
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Sorry I was turtle slow about getting it out .
Wystro 13 years ago
Okay, Vulash is next! I'll send that out within the next two days =)
pharren 13 years ago
Wheee! Fun! You're gonna love it, Vulash.
ROzbeans 13 years ago
I wanna reads too!
Blackrabbit 13 years ago
I'd actually like to read it too.
pharren 13 years ago
I'd send one of you guys my copy, but I think it would be cooler to keep passing the same one from person to person and see how many names are in it by the time it gets back to Verileah.
Verileah 13 years ago
(me too)