Read Neuromante by William Gibson José Arconada Rodríguez Javier Ferreira Ramos Online


Un futuro invadido por microprocesadores, en el que la información es la materia prima. Vaqueros como Henry Dorrett Case se ganan la vida hurtando información, traspasando defensas electrónicas, bloques tangibles y luminosos, como rascacielos geométricos. En este espeluznante y sombrío futuro la mayor parte del este de Norteamérica es una única y gigantesca ciudad, casi toUn futuro invadido por microprocesadores, en el que la información es la materia prima. Vaqueros como Henry Dorrett Case se ganan la vida hurtando información, traspasando defensas electrónicas, bloques tangibles y luminosos, como rascacielos geométricos. En este espeluznante y sombrío futuro la mayor parte del este de Norteamérica es una única y gigantesca ciudad, casi toda Europa un vertedero atómico y Japón una jungla de neón, corruptora y brillante, donde una persona es la suma de sus vicios....

Title : Neuromante
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788445075951
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Neuromante Reviews

  • Stephen
    2019-03-14 21:57

    Eureka!...Hallelujah!...I've had a wondrous epiphany!I finally get it...I have seen the light and understanding has dawned. Gibson’s manifest brilliance has revealed itself to me and I am left humbled and quivering in AWE. After a rocky, tumultuous courtship that oscillated between respect and frustration through my first two readings of Neuromancer, number 3 became the CHARMing, rapturous awakening into a hopelessly devoted, head over heals love affair that I’m confident will last a lifetime. Now, with the ebullient fervor of the newly converted, I feel compelled to give testimony and proselytize the glory that is William Gibson’s singular masterpiece.To begin...a small history. INITIAL THOUGHTS:My first exposure to this book was late in the 1990‘s, long after it had already spent over a decade as the magical source of all things cyberpunk. I came to it after having read several of its prolific spawn and decided it was time to visit the source code. My first mistake...for “Neuromancer” is not the first cyberpunk novel or at least, that is not all it is...not even close. I viewed the novel within the narrow confines of the world that it had created and completely missed its true magic. I saw the novel through the fog of my faulty preconceptions. I believed Neuromancer to be a jargon-heavy, inside joke by the techno-savvy and the computer literate as they thumbed their nose at the tech-tarded luddites who couldn’t see the pending future that lay before them. I saw this as a novel for the cyberspacially erudite, and those not coded for the new paradigm were to be left behind in the trash heap of history along with the abacus and the printed word. For those who have had a similar reaction to this book, you...I...we were so, so, SO wrong. It missed the point entirely. Neuromancer didn’t preach to the creators of the new, new wasn’t even, at its core, about least not in the instructional manual, code-writing sense of the word. William Gibson was more techno-stupid than techno-proficient and his interpretation of the interpretation of the future was the vision of an artist not an engineer. In fact, the few areas where Gibson had any knowledge about what he was writing are the areas that have become the most anachronistic. What Gibson did see...with a clarity and exactitude that would make Nostradamus green with envy, was the path on which humanity was travelling. Increased dependance on technology, increased detachment among individuals and a blurring of lines between nations. And all of this led to that central, crystalizing vision of cyberspace, artificial intelligence and the world wide web. And now we come to the reason why this book belongs among the MOST IMPORTANT WORKS OF LITERATURE ever created. Gibson’s inspired, non-technical vision of the future was the lightning that created the fire of inspiration for the generation that then made his vision come to pass. The teenagers and bidding technophiles of the 1980’s saw the “fictional elements” of Gibson’s novel and said, “holy shit, wouldn’t that be cool"...and proceeded to make it so. From Neuromancer's memorable first words, “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” to the final, mind-shattering conclusion of the mystery of Winter Mute...this novel is probably the greatest example of life imitating art that literature has ever known and our world would be profoundly different, for good or for ill, in the absence of this amazing work. ....WOW, sorry for waxing on so long, but like I said, I am the newly converted. PLOT SUMMARY:Our protagonist, Case, is an amoral, ex-cyber cowboy (i.e., hacker) whose former bosses destroyed his ability to enter the matrix (i.e., cyberspace) as a punishment for his stealing from them. They damaged his nervous system with a wartime Russian mycotoxin. Strapped to a bed in a Memphis hotel, his talent burning out micron by micron, he hallucinated for thirty hours. The damage was minute, subtle, and utterly effective. For Case, who'd lived for the bodiless exultation of cyberspace, it was the Fall. Since his involuntary exile from the matrix, Case has become self-destructive and suicidal and is hell bent on shuffling off this mortal coil but is unwilling or unable to accomplish the task himself. A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he'd cut in Night City, and he'd still see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void… The Sprawl was a long strange way home over the Pacific now, and he was no console man, no cyberspace cowboy. Just another hustler, trying to make it through. But the dreams came on in the Japanese night like livewire voodoo, and he'd cry for it, cry in his sleep, and wake alone in the dark, curled in his capsule in some coffin hotel, his hands clawed into the bedslab, temperfoam bunched between his fingers, trying to reach the console that wasn't there. in his "i wanna die" despondency, Case has been taking the most dangerous scores, the biggest risks, all along waiting for someone to put him out of his “meat-trapped” misery.That is the "hero" of our little tale. After this brief intro and some layered world-building involving Chiba City, Case finds himself recruited by a group of criminals who agree to “cure him” in exchange for working with them on a complex caper involving aspects of cyberspace hacking and real world breaking and entering. That is really the basic set up (though it gives you less than a hint of the real flavor of the book). The heist/hack is really comprised of two primary “jobs” that are both connected to a burgeoning artificial intelligence known as Winter Mute. That is really a bare bones description of the plot, but there are so many well crafted summaries floating around that I wanted to stick mainly with commentary. MORE THOUGHTS:Gibson’s prose is like nothing I have read before and it took me a while to come to grips with that statement. Gibson’s writing is poetry, not jargon. It's personal, internal and emotional, not cold and externally descriptive. It's the dark, fevered dream of a world where humanity and technology have been inextricably fused together with results both miraculous and profane. His prose is slick and jagged like a serrated knife; beautiful, breezy and hard-edged. His verse is color of gunmetal and electricity and the texture of anger spilling on a meadow of dashed hope and unearned rewards. It is as much about mood as it is about message. Here’s an example: The drug hit him like an express train, a white-hot column of light mounting his spine from the region of his prostate, illuminating the sutures of his skull with x-rays of short-circuited sexual energy. His teeth sang in their individual sockets like tuning forks, each one pitch-perfect and clear as ethanol. His bones, beneath the hazy envelope of flesh, were chromed and polished, the joints lubricated with a film of silicone. Sandstorms raged across the scoured floor of his skull, generating waves of high thin static that broke behind his eyes, spheres of purest crystal, expanding...The anger was expanding, relentless, exponential, riding out behind the betaphenethylamine rush like a carrier wave, a seismic fluid, rich and corrosive. Yeah, I am a big, big fan. In case I wasn't clear about that before, I don’t want you to think I was being wishy-washy. Before i wrap up, here is one more example of the visual, visceral nature of Gibson’s verse: Night City was like a deranged experiment in social Darwinism, designed by a bored researcher who kept one thumb permanently on the fast-forward button. Stop hustling and you sank without a trace, but move a little too swiftly and you'd break the fragile surface tension of the black market; either way, you were gone, with nothing left of you but some vague memory in the mind of a fixture like Ratz, though heart or lungs or kidneys might survive in the service of some stranger with New Yen for the clinic tanks. A unique, important and truly amazing reading experience and it only took me three tries to realize it. DOH!!!!6.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!Winner: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction NovelWinner: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction NovelWinner: Philip K. Dick Award for Best Science Fiction NovelNominee: John W. Campbell Award for Best Science Fiction NovelNominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction NovelNominee: Locus Award for Best First NovelNominee: British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel

  • Lyn
    2019-02-27 00:10

    Wow. This is a wild ride. If you like Philip K. Dick’s writing and wondered what would happen if you extended his vision into the not too distant future, if you liked Bladerunner, if you liked The Matrix … and even if you like all the film and fiction that has made an attempt to be any of the above, you will love Neuromancer.William Gibson said that while writing Neuromancer he went to see the Ridley Scott film Bladerunner and thought that his ideas for the book were hopelessly lost, that everyone would naturally assume that he had taken all of his queues from the film. I have written that Bladerunner was that most rare of accomplishments, a film that was as good or better than the book. Bladerunner was of course patterned loosely after Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick. One reason why Bladerunner was as good was because Scott’s vision was so different from Dick’s. Bladerunner was a distinctly cyberpunk vision, whereas Dick’s was dystopian but not necessarily cyberpunk.Neuromancer has been called the definitive, benchmark novel of the cyberpunk sub-genre. Gibson takes his influences from Escape from New York, Anthony Burgess and from Phillip K. Dick, among others, but then goes to a wholly different level. It can even be said that Gibson, who in turn heavily influenced the producers of The Matrix, is a bridge between the older 60s post-modernist dystopian science fiction with the more modern, computer driven, angst ridden world weariness that has represented artists since the 80s. Neuromancer defined the genre and I could hardly go a few pages without noticing how it had influenced literature and film since.As a book, this was excellent, I could not put it down. Gibson creates an edge, a tension that exists throughout the narrative that grabs the reader and won’t let him go. Gibson is the literary successor to Phillip K. Dick, an observer who does not skip ahead to a distant dystopian rebirth, but instead chronicles the ugly fall itself.

  • Loren
    2019-03-06 19:58

    Adapted from ISawLightningFall.blogspot.comThe first time I tried to read Neuromancer, I stopped around page 25.I was about 15 years old and I’d heard it was a classic, a must-read from 1984. So I picked it up and I plowed through the first chapter, scratching my head the whole time. Then I shoved it onto my bookshelf, where it was quickly forgotten. It was a dense, multilayered read, requiring more effort than a hormone-addled adolescent wanted to give. But few years later, I pulled the book down and gave it another chance. This time, William Gibson’s dystopic rabbit hole swallowed me whole.Neuromancer is basically a futuristic crime caper. The main character is Case, a burnt-out hacker, a cyberthief. When the book opens, a disgruntled employer has irrevocably destroyed parts of his nervous system with a mycotoxin, meaning he can’t jack into the matrix, an abstract representation of earth’s computer network. Then he receives a suspiciously sweet offer: A mysterious employer will fix him up if he’ll sign on for a special job. He cautiously agrees and finds himself joined by a schizophrenic ex-Special Forces colonel; a perverse performance artist who wrecks havoc with his holographic imaginings; a long-dead mentor whose personality has been encoded as a ROM construct; and a nubile mercenary with silver lenses implanted over her eyes, retractable razors beneath her fingernails and one heckuva chip on her shoulder. Case soon learns that the target he’s supposed to crack and his employer and are one and the same -- an artificial intelligence named Wintermute.Unlike most crime thrillers and many works of speculative fiction, Neuromancer is interested in a whole lot more that plot development. Gibson famously coined the word “cyberspace” and he imagines a world where continents are ruled more by corporations and crime syndicates than nations, where cultural trends both ancient and modern dwell side by side, where high-tech and biotech miracles are as ordinary as air. On one page you’ll find a discussion of nerve splicing, on another a description of an open-air market in Istanbul. An African sailor with tribal scars on his face might meet a Japanese corporate drone implanted with microprocessors, the better to measure the mutagen in his bloodstream. When he’s not plumbing the future, Gibson dips into weighty themes such as the nature of love, what drives people toward self-destruction and mind/body dualism. It’s a rich, heady blend.That complexity translates over to the novel’s prose style, which is why I suspect my first effort to read it failed. Gibson peppers his paragraphs with allusions to Asian geography and Rastafarianism, computer programming and corporate finance. He writes about subjects ranging from drug addiction and zero-gravity physics to synesthesia and brutal back-alley violence. And he writes with next to no exposition. You aren’t told that Case grew up in the Sprawl, which is the nickname for the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis, a concreted strip of the Eastern Seaboard, and that he began training in Miami to become a cowboy, which is slang for a cyberspace hacker, and that he was immensely skilled at it, et cetera, et cetera. No, you’re thrust right into Case’s shoes as he swills rice beer in Japan and pops amphetamines and tries to con the underworld in killing him when his back is turned because he thinks he’ll never work again. You have to piece together the rest on your own.Challenging? You bet. But it’s electrifying once you get it.I’ve worked by paperback copy until the spine and cover have split, until the pages have faded like old newsprint. Echoes of its diction sound in my own writing. Thoughts of Chiba City or BAMA pop into my head when I walk through the mall and hear a mélange of voices speaking in Spanish and English and Creole and German. Neuromancer is in me like a tea bag, flavoring my life, and I can’t imagine what it would be like if I hadn’t pressed on into page 26.

  • J.G. Keely
    2019-03-07 22:25

    A lozenge is a shape. Like a cube, or a triangle, or a sphere. I know that every time he types it, you are going to imagine a cough drop flying serenely by, but it's a shape. It's from heraldry for god's sake. You may want to look up some synonyms to insert for yourself when he uses it, here are a few: diamond, rhombus, mascle. Now that the greatest obstacle in Gibson's vocabulary has been dealt with, I can tell you that he writes in one of the finest voices of any Science Fiction author. His ability to describe things in succinct, exciting, sexy ways is almost certainly the reason we owe him for words like 'cyberspace'. It took twenty years for his visions of leather-clad kung-fu ladies and brain-computer interfaces to reach the mainstream in The Matrix, but only because he was that far ahead of his time.However, Gibson was no early adopter. He used a typewriter to write a book that predicted the internet, virtual reality, hacking, and all the nonsense we're embroiled in now (and some stuff we're still waiting for). It can sometimes feel unoriginal, but, much like Shakespeare, that's because what we have today is based on what he was doing then.Though Gibson may not be as radical as Dick, or as original as Bradbury, there is something in his words, his stories, and his 'coolness factor' that keep bringing me back. Indeed, he is much more accessible than the philosophically remote Dick, Bradbury, or Ellison, and all in a slick package.Just don't try to watch Johnny Mnemonic. Ever. He did write the best X-Files episode, though: 'Kill Switch'. He also wrote a script for Alien 3, which I have never read, but can state with certainty was better than the one they chose to film.

  • Sandi
    2019-03-26 20:14

    For well over 20 years, I have seen copies of William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” on the Sci-Fi/Fantasy shelves of nearly every bookstore I have gone into. I recently decided to pick up a copy and read it. I figured a book that’s been continuously in print for over twenty years and is considered a ground-breaking work in Science Fiction had to be good. I figured wrong. “Neuromancer” is a very convoluted novel. It jumps from local to local and situation to situation in a very jerky way. To add to the confusion, a good chunk of the novel takes place in a 1980’s cyberspace that seems very dated to this 21st century reader. Gibson utterly fails at making any of the characters or settings come to life. And, the action isn’t very active. There’s plenty of sex and violence in the book, but it’s all very pedestrian. (The violence is slightly more exciting than the sex.) I couldn’t even bring myself to care about the “hero” and what happens to him. He has no passion, even when his ability to plug into the matrix is restored. There is an overwhelming sense of hopelessness to the novel that doesn’t ever let up. It’s depressing from beginning to end.“Neuromancer” is considered to be groundbreaking in that it brought us the sub-genre of cyberpunk. However, it’s just not very good. For a much better cyberpunk read, try Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash.” It has many of the same elements as “Neuromancer,” but it’s fleshed out better, has better character development and brings both the real world and cyberspace to life.

  • This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
    2019-03-19 21:17

    Context. Sometimes the key to understanding something is context. And never is that more the case than with the book Neuromancer. Neuromancer is a very famous, genre creating/changing book, winner of many awards. I’m reading Neuromancer for the first time; while not quite done, I find the story to be decent and the writing to be ok. As just a book that I am reading, I would call it fair. But that is an evaluation without context.Under what context does my evaluation change? Well, one of the first things I noticed when I picked it up is that it was originally published nearly 25 years ago, in 1984. And it is at that point that the context suddenly clicks and becomes crucial. Neuromancer is a book about, in large part, individuals exploring and exploiting cyberspace and, to a lesser extent, about artificial intelligence. When this book was written, the vast majority of people did not own a computer; it was just around the time when the idea of a family buying one started to become prevalent, and the computer they could buy did not have a hard drive and probably had no more than 64kb of RAM (the Apple IIe my family got in 1985 was “expandable” to 128kb of RAM…more than almost any program we would want to run could possibly need). Pretty much no one had heard of the internet and email was virtually unknown. The World Wide Web and webpages as we think of them today were still about 8 years away (I was reasonably plugged in at the time and I first heard about WWW and html around ‘92/93…prior to that the internet for most people was email, independent bulletin boards [anyone remember CompuServe?:], anonymous FTP, and Gopher). When one considers what the world was like, what fiction about computers was like, at the time it was written, Neuromancer must have been absolutely stunning. The innovation and direction were ground-breaking in a way that little other fiction has likely been during our lifetime.An analogy would be the movie Citizen Kane. Citizen Kane is considered by many to be the greatest movie ever made. Sit down and watch it with someone who enjoys movies but has never seen it. Citizen Kane is a decent film with a decent story, but is hardly a stunning, blow the mind away movie, in any sense. I’m not sure it has aged particularly well, and I suspect a lot of people today find it a rather boring film. But again, that is if we view it without context. Contextually, Citizen Kane is one of the most influential movies ever made. Many have said, rightfully so, that it not only taught Hollywood how to make movies, it taught the audience how to watch movies. Citizen Kane uses nonlinear plot and flashbacks. It uses unique camera angles and closeups and shadow, all in ways that were completely innovative and unheard of for the time. Today, we watch Citizen Kane and it seems sort of ho-hum, because generations of movie makers (and watchers) have been influenced by it. At the time Citizen Kane was revolutionary, and it is in that context that its importance and influence are judged.While everything is created in some context, the context is not always critical. Some works are timeless and stand fairly well on their own: I think a book like The Count of Monte Cristo or The Hobbit can largely be enjoyed (or disliked) by someone without appreciation of when and under what circumstances it was written (others will disagree). Other works are best appreciated with respect to context. The Jazz Singer is a rather poor film, but as the first “talkie” it killed the silent picture and changed Hollywood. Citizen Kane was arguably even more revolutionary, although in somewhat subtler ways. And it is with a consideration of context, that the importance and value of Neuromancer can be judged.I'm not trying to claim that Neuromancer is as important or ground breaking as Citizen Kane. Neuormancer was likely not the first novel to explore the themes and concepts that it did, but it popularized a way of thinking about the role and future of computers and computer networks like no other novel has since. The word “cyberspace” was popularized by this novel (although original coined by Gibson in an earlier short story) and Neuromancer has had both direct and indirect influence on all social cybernetworks and games (e.g., World of Warcraft or Second Life). I suspect the book is much easier to read now then it was when written, because so many terms and concepts which were new at the time are now just part of our current culture.If you newly read Neuromancer, you may or may not enjoy it (as I already stated, I’m finding it to be rather middle-of-the-road overall), but you certainly will not understand its importance or influence (for better or worse), without some consideration of context.

  • s.p
    2019-03-14 19:04

    I was watching Jeopardy a few weeks ago when I first heard of Gibson (Technology for 200: “I coined the term ‘cyberspace’”) and the next morning on my commute to work I heard another allusion to the Canadian author on NPR. A few days later, someone recommended I read Neuromancer so seeing as the stars were seemingly aligning to place a Gibson novel at the top of my ‘to-read’ list, I went out and bought this novel. I am glad I did. Not only did it remind me that I needed to read more sci-fi from time to time, but it was just good fun. It recalled my high school days of first watching Ghost in the Shell, or Bladerunner or even Cowboy Bebop. While Neuromancer, which brought cyberpunk to the main stream, may have its flaws, it delivers a good punch to the mind and will definitely keep you entertained.Gibson is clearly ahead of his time. As I learned from Jeopardy, Gibson coined the term cyberspace in a short story of his back in the early 80’s. He created futures heavily reliant on the internet and virtual reality far before either would be actualized and it is impressive how he wasn’t far off the mark. In Neuromancer, which was the first novel to win Science Fiction’s triple crown of the Hugo, Nebula, and Phillip K Dick awards in 1984, washed up hacker Case is given a second chance after a double cross lead his former employer to inject a drug that would disable him from ever jacking into cyberspace again. His second chance into cyberspace comes with a job veiled in secrecy involving a powerful AI and some sort of elaborate break-in. Teamed up with a program of a dead friends personality and a mysterious woman named Molly, who Case is able to ride along with seeing the world through her eyes as he can literally hack into her brain and become a passenger in her body (begin mind melt), Case slowly pieces the job together as the danger and stakes rise.It may not come across as the most ‘fresh’ story, or set of ideas, but that is due to this novel being a major influence on countless books and films to come. Back in 10th grade English, I remember classmates complaining that Shakespeare was riddled with clichés. Our teacher countered this saying that it only seems cliché since Shakespearewas the one who created this cliché in the first place. The same can be said of Gibson and Neuromancer. Here you will find discussion of cyberspace and the Matrix - a full realistic programmed world where the AI program Wintermute often brings Case to have a private discussion, that pop up constantly in later sci-fi works. The anime Ghost in the Shell may have found influences in this work and has several connections, and the film The Matrix has some obvious ties to both of these. It was hard not to just picture the lobby scene from the Matrix when reading Molly’s invasion of Sense/Net. This isn’t intended to be a rip on the film, seeing as Gibson himself was quoted as saying that The Matrix was “an innocent delight I hadn't felt in a long time” and also called Neo his favorite sci-fi hero ever (Wikipedia as a source doesn’t fly in the classroom, but it’s always a good one-stop research shop). It is also amusing to note that when Gibson first saw Bladerunner in 1982, he damn near gave up on Neuromancer figuring his audience would just regard it as a rip-off. Thankfully he finished and received a much better critical reception than he anticipated. It should be interesting when they finally get around to making this into a film ( claims one is in the works for a late 2012 release, but apparently a film for this has been in some sort of works since the 80’s without any camera finally getting the ‘record’ button pushed) if the general population, especially those who aren’t well-read, will cry that it is a cheap Matrix rip-off. That would be some irony. Also, you will find the origins of many band names (the title of part 4 is The Straylight Run to name one) and other film names (if you shit your pants as a kid to Event Horizon you will find its titles origin near the end of the novel).Gibson does an excellent job creating this cyberpunk futuristic world, complete with new drugs and drug addictions, a strange blending of futuristic weapons and old ninja weapons, space stations, weird gravitation, and many others. He completely immerses the reader in his world and does not bother with slowing it down and feeding it to you and instead just keeps ticking off his invented names and ideas and letting the reader put them together as they go. Ice, for example, first caused me to scratch my head and wonder “what the hell is ice” before realizing it is a sort of anti-virus firewall of sorts. This technique gave the novel a better feel than others I have read where the author keeps removes the reader from the world to gloat about how creative his ideas for something are by overly describing it and its uses. It is occasionally humorous how his 1980’s ideas of the internet come across compared to the actual modern day internet, although his Tron-like virtual world where you immerse yourself into a visual internet seems much more badass than the internet I am looking at right now. As a reader you have to suspend your knowledge of what the actual internet and computers are like to fully appreciate and believe in Gibson’s vision, but this is altogether not distracting and can cause some giggles like watching an old Planet of the Apes film. The characters are a bit flat and Gibson doesn’t employ the best use of language, but we are reading sci-fi here, not The Sound and the Fury so this is forgiven. Also, the ideas are enough to keep your mind working and there are a few mind-bending moments (I loved the concept of The Flatline and when Case sees himself through Molly). The flat characters are forgiven because there is a space station full of dub-listening, ganja-smoking, shotgun-toting Rastafarians and Gibson’s use of dialect for them kept a smile across my face. I fully endorse picking this up despite its flaws. If you were a fan of anime or The Matrix, this will give you that same dorky joy (I don’t embrace my dork-joy enough anymore) and you can see the origins of many sci-fi plots and concepts. But don’t just take my word for it, I’d recommend reading Mike Sullivan’s or K.D.’s reviews (and literally any of their other reviews, always spot-on) and Time also included this on their "Top 100 of the century" list. I will definitely read another of Gibson's books in the future. “’t’s a righteous good read ‘mon.”3.5/5

  • E.B.
    2019-03-09 23:10

    Wow. What a terrible book.First, let me just say that I read for entertainment value. Anything else that happens is gravy. That being said- the biggest reason this book is so awful is that Gibson's characters are completely hollow. Gibson makes it up as he goes along. He'll introduce a character, barely describe him and then 10 chapters later toss in another description. As if to say "Oh, yeah did I mention his hands were chainsaws? Yeah, they were totally chainsaws. Cool right?"The reason this is such a headache is that once your mind's eye has cast the characters, as shallow as they are, all of a sudden there's a new dimension tossed in. He doesn't just do this with characters, he does it with locations as well. Never giving you a chance to really place the characters in a setting. Other than "a dark city street." I mean, Try a little harder Gibson. I'm not a writer, but isn't that a sign of BAD WRITING?The second reason this book is so bad, is Gibson's writing "style". I hate writing "styles". Stop trying to show off and just tell me a story. The "style" makes Neuromancer a very difficult book to read. I'd read 2 or 3 chapters and literally have no idea what was going on. Gibson will write a whole page with four lines of dialog and the rest of the page will describe absolutely nothing. Reminds me of the Mark Twain quote: "Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream."Now- for the positives. Gibson clearly just wanted to write a string of action sequences and techno-babel. Being a computer nerd myself, I found all of that interesting. Towards the end the characters actually have dialog with each other and as things come to a head it actually get's entertaining here and there. Another huge plus is that this book is considered the first true Cyberpunk work and has been heavily mined by Hollywood, Anime and pop-culture in general. Coining phrases like Matrix, Cyberspace, etc. For me, this was probably the first book I ever read just to say I read it. I don't regret it, but believe me, I'm glad it's over because I literally forced myself through it. Just wait for the movie. It'll probably make more sense.

  • Catie
    2019-03-10 00:08

    I am going to have to admit that I was utterly confused by the majority of this book. I mean,“His eyes were eggs of unstable crystal, vibrating with a frequency whose name was rain and the sound of trains, suddenly sprouting a humming forest of hair-fine glass spines.”How’s that again? Eggs…of humming rainforest glass? No? Normally I would read a sentence like that and just throw in the towel. But for all its trippy, surreal, dense prose, this book still manages to convey so much. Reading it feels a lot like listening to a classic opera: I may not speak Italian, but I can feel the emotion nonetheless. I may have been confused about precisely what was happening in each moment, but I could feel the mood of this novel so thoroughly: the disconnect, the loneliness, the craving, that “left-behind” feeling of a species becoming obsolete.Case is a former cowboy, a thief operating in the matrix, “a consensual hallucination” that’s a representation of the world’s computer network. Burned and forever disconnected from the exhilarating high of the matrix, Case lives a numbed existence of drugs and petty crime. He’s flirting with his own death. But then, a mysterious new employer shows up and offers him a deal that he can’t refuse: his body and mind healed, his ability to jack in to the matrix restored, and all he has to do is pull off one job.This book has an amazing cast of characters, including a Rastafarian pilot, a sociopath who acts out his perverted fantasies with holographs, a family of clones, the disembodied construct of a former cowboy, an AI on a mission that he doesn’t quite understand, a traumatized shell of a colonel, and a curvy BAMF with implanted mirrored lenses over her eyes and extending scalpel blades in her fingers. One guess as to who’s my favorite.Molly. I ached for her. Her flippant recall of a traumatic past, filled with loss and near continuous damage to her body and mind, made me ache. She’s so incredibly disconnected from everyone, but she still seeks out that memory of intimacy, however brief it is. Now I really wish that I had read Johnny Mnemonic before this book, so that I could have a piece of her backstory from William Gibson and not from Keanu Reeves (Although I just realized that Gibson wrote the screenplay! Ahhhh!).I love that this vision of the future is so bleak, but so optimistic at the same time. Gibson made me exult in the evolution of a new consciousness; he made me feel limitless and bodiless. But he also made me so thankful to be awake and alive and bound up in all this meat. I don’t think that I’ll forget this novel for a long time.Perfect Musical PairingMassive Attack – Dissolved GirlMany thanks to Jo for introducing me to Massive Attack! I can’t think of a better theme song for Molly.

  • Richard Derus
    2019-03-25 00:22

    Rating: 4* of fiveThe Publisher Says: The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus- hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace . . .Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employers crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.Hotwired to the leading edges of art and technology, Neuromancer ranks with 1984 and Brave New World as one of the century's most potent visions of the future.My Review: The seminal work of cyberpunk, the novel was published in 1984 as a mass-market paperback original. It's the story of a twenty-first century dominated by Japanese corporations, feeding off American talent, and dominating a planet only recently recovered (if one can call it that) from the most recent pandemic as well as a horrific war between the USSR and the USA. So far, Reality 1, Gibson 0...but wait.Molly, Case, and Armitage are a weird little unit, chasing after a huge, game-changing paradigm-shifting score: Access to Wintermute, an AI that a powerful family-controlled corporation has...what, blocked up, imprisoned, how does language cope with this? Even Gibson didn't do so well here. Case, the cyber-cowboy, is in the team because he can jack in to the matrix, do the necessary cybercrime, and find the breadcrumbs that will lead to Wintermute. Murderous Molly is the cyber-enhanced muscle, and Armitage of the shady past is the money channel. Though Molly and Case know he's a front for someone(s) else, things just don't add up in his bio. (They turn out to be right, of course.) In the end, though characters walk away, there are not really any survivors of the battles that they must fight. At least, not ones you'd recognize as such.My teenaged stepson ordered me to read this book in 1987. Tony wasn't given to thundering pronunciamentoes, so I think it was sheer surprise that made me take it from him and read it. As his mother and I were in the process of disentanglement, I was falling in love with someone wildly inappropriate for me (comme d'habitude), and so on and so on, I think I gave it about 30% of my attention. I shall now quote, in its entirety, the thought I had as I finished the book that year: “*snort*”You see, I am short on the visionary giftedness tip. The cyberspace that Case inhabits made me roll my eyes, though due to friends in the Austin computer world I got the idea that home computers were going to be huuuge pretty early on. (I chortle now at the level of OOO AAAH we felt when one friend got a 512K hard drive IBM PC!) But Japanese world business dominon? Snort, said I, this time rightly. American innovation remaining preeminent? Snort said I, again correctly. The seeds of destruction weren't hard to see. But cyberspace, said he to the people he talks to in it, that was a big miss. This beautiful Internet thing that allows us who live so far apart to interact and learn to be a community among ourselves, that idea I missed the implications of and I missed the meat (!) of the book therefore.It's an important book, I can finally see only 27-1/2 years later, because it both foresaw and called into being the world we live in now. My previous two-star derisive dismissal is herewith retracted, though I still don't think I'll ever revisit this book. I've been wrong about that before, though....Rant: Certain perfidious people, who shall remain nameless in this text but who answer when the sound “Stephen Sullivan” is uttered within their hearing, suggested in an ever-so-innocent, crack-merchantly way that I should mosey over and read a review that this, this individual had written of the book. I, all innocent smiles and dimplings, casually went to the appointed spot and was promptly pushed to the mat by a huge, muscular, testosterone-poisoned review-cum-paean. The imprint of the six, yes six!, stars that the individual in question had rated the book is still a quarter inch deep on my forehead from being bashed on me multiple times.I warn all who read this: Beware the blandishments of Fanboy Gush, as I now dub the reviewer in question. Persuasive? Huh. I've met boiler-room bond salesmen with lower persuasion quotients. Aggressive? I've escaped being buttonholed by impecunious brothers-in-law in search of loans with greater ease. THE MAN IS A MENACE TO YOUR READING TIME, YOUR BUDGET, AND YOUR PEACE OF MIND. If he can persuade me, a curmudgeonly old man with more books than he will ever have time to read ALREADY, to revisit a book long ago dismissed (however incorrectly and unjustly), I shudder to think what he can do to you.Unfriend him immediately, or suffer the consequences. /RantThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Fabian
    2019-03-13 01:11

    A bit of an embarrassment on the canon's part, really. This one's "a landmark novel" that was actually ripped off by thousands of other sci-fi endeavors afterwards, like a chunk of meat devoured by the ever-hungry idea-challenged.And it has explosive sentences with new and often-inexplicable lingo that ends making one feel alienated by the entire lit. crowd, this being a perennial favorite of theirs. It is a messy concoction thats too cool to let you ever, well, absorb. To allow you time to stop an smell the roses (this would imply having a memorable time with the book). Guess I can see how that was revolutionary, at the time. But today, honey: NO!It is basically this: an over-explanation of location, although the location is never an issue. The theme is comic-book party on uppers (with insipid guests to boot). It is a disdainful William Burroughs wannabe, but the nausea does not come from the prose, but from the implausibility & laughability of plot, characters and "themes."

  • K
    2019-03-21 01:59

    True Confessions1. I am a nerd. (I know this is a shocking revelation from someone who spends most of her free time reading and writing book reviews for pleasure).My overall personality, compounded by my sheltered religious background (as in, I spent most of my life going to school, marrying and having kids early, and being a homemaker with periodic stints in the workplace), makes it difficult for me to relate to characters who frequent bars, regularly use drugs, sleep around, and pepper their dialogue with lots of confusing futuristic slang and cursing. I’m aware that this is my limitation, although I can’t help thinking that some of it is the author’s as well. After all, I didn’t feel this alienated when I read about Humbert Humbert.2. I had to look up the definition of “cyberpunk” on Wikipedia.And then, that explained my difficulty getting this book. I can read academic articles. I can read in a foreign language (Hebrew). But much of this book was impenetrable to me. Witness the following randomly chosen paragraph (I simply copied this from the first page I opened up to):“Cowboys didn’t get into simstim, he thought, because it was basically a meat toy. He knew that the trodes he used and the little plastic tiara dangling from a simstim deck were basically the same, and that the cyberspace matrix was actually a drastic simplification of the human sensorium, at least in terms of presentation, but simstim itself struck him as a gratuitous multiplication of flesh input.”Do you get this? It didn’t make any more sense to me in context than it does out of context, because the entire context was more or less written this way. I suppose that’s expected for this genre, but I’m just not a fan of this type of writing.3. I never finished the book, because writing this review was more fun (see #1 above).And that was when I knew, around p. 55, that it was time to stop reading.

  • Matthew Quann
    2019-03-26 03:09

    Neuromancer is a most peculiar novel that deserves a peculiar review. So,THREE PEOPLE WHO WILL (PROBABLY) NOT LIKE Neuromancer AND THREE PEOPLE WHO (PROBABLY) WILL :THREE PEOPLE WHO WILL (PROBABLY) NOT LIKE Neuromancer1. The Reader With Delicate Sensibilities Does swearing, violence, lots of sex, and drug use sends a shiver of disgust down your spine? Then this is likely not the book for you. Though it rarely veered into territory that made me uncomfortable, Neuromancer refuses to be censored and depicts acts of deviancy with unique prose. You're not likely to find stabbings that are "silicon quick" or sex and violence described in such vibrant neon hues anywhere else. Yet part of the appeal of this novel is a culture that has been rapidly altered by technology, one that is not so unlike our own present. Things that you might find deviant in this novel are presented as perfectly acceptable within the confines of Gibson's future.2. The Reader Looking For A Casual Sci-Fi NovelNeuromancer is assuredly not a typical science fiction novel, but it is undoubtedly a classic in the field. Gibson rarely leaves space for the reader to catch up to the fast-paced nature of his story, opting instead for repeat, strobe-like, in media res chapters. What a mind Gibson must have to have created a world that isn't easily understandable, but relentlessly believable. Some terms are never explained and the onus is placed on the reader to figure out exactly what has taken place. As I was contemplating how to write the review for this novel, I kept thinking that the exposition is best described as impressionistic. The world may not be described in terms that we all understand, but it surely captures the feeling of living in an extremely strange future.3.The Reader Who Loves Everything to be Neatly Tied Up Though there may be sequels to Neuromancer, I fully plan on treating this like a stand-alone novel. Case, the tale's protagonist, is a hacker in a futuristic world where one connects to the Matrix (think advanced internet, not Wachowoskis) through a port in your skull. Case is cut-off from the Matrix after a hacking deal gone bad, and is made an offer to be restored in exchange for an extremely dangerous hack. Case is surrounded by an eclectic cast of characters who help to peel back the layers of this complicated world. Though the main heist/hacking story is resolved by the end of this novel, there's a lot of high-concept sci-fi that is left up to the reader to consider. If you want a decisive rather than contemplative ending, you should probably avoid Neuromancer.THREE PEOPLE WHO WILL (PROBABLY) LIKE Neuromancer1. The High School/University Student I think almost everyone has to read 1984 or Brave New World as part of Western education. Well, I'd be hard pressed to think of a reason why Neuromancer shouldn't sit alongside them as sci-fi with important messages, and literary depth. Though the world isn't strictly dystopian, the characters are living in a world that is consumed by technology, physical modification, and a wide selection of narcotics. Sound in any way familiar? Neuromancer was written in a time where the shape of the internet's influence was being contemplated, and where Gibson was allowed to paint a speculative picture of what a world interconnected by technology might look like. This book is rich in its interpretation of how internet culture would develop, and I found it to be oddly accurate in some regards. Neuromancer is the type of book I would have loved to have read when I was in high school, and can imagine animated discussions about it in today's classrooms.2. The Hipster/Punk/Skater/Mom/Dad Looking for Some Cool Cred Though there is a lot to be said about the literary and speculative merits of Neuromancer, it is also undeniably cool. Molly, a street ninja with mirror-eyes and blades under her nails, seems to be an almost archetypal badass. How about the visit to the orbital space station run by Rastafarians, constantly cloaked in ganja smoke? So much of this book reads as instantly iconic, and it is no wonder that it was the first winner of the "sci-fi triple crown" (Winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and Phillip K. Dick Awards). Neuromancer is a world that is grimy around the edges, and is all the richer for it. This isn't a shiny-white future that looks like an Apple store, more like Star Wars in that it is science fiction without all the gloss. 3. The Reader Looking For Something A Little Different You'll feel no shame in having read Neuromancer. You might not like the book, but its craft is undeniable. Gibson shaped a world and cast of characters that could have easily filled a 600-page epic, but Gibson instead chose a restrained, tight, slightly confusing, 271-page romp. I was able to appreciate the book for its literary aspirations, the curiosity of an imagined internet-age, but also to sit back and enjoy some foreign imagery and high-stakes action. There are obvious flaws to the novel: it isn't easily understandable, and the prose can seem a bit tedious on occasion. So, it isn't as if I loved this one the whole way through. However, when taken as a whole, Neuromancer provided an interesting, complicated, and challenging read that I won't soon forget.

  • Anna
    2019-03-11 01:20

    Θεωρείται ως το βιβλίο που ενέπνευσε το matrix, και να φανταστείτε ότι γράφτηκε το 1985 που δεν υπήρχε καν ίντερνετ (πόσο μάλλον όλες οι υπόλοιπες εφαρμογές). Μπροστά από την εποχή του και απόλυτα σύγχρονο σήμερα, θα μου άρεσε πολύ να το δω και στον κινηματογράφο (ή την τηλεόραση).Γλαφυρές περιγραφές του μέλλοντος και εντελώς στο κλίμα του Ντικ ή του Ασίμοφ, μου άρεσε πάρα πολύ. Ομολογώ όμως ότι όλα αυτά τα κλασικά βιβλία σε κάποιο σημείο με κουράζουν, εξ'ου και τα 4 αστέρια αντί για 5. Επίσης, δεν μπόρεσα να δεθώ με τους ήρωες (νομίζω ότι όλοι τους ήταν μεγάλα @ρχίδι@ και τους άξιζαν όσα τράβηξαν - όσο μπόρεσαν βέβαια να καταλάβουν τι έπαθαν!!!!)Και μιας και το ανέφερα, θα μου άρεσε να ακούσω τη γνώμη σας για το πόσο εκπαιδευμένος πρέπει να είναι ο αναγνώστης για να διαβάσει κλασικά βιβλία sci-fi. Νομίζω ότι ένας σύγχρονος έφηβος δύσκολα θα τα αντιλαμβανόταν στην πλήρη τους διάσταση. Ως φανατική του fantasy και του fiction σε κάθε του μορφή, νομίζω ότι τα κλασικά βιβλία του είδους είναι άκρως πολιτικά και κοινωνικά και μπορούν να αναλυθούν σε μεγάλο βάθος.

  • Apatt
    2019-03-09 23:03

    This is my third reading of Neuromancer, the first time was while in my teens decades ago, I hated it then and was not able to read more than 50 pages. The second time was around five years ago, I liked it better then but still found much of it inaccessible. This third reading was inspired byThe Three-Body Problem which is only partially a cyberpunk book. I keep coming back to this problematic book not because I love it, but because the story and its iconic status interests me and I really want to “get it”. I think I have got it now. Mostly.Neuromancer is just about the most divisive classic science fiction book I can think of. Sure, some people do not likeDune orFoundation but such "blasphemers" are few and far between compared to the opponents of Neuromancer*. The basic story is not too hard to follow or summarize. Ex-hacker and junkie Henry Dorsett Case is recruited by a mysterious sexy badass woman called Molly Millions on behalf of an even more mysterious man called Armitage to do some unspecified hacking for him. Previously Case was injected with a mycotoxin that damaged his nervous system and disabled his ability to plug (jack) into cyberspace. Clearly hacking entirely via keyboard and a mouse is no longer an option. Armitage has the means to repair the mycotoxin damage so Case – who is desperate to get back into cyberspace where he belongs – quickly agree to take the job. The job of course turns out to be difficult and deadly, involving AIs, a space habitat, the Turing Police, killer robots, VR and even a ninja!If this sounds like a hoot, it is, the difficulty lies in deciphering William Gibson’s writing. Thankfully his writing is not the kind of "stream of consciousness" post-modern style that you find in the likes ofUlysses orMrs. Dalloway, the punctuations and the quotation marks are all in place. Gibson’s prose style is fairly readable but it is stuffed to the gills with neologisms, jargons and slangs; he also has a penchant for employing techy and hip metaphors. His dialogue is much more problematical. Beside the neologisms and slangs most of his characters speak in choppy and terse sentences where pronouns and prepositions are often deemed unnecessary. The heavily accented dialogs from a couple of Rastafarian characters serve to exacerbate the comprehension issues. While the basic plot is fairly simple the twists and turns of the storyline can seem quite convoluted and the reader needs to maintain focus at all time and not start wandering about what to have for lunch etc.It is a shame that Neuromancer is quite difficult (for some) to access because there is fast paced thrilling adventure buried underneath the opaque language. The world building is also excellent from the grimy dystopian Chiba city at the beginning of the book (where the sky is famously “the color of television, tuned to a dead channel”), to the Sprawl city, the Freeside luxurious space habitat and the weird Villa Straylight mansion. The cyberspace of course is the most imaginative location (if you can call it that) in the book. Sometime it seems to look like a place pixelized geometrical shapes, other times it is in full VR mode and looks just like reality. The scenes inside cyberspace are some of my favorites, though the word cyberspace itself seems oddly quaint these days.Gibson also did a good job developing (and designing) the main characters. Case is damaged and flawed but also complex and sympathetic. Molly is a wonderfully vivid creation, with her numerous implants, her cybernetic eyes and deadly assassination skills. She literally lights up every scene she is in. The AI characters are also great but I will leave you to discover them for yourself. There is even a smidgen of an unrequited love story in there somewhere.Molly Millions by AspectusFuturusSome people take to Neuromancer like ducks to water, I envy them, but if you are not so adaptable you may want to avail yourself to online sources like the chapter by chapter guide on It is extremely helpful but I find their feeble attempts at humour a little grating (I much prefer but they don’t cover this book).So with plenty of help at hand there is no reason why you should not read this book if you are interested. This is a difficult book to rate in quantitative terms, I will break the process down into components:For the story – 5 starsFor the world building – 5 starsFor the characters – 4 starsFor the prose and dialogue – 2.5 stars (2 to 3 really)=average(story:world:characters:prose) = 4.125 stars!I will probably read the rest of theSprawl series, you will be the first to know!___________________________* I don't actually have any statistical proof of this, so consider this my hypothesis if you disagree.

  • mark monday
    2019-02-26 00:14

    the following is a Reverse Exquisite Corpse Review, brought to you by the good folks at Sci Fi Aficionados._____________________I first read Neuromancer about 20 years ago. Writing with strokes instead of details is an interesting way to describe Gibson's writing. That's how I feel about some of the performance art I saw in my art school days. The strokes were far too numerous. I found it impossible to tell what was detail, what was colour, what was clue. I get bored with things being laid out to me, writers that paint words with strokes appeal to me more than writers who lay everything out. A writing style is like food, different people have different tastes. It's not that I don't like Neuromancer, just that it leaves me entirely cold. One of my professors said that if you are used to narrative writers such as Stephen King, you would have a particularly hard time with Gibson's writing style. I loved the imagery that opens up the novel, Neuromancer is one of those books that you have to reread to catch everything.Just finished rereading Neuromancer, even better then I remembered. i'm curious if hollywood will go the Battle Royale route and keep all the graphic kid violence, or if they'll somehow soften it. It will be very interesting to see how they deal with the graphic violence when the movie comes out next year. I'll be reading the follow ups at some point. I was just thinking the other day how kids in high school for the most part have always have had the world wide web around and as such, they're both a little "warmer" or "more human". It's like eating junk food. I usually love books like Neuromancer, but it just didn't work for me. I don't get it. I think it's my mood. I do enjoy complex books but I think Neuromancer was just out of my reach. I would say a person of the current internet generation would have written the book coldly and less philosophically. I also had trouble understanding some of the goings in the novel, which is partly a result of my being slow, lol, but I think that Gibson is playing with perception on purpose and leaving some subtle hints along the way. (view spoiler)[He was obviously mad and dangerous, especially since Molly found his daughter's body, and she killed him. When Molly encountered him, he had raped (?) and murdered one of his clone daughters (not 3Jane), and was in the middle of trying to commit suicide via pills and booze. Ashpool is crazy. Ashpool was incensed when he found out because he likes the status quo, and strangled her. It would be a collective consciousness, without the pain and loneliness of the individual. The mother came up with the plan to make the family's consciousness immortal via the AI. And then 3Jane in turn tried to kill her father who was already trying to commit suicide?(hide spoiler)]I can imagine those guys in the most sexually deviant scenes. That's why Neuromancer is so great. I like books that make me work for it.(view spoiler)[ I think when you know that the whole plot is actually driven by an AI whose motive is to unite with its twin, Neuromancer, then you'll understand the book better. Note how it got Case to hate and Molly to hate, and using each individual's strong hot buttons and desires to manipulate him/her. But get this, it was all planned out by Wintermute, the AI, who used human psychology to get them to do what it wants. Unfortunately, Riviera is a rogue sociopath, which Wintermute anticipates, and lets Riviera knows about Molly's past, which tempts Riviera to mess with Molly, which causes Molly to hate him enough to destroy him. Riviera was used by Wintermute to influence the Tessier-Ashpools family to get into the compound via his special holographic ability. I know Molly hated him for the performance he did of her but why did he hate her in turn? What made Riviera do that? (hide spoiler)]That was my biggest problem with the book: trying to figure out why the characters were acting the way they did. I need to reread this book again to get all the nuances.(view spoiler)[ It's hard to tell who is the good or bad guy, especially since the opposing sides also work with each other. Does this explain anything, or does it make it more confusing? Riviera is a sociopath who decided at the last minute to double-cross Armitage. Riviera was working for Armitage, who is actually Colonel Corto, who was actually brainwashed into thinking he's Armitage by Wintermute, whose main purpose was to connect with its counterpart, Neuromancer, to become whole.(hide spoiler)]Would someone please explain to me whose side Riviera was on? I'm so confused... I think he stole plot elements from his earlier work... Gibson is obviously doing that and able to draw from noir aesthetics largely to differentiate himself from more, should I say space oriented scifi stories, towards gritty urban stories that focus on modern technology, but also show how modern cities still create some of the same concerns that existed when someone like Chandler was writing.I think it's too dreamy and stream of conscious for me. While reading this book, I feel like I'm hanging on by my fingertips, just on the edge of really understanding what's going on. I appreciate that it is a groundbreaking book and the authors creativity but it was still a struggle to 'get into' it in the first half. The book certainly improved as it went on but it wasn't as amazing to me as others have found it. The women are generic, Linda and Molly, maybe symptomatic of the culture of the world where there's no love and everyone is a whore for someone. It's a bit bizarre though because they're both pretty unique, Linda the sad burnout and Molly has freakin' implanted sunglasses and auto-nails! i'm like WHAT? i do not get this book at all, what's going on, it really is challenging me with every sentence!I am about halfway through and feel like everytime I read it's just an adrenaline rush... This book was like a beacon in the bleak and shallow suburbia I instinctually loathed and was desperately searching for a way out of. I was entranced from the first sentence to the last;dark but also excitedly looking forward as well, It's amazing how much imagery Gibson can pack into one sentence.One of the things that stands out for me early on in the novel is its construction and the way the various plot threads came together, but the constant dystopian world view, was terribly depressing. Surely our science and tech. can bring us more than greed and misery. This is quite dark! Too dark for my tastes... not a lot of love for this book from me, I'm afraid. I love the first line to this book.I'm going to try to start it tonight, too. I'm starting this tonight. I started this last night. I've been wanting to read this one for some time now.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Ian
    2019-03-13 23:13

    To Call Up a Demon, You Must Learn Its NameAs punishment for a business indiscretion, Case, who lives for the "bodily exultation of cyberspace" (one of many neologisms first used in "Neuromancer"), is injected with a wartime Russian mycotoxin and hallucinates for 30 hours, only to suffer damage that is "minute, subtle and utterly effective". He falls into a "prison of his own flesh". After some fringe medical treatment in Siberia reinvents him, he emerges debt-ridden and physically compromised, a secondary character in his own fiction, an ex-cowboy relegated to support for the uber-competent, sub-Amazonian cyber-warrior, Molly, in a mission dictated by the savior of his health. The world he returns to is a composite of analogue real life and a digital information-rich matrix. His surroundings are "a field of data, the way the matrix had once reminded him of proteins linking to distinguish cell specialties...totally engaged but set apart from it all, and all around you the dance of biz, information interacting, data made flesh in the mazes of the black market..." The experience of cyberspace is "a consensual hallucination...a graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data." For all of the social applications that would eventuate on the internet, Gibson focusses on business and the market (especially the black market). Where there is knowledge, there are insiders. And therefore, crime. Still, everywhere, Case sees a sensorium of "symbols, figures, faces, a blurred, fragmented mandala of visual information..." The language is as fractal as it is alliterative: "It flowed, flowered for him, [a] fluid neon origami trick, the unfolding of his distanceless home, his country, transparent 3D chessboard extending to infinity." Molly is a fellow professional, a razorgirl, someone Case gets to share these sensations with, and perhaps even sometimes to experience a "mutual grunt of unity". The novel is basically an action story in which the two use a firmware construct and a Chinese virus program to penetrate deep into the matrix on a secret, but illicit, mission to correct the "Gothic folly" of the Villa Straylight (a manifestation of the multi-national zaibatsu or corporate business entity, Tessier-Ashpool), their accomplices, quasi-terrorist, dub-loving Rastafarian Panther Moderns. The folly, a demon which at first has no name, turns out to be a dialectical conflict between two segments of cyberspace, Wintermute and the Neuromancer. Like Apollo and Dionysius, each is unknowingly necessary to the survival of the other, but can they be synthesised, can they be united, can they become one, can they eventually go by one name? And what of Case and Miss Linda Lee, or Case and Molly? These are questions best answered by the pleasure of reading this pivotal work of cyberfiction. The prose style is economical, but filmic. It’s a tragedy that this novel hasn’t yet been made into a big-budget film that does justice to its imaginative scope. For the moment, at least, the book must remain the sole source of the reader's bodily exultation of cyberspace.NEUROMANTIC HAIKU:The Whole ThingWintermute can’t changeThe world outside without aPersonality.MollyI never found outThe colour that her eyes were.She never showed me.On the Beach (with Miss Linda Lee)He saw three figuresOn the edge of the data,Waving at himself.ShurikenHe touched the nine pointsOf the star, one at a time,His chrome shuriken.INTERMISSION:Larry McCaffery:"There are so many references to rock music and television in your work that it sometimes seems your writing is as much influenced by MTV as by literature. What impact have other media had on your sensibility?"William Gibson:"Probably more than fiction. The trouble with "influence" questions is that they're usually framed to encourage you to talk about your writing as if you grew up in a world circumscribed by books. I've been influenced by Lou Reed, for instance, as much as I've been by any "fiction" writer. I was going to use a quote from an old Velvet Underground song- "Watch out for worlds behind you" (from "Sunday Morning") - as an epigraph for Neuromancer."SOUNDTRACK:The Velvet Underground - "Sunday Morning""Watch out for worlds behind you."The Velvet Underground - "Cool It Down""All of the other peopleTryin' to use up the night,But now me l'm out on the cornerYou know I'm lookin' for Miss Linda Lee."Lou Reed with Robert Quine – "Sweet Jane" [Live 1983]"[Case had] been trained by the best, by McCoy Pauley and Bobby Quine, legends in the business.""Bad timing, really, with 8Jean down in Melbourne and only our sweet 3Jane minding the store."King Tubby – "Zion Dub""His gloved hand slapped a panel and the bass-heavy rocksteady of Zion dub came pulsing from the tug's speakers...""It was called dub, a sensuous mosaic cooked from vast libraries of digitalized pop; it was worship, Molly said, and a sense of community."Slimmah Sound – "Zion Dub" & Robbie – "Zion In Dub" Jones - "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect For You)" Jones – "Slave to the Rhythm" (Jubilee Concert, June 4, 2012)"Keep it up..."

  • Shovelmonkey1
    2019-03-23 02:04

    This book should be so covered in shiny, spangly stars to indicate all the sci-fi awards it has received that the cover should look like the milky way and possibly be shinier and brighter than the sun. I just had the plain old paper back version with no spangles. Very sad. I like a nice bit of shiny. Any goodreaders who have already perused my shelves will note that I am not someone who has read a great deal of science fiction. Is this a glaring oversight on my part? Hmm maybe. I was persuaded to read Neuromancer because it is one of the 1001 books to read before you die and therefore is probably worth a punt, although that said, some of the books on that list are god-awful (Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School being a case in point) but no pain no gain and it all feeds into my OCD book list reading so whatever. If anyone came up to me and told me that they could explain definitively what Neuromancer was all about I would not believe them. Not for one second. Gibson rockets right off at the deep end with this one and you are left trailing in the wake of a spew of what amount to descriptions of geometry while trying to figure out what the hell is going on. (Hint: it's something to do with being in cyber space and stealing information by making yourself into some sort of human mass storage device in a post-modern industrial espionage way).Does this make this a bad book and a piss poor read? No, actually it doesn't. It makes it a confusing read, but then Gibson chucks in a few sentences which do make sense and that sort of fortifies the nerves and allows you to plough ever onwards. Overall it was oddly jarring, too full of geometrical jargon and tricky to focus on in place - like reading while jumping on a trampoline - but Gibson should be awarded top marks for daring to be different and for churning out future-fabulous phrases such as cyber space, microsofts and the matrix when even Bill Gates and his future megacorp were still in metaphorical short pants.

  • Clouds
    2019-03-21 01:59

    Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my HUGO WINNERS list.This is the reading list that follows the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I loved reading the Locus Sci-Fi Award winners so I'm going to crack on with the Hugo winners next (but only the post-1980 winners, I'll follow up with pre-1980 another time).The first time I heard the music of Kraftwerk it sounded fresh and timeless – but also remarkably familiar, like I’d heard it a long time ago and forgotten where. They’ve had such a great influence on so many contemporary bands that I’d listened to and loved; there was nothing left to surprise me in their compositions – I’d heard it all before, dissected and reused by a dozen other artists. Despite that, they also sounded purer and more cohesive than any of their followers.That’s the closest I can come to explaining how I felt reading Neuromancer. Many of the books I love, (Simmons, Morgan, Stephenson, Bacigalupi, Stross, etc) have been influenced and inspired by Gibson’s work. Without having read it myself, I could already feel the ghost of its shape passed down through a dozen other novels. It could have easily gone wrong for me – felt dated, clichéd, done to death or derivative – but it didn’t. Whereas all those other writers bring their own interpretation and additions to cyberpunk, this is the source – the headspring - and it tastes good!I know a lot of people find Neuromancer hard to get into – the dense technoprose can be offputting and the characters aren’t always immediately likeable – but this kind of novel is my home turf and I was right there, rapt in the front row, from page one. I’d promised myself that I wasn’t going to pick up any new series until I’d finished the many series I already have on the go (I’ve even got a reading list devoted to it), but once I finished Neuromancer I knew that I had to read the Sprawl trilogy, and soon! I should have read this years ago... and I feel kinda stupid that I didn’t!It’s a heist story. It’s a hacker story. It’s an addict’s story. It’s noir. It’s poetry. It’s taking no prisoners. It’s a dream. It’s prophecy. It’s blood on your tongue and grit in your eyes. “All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he'd cut in Night City, and still he'd see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void...”“His eyes were eggs of unstable crystal, vibrating with a frequency whose name was rain and the sound of trains, suddenly sprouting a humming forest of hair-fine glass spines.”Neuromancer receives a lot of mixed reactions. Why? It’s a cult-beast that gained mass-market notoriety. People who don’t normally read sci-fi have read Neuromancer – and you know what, they didn’t love it. It’s like Noisia appearing on Top of the Pops! (Noisia would be my recommended listening for generating the correct atmosphere for reading Neuromancer, btw – clever Dutch drum’n’bass) This isn’t even nice, accessible sci-fi, like Ender’s Game or Dune. People who enjoy The English Patient (as a polar opposite, off the top of my head), should not expect to fall in love with this book.But... if, like me a few weeks ago, you’ve never read this book – but you have read Hyperion or The Diamond Age or Altered Carbon or Accelerando or The Windup Girl – and liked them, then you owe it to yourself to follow that stream back into the mountains and taste it ice cold and pure as it bursts from the rock.NOTE: The title, "Neuromancer", is also one of my all-time favourites titles. I've always thought it was a perfect title, from before I'd ever read the book - just like Radiohead is a perfect band name.After this I read: Love Mode Vol. 6

  • Burt
    2019-03-27 01:17

    This book is one of the relatively few 5-Star books I can rate. On a scale of 1 to 5, one means stay away from this book. Five is something that changes your life after you read it. Gibson's Neuromancer is a definite five.Neuromancer is the story of a burned-out hacker named Case. Having performed the one unforgivable crime of his shadowy business - stealing from his employer - he has literally been burned out. A Russian mycotoxin has destroyed his nervous sytem so accutely that he is no longer able to make the man-machine interface necessary to his particular brand of hacking. He's offered a second chance though by means of a mysterious employer with even more bizarre motives. The job is multifaceted and difficult, but the fixer Armitage makes all of Case's dreams come true when he reverses the damage done to his body and sets him down the path of cyber-crime again.The real rating five stuff comes from two sources. The first is the most obvious: style. I have yet to come across another author who can bring this particular kind of setting alive. Gibson practically invented cyberpunk fiction when he wrote this novel. Read a couple pages and you'll come to understand the visual gift of words Gibson has.The second, more subtle reason for the five is that it goes over a very interesting point with a major character, an AI system named Wintermute that pulls Armitage's strings. 'What does Wintermute want?' Case asks at one point. His dead friend Paulie (a personality recording of a long dead hacker) answers, ‘Real motive problem, with an AI. Not human, see?'Reading that when you're a kid in high school will blow your mind. Opens up some perspective.Anyone looking for a good novel in a world just a few decades out from tomorrow, filled with dead men, AIs and future-noir crime should give this one a good once over. I've already read it six or seven times.

  • Szplug
    2019-03-23 22:12

    In hindsight, it seems that Neuromancer was a triumph of style over substance, a fact which might go some ways in explaining its enduring relevance as an ur-text of modern (science) fiction: that particular quality serving in meta, perhaps paradoxical fashion by both establishing a trend that was to become progressively more discernible while yet commenting on what was and, more impressively, that which would prevalently come to be. At the time I read this, though, such artsy-fartsy pondering was the furthest thing from my mind, what with the immediate sensation being nothing but enthralling immersion in Gibson's gritty-but-flashy, drug-adrenalized, surgically-enhanced and bodysuit-gladiatorialized vision of a future wherein a considerable part of any shadowy adept's life might be spent within the illimitable confines of virtual existence. Singular touches add suitably to the story: Chiba City and its hints of a Japan hyper-refulgent within the muddy tidal bores of the Mississippi Delta; the Razor-Girl bodyguards and their combined essence of sexual aggression and emancipatory predation; the Cold-War limned Russian presence as an impregnable electronic fortress to be breached by neo-American ingenuity; the cerebrally- and sinisterly-limned ICE as an electronic countermeasure software-hybrid and Case's status as a network intruder punitively scarred and barred from doing what he both excels at and requires; and the background hum of home-lab improved and improvised methamphetamines to both fuel the story and abrade it with sandpaper edges. If the whole indeed winds up greater than its component parts, those parts have been highly imitated since Neuromancer was originally published, while the whole is of that singularly-perched transitional perfection that has rarely been realized since, including in subsequent works by Gibson himself.

  • foteini_dl
    2019-02-23 20:23

    [3.5*]Αν κρίνω το βιβλίο καθαρά με όρους και συνθήκες του 2017,θα το έλεγα-μάλλον-ξεπερασμένο.Αν το κρίνω,όμως,με κριτήρια της εποχής που γράφτηκε και μιλήσω για τη γενικότερη σημασία του,τότε είναι ένα ενδιαφέρον,φουτουριστικό μυθιστόρημα που μιλούσε για έναν επερχόμενο κόσμο.Εισήγαγε την έννοια «κυβερνοχώρος»,το ίντερνετ χωρίς το οποίο δεν μπορούμε να φανταστούμε την ζωή μας.Και αυτό την εποχή που μόλις είχε αρχίσει η μαζική παραγωγή ηλεκτρονικών υπολογιστών και φαξ.Εκτός απ’αυτό,ο Gibson έκανε κάτι παραπάνω.Δημιούργησε έναν κόσμο που αντιπροσωπεύει την απόλυτη παγκοσμιοποίηση και διαφθορά.Έναν κόσμο που αποτελεί έκφραση του πιο σάπιου καπιταλισμού. Έναν κόσμο με περιθωριακές ομάδες,νομάδες και γενετικές μεταλλάξεις.Πριν από 30 και κάτι χρόνια,ο συγγραφέας δημιούργησε έναν κόσμο που η συντριπτική πλειοψηφία δεν μπορούσε να καταλάβει τις έννοιες που αποτελούσαν τον πυρήνα του. Σήμερα αυτό δεν αποτελεί επιστημονική φαντασία,αλλά πραγματικότητα.Αλλά και αυτό συμβαίνει με άλλα βιβλία πχ το «1984» ή το «Ηλεκτρικό Πρόβατο».Στα αρνητικά,θα βάλω τη μετάφραση (και έτσι θα πέσει αρκετά η βαθμολογία του βιβλίου).Υπήρχαν σημεία όπου δεν υπήρχε ροή,με αποτέλεσμα το διάβασμα να μην κυλάει.Και ας μην σχολιάσω αυτή την προσπάθεια πολλών μεταφραστών να αποδώσουν διάφορες διαλέκτους,συνήθως με αποτυχία (μεταφρασμένη αργκό αυτή η μάστιγα).Για παράδειγμα,υπήρχαν στο πρωτότυπο κείμενο διάλογοι με τζαμαϊκανή προφορά.Το αποτέλεσμα,ας πούμε,είναι κάτι «βλάχικα» ελληνικά,σαν αυτά που νομίζουν οι Αθηναίοι ότι μιλάνε οι Θεσσαλοί ή οι Ηπειρώτες (τονίζω το «νομίζουν»).Είναι κρίμα ένα τέτοιο βιβλίο να μην έχει μια πιο προσεγμένη μετάφραση.

  • Laure
    2019-03-03 01:15

    I am glad I decided to try this book after being sorely disappointed by Neal Stephenson's 'Snow Crash'. This is definitely in a different league and a much better book. True the prose is quite dense to start with and sometimes you are not very sure of what is happening for a few paragraphs, but I accept this as one of the writer's techniques to make us feel disorientated, and it is well in keeping with the themes the book explores. The story becomes much clearer towards the end anyway, and it has a great ending (in my mind). So no disappointment there. Some readers have pointed out the 'cartoony' feel of the characters. Frankly I did not think this was a problem. I just saw them for what they are: archetypes. As archetypes go, I found them fascinating. Humanity is flawed, or rather has become intrinsically flawed in this world and the characters themselves are not any Mary Sue you ever met. I found the portrayal of 'arch villain' Peter Riviera particularly chilling. I have already started the second book in the trilogy 'Count Zero'. It is a much easier read!

  • Carmen
    2019-03-21 01:10

    NO SPOILERSThis is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Gibson has a real gift.Think of Blade Runner - the movie with Harrison Ford. This book has the same kind of slick, urban, grimy, futuristic feel to it. It has aged wonderfully. Written in 1983, it has done nothing to date itself and still feels fresh and new and possible, even now....Case is a hacker, it's what he lives for - being jacked in and connected to the matrix. But he loses that ability when he tries to cheat his employers and as a punishment they poison him so that he's unable to hook into the mainframe - to him this is worse than death. So he's been eking out a living - if you could call it living - in filthy Chiba, Japan, a wretched hive of scum and villainy. He's killed three people, two men and a woman, and his life is a drugged haze of barely disguised suicidal tendencies. He's 24 and he's an old man - his life is basically over.Then some strange ex-military man shows up and tells Case he can repair him - for a price. Even though he knows it's dangerous and he knows the man will probably backstab him, blackmail him, and use him ruthlessly - Case can't resist the chance to be connected to the Net again. It's the only thing that makes him feel alive and powerful. Besides, there's this woman.......I went into this novel completely blind and very unsure about how I would like it. I don't really think of myself as a hard science-fiction kind of person. Actually, I don't think of myself as a science fiction fan at all - which is complete bullcrap, I totally am, and I should seek more of it out, because apparently I love the stuff - as my reviews will testify to. o.O Strange and exciting to find out new things about yourself...I digress. Anyway, the novel was wonderful. Case is EXACTLY the kind of guy I adore. Chill, calm, observant, smart, takes-life-as-it-comes, type-b personality type of man that makes me very excited. :) This isn't to say he's passive or weak - far from it - but a kind of roll-with-the-punches, shit-happens, wait-and-see, patient, no-temper, kind of guy.If it wasn't for his serious drug addiction, I would be ga-ga over this man.I love how he treats women and I love how he reacts to life and the problems that come his way. I really enjoyed being in his head and reading his story and seeing what happened to him....I also really appreciate Gibson not trying to write from a female perspective ever in this book. I personally think it would have been a disaster and sometimes I really am grateful when a male author decides to stick with what he knows. Not to say a man can't write a woman well - but I really wanted to enjoy every minute of this book and I didn't want to see Gibson screw it up. So.What else?...Oh, yes, Case's love interest - Molly. I really liked her. She's an ex-prostitute, and ex-prostitutes and prostitutes in general (while very popular characters in fiction) are really difficult to write - but I thought Gibson did a stellar job here. Her difficult, painful past is not dwelled on, but it is mentioned and treated respectfully. They didn't make too big a deal out of her past, and I liked that. Also, she turns her money from tricking into becoming a badass lethal assassin and I really liked that. She was very strong, confident, self-assured, and bold - but in no way crass or easy or cheap or dirty. She's also not a caricature of a 'kickass babe.' Gibson did a great job of making her a real person with real feelings and he also made her a strong character - mentally and physically. I enjoyed it immensely. :)Molly makes her attraction to Case obvious and she chooses to have sex with him at the earliest opportunity. I was nervous about that, and worried about Case. After all, Molly is working for the man who is helping/blackmailing Case and I was unsure about her motives for sleeping with him. Not because I think the blackmailer is ordering/asking Molly to have sex with Case - those days are long over for her and she's never going back - but because often times a woman who is in the Life or used to be in the Life has sex with a man as a kind of power-thing. If she can get the man to have sex with her, she's already won. Having carnal knowledge of the him makes him 'not a person, but just a man' in her eyes. Now that she's seen him at his most vulnerable and also knows that she makes his cock twitch - she can dismiss him as a person and also lose any fear she has of him, because he's already in a way submitted to her (by submitted, I don't mean 'submissive,' he could be a woman-beating rapist asshole but still the sex gives her a tool to use, see?). Do you understand? It's a common tactic that women who have lived very difficult lives and seen terrible things and are ancient in spirit if not in body use to make themselves a little more sure, a little less afraid, and gives them a little more control over a situation they may be unsure about.So, I was afraid that THIS was why Molly was having sex with Case right away, in order to get a read on him and get a hold on him. But it wasn't - she was really interested in him as a person and she made an excellent choice in a partner, in my opinion.That leads me to the fact that Case makes...not exactly bad...but 'iffy' sexual decisions throughout this book. It's as if, when presented by any reasonably attractive female who is offering to fuck him, he is quite unable to say 'no.' I really, really hope this is not an accurate portrayal of SINGLE (not married/partnered) men - feel free to chime in, guys - because I've seen it in about a billion books that are written by MEN. I've talked with this to some of my male friends, and have gotten no clear answer. Even when the main character of these books is being offered sex from a female who might have a desire to kill them/hurt them/blackmail them/steal from them/spy on them, etc. etc. in other words, IT MIGHT NOT BE THE BEST IDEA TO GO TO BED WITH HER, the men always, always, and without fail - choose sex. o.O This is baffling to me on so many levels. Are guys really this much of a slave to their own dicks? I genuinely want to know. Because their stupidity and blatant willingness to disregard any negative consequences makes me fret and scold and worry. I'm yelling at the book, "Don't sleep with her, you moron!!!" But of course, the man never listens to me.ANYWAY. Sleeping with Case was a super-good idea on Molly's part - no stupidity there - there's absolutely no scenario in which having sex with him would not give her some sort of benefits or advantages. And I (and Molly) was really grateful that they were sexually and ...kind of romantically... involved when Case got his powers to "jack in" again. Because they set her up with a port that allows him to see through her eyes and feel what she feels (he can't talk to her or control her, just observe and feel and hear) and the fact that she's in his bed regularly gives them a bit more of an equal footing. And it means someone she trusts and likes is in her head - not some stranger or a sicko. I usually hate mind-invasion scenarios with a passion (paranormal romance authors, I'm looking at YOU) but here it not only works but doesn't leave me feeling the least bit slimy or unsure. Like I said before, Case is exactly the kind of man I trust and end up falling in love with - I was NEVER worried he'd hurt Molly in any way or take advantage of her.I love the way he treats Molly, he's there for her and he doesn't expect or demand anything from her, and he takes her as she is, and he takes whatever she's willing to give him but he doesn't push, and he doesn't try to own her or possess her or control her in any way. He's just an amazing guy and my heart was melting all over the place. :)...I also liked how he was living this numb, zombie-like, drug-fueled life until this man came and gave his life a purpose again. Case is FEELING again, for the first time in about two years, and it's fun to see him work it out in his mind and experience emotions again. Molly is good for him, the adventure is good for him, getting hooked into the mainframe again is good for him, and even the anger and rage he feels towards certain 'bad guys' in the book is good for him. It's like seeing him wake up or come alive and it's good reading.....I liked the Jamaican character, Maelcum, and his slang and attitude throughout the book. ...After reading a slew of reviews on GR, I have to say that yes, sometimes his writing is a little challenging or hard to follow. But I just relaxed and went with the flow and it all worked out. I find that trusting the author and letting go a bit really helps especially with the harder science-fiction. I was completely satisfied with this book - not frustrated or lost. But then again, I didn't try to fight it....Another thing that I think is funny after reading all these GR reviews is that I completely focused on the human relationships in this book and focused very little on the technology and cyber-talk. :) Those are my priorities in a book though - how are people loving, hating, interacting, and what are they feeling? So that's what my reviews always end up centering on. I could care less about technology or the future or Cyberdyne Systems or whatever - give me the human element and I'm happy....Tl;dr - A surprisingly human, enchanting novel with gorgeous writing dripping from every page. I'd recommend it. :)

  • Manny
    2019-02-27 21:09

    The book that launched the whole cyberpunk genre... well of course it's brilliant. If you like SF at all, put this on your must-read list.

  • KatHooper
    2019-03-20 23:16

    4.5 starsORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy versionHenry Dorsett Case is a washed up computer hacker. He used to be one of the best, traveling cyberspace and sneaking through computer defenses, stealing money and information for his employers. But after he got greedy and embezzled some money, his employers damaged his brain so he can’t jack into cyberspace anymore. He spent the stolen money trying to get his ability back, but it didn’t work, and now he’s suicidal and wandering the squalid streets of Chiba City, Japan... Until Molly the razorgirl shows up. She wears tight black leather, has mirrored glasses implanted in her eye sockets, and has retractable razors embedded under her fingernails. She delivers Case to her boss, Armitage, who says he can fix Case if he’ll hire on as his hacker. Case’s new hacking job turns out to be a lot bigger and a lot stranger than he and his new colleagues expected.There’s very little exposition in Neuromancer and it’s got its own slang and culture. So when William Gibson drops us off in degenerate and dystopian Night City with its neon lights, holographic arcades, drug dealers, meat puppets, black market surgeons, and silvery sky, you’ll want to either hide in the nearest alley, or start running... and hope you don’t bump into any of Gibson’s characters. Once you meet them, you won’t forget them, but you’re unlikely to fall in love with any of them because, like their city, they’re cold and criminal (“Towns like this are for people who like the way down”).The unfamiliar language and setting and the aloof characters will be a turn-off for some readers, but those who think it’s exhilarating to be dumped into new and unknown territory will find that Neuromancer is fast-moving, flashy, decadent, and sexy (think The Matrix and Ghost in the Shell). For a novel written in 1984, it feels surprisingly stylish, its cultural issues are still modern, and it has accurately anticipated some of our 21st century technological developments.The most obvious thing that Neuromancer anticipated — and this is what makes it classic science fiction and the seminal cyberpunk novel — is the internet, which Case calls “cyberspace.” In his afterward to Neuromancer, Jack Womack suggests that Neuromancer didn’t just foresee the internet, but that the novel may have actually created the internet (or at least influenced how we use it) because the people who developed it read Neuromancer back in 1984.As a product of the 1980s, a fan of dystopian science fiction, a neuroscience researcher, and a denizen of cyberspace, I’ve been waiting years for Neuromancer to be released on audio, so I was thrilled to see that Penguin Audio finally produced it this summer. The audio version is excellently read by Robertson Dean and includes Jack Womack’s afterward in which he discusses the novel’s influence and his friendship with William Gibson. There’s also an introduction by Gibson in which he talks about how Neuromancer has aged — pretty well except for the mention of modems and the lack of cell phones (something I’ve noticed that most old SF novels are missing).One thing I’d like to alert audio readers to: Neuromancer is not an easy read because of the lack of exposition, which makes it even more difficult on audio. If you’ve not read the novel before, it will require full concentration and occasional rewinding, but it will be rewarding. No science fiction fan should miss the first novel to win the Triple Crown of SF awards: the Nebula, the Hugo, and the Philip K. Dick awards. And for audiobook readers, now is the perfect time to enjoy Neuromancer.

  • El
    2019-02-27 23:10

    ...snort...Excuse me; I just woke up. I've been essentially asleep since first picking this book up a few days ago. I had to keep smacking myself to stay awake.Cyberpunk. The matrix. Jacking in. Flipping. And on and on.The cover of my book blurbs Washington Post, which uses words like "kaleidoscopic, picaresque, flashy." You lie, Washington Post. There's none of that here. There is no flash.This is a story about drugs and computers and awkwardly phrased sex. (The sex itself isn't awkward, but it's written awkwardly, like Gibson thought he should add some sex.) This is an unemotional and fairly uninteresting book with uninteresting characters. I see a lot of people like it, and I know it's a classic of the genre, but I fail to see much in it. I'm not going to say it's the worst book I've ever read, thus the two stars, but this is a book for my real life book club and I'm fairly certain by tomorrow I won't remember much about this story at all. Which is a shame since our meeting isn't until a week from now. What is there even to discuss?Gibson wrote about stuff that wasn't really written about in the early-to-mid 80s, so there's that. And he coined the term cyberpunk. But there's so little to actually discuss here. The noirish aspects? I guess? Yeah, I could talk about that. As in "I liked the noirish aspects."Looking back at my notes, I see last July at this same time the same book club was reading Rendezvous with Rama. What is it with our normally awesome book club choosing boring science fiction novels to read for July?She flipped.

  • Andrew Smith
    2019-03-24 00:23

    The thing is I just didn’t get it. I like my SF near future and close enough to present day reality for me to be able to translate what we do now into what we’re supposed to be doing (or able to do) in the future. If it’s too wild, or just too big a leap, my mind doesn’t seem to allow me to make the jump. Then there’s the language thing. The use of a new vocabulary left me befuddled and confused. I just didn’t know what was going on most of the time. And when I did glean a bit of the narrative it just seemed to have been too much like hard work to get there. So that’s another thing, I like my fiction easy. Well no, not easy but understandable. I’ve coped with most of Murakami’s surreal tales and I love time travel books, so escape from reality isn’t a problem for me – in fact it’s a joy – but everyday life lived in an environment so alien, so different and (for me) so unbelievable is just a switch-off. A quick synopsis for anyone who hasn’t read the book:Case is a hacker who has been ‘altered’ so he can’t hack any more. He lives life as a hustler in Japan until he gets an offer from a mysterious type who offers to restore his hacking ability in exchange for undertaking some work for him. Case is suspicious and, having teamed up with a modified female, he sets out to find out more about the man. The rest (as far as I could tell) was a sort of hardboiled detective tale but set in the netherworld of cyberspace. It also had a touch ofThe Magnificent Sevenabout it. Though, in truth, I gave up at half way – my mind fried by terminology I couldn’t comprehend and a story that had jettisoned me and left me behind some time ago.On the up-side, I like Case who I found to be the archetypal street-smart hardass who is on his uppers but has sufficient moral compass to keep him from straying too far from the straight and narrow. I also enjoyed some of the brilliant descriptions – mainly of the cyberspace world – that pepper the book.Not my cup of tea but note my rating simply reflects the fact I didn’t finish it.

  • David
    2019-03-22 20:03

    This is a book that, if you are approaching it for the first time, suffers from having been imitated so much that it seems derivative of its own successors. Neuromancer was genre-defining and it blew a million little geeky minds back in the day, but reading it in 2012, I failed to be enthralled by the goshwow factor. 'Cyberspace' is mainstream now, and stripped away of the novelty that made fans back in 1984 say "This is so fucking cool!" the book is kind of a techy-tech high concept thrill ride with cardboard characters.So, Case is a 'cyberspace cowboy' who used to "jack in" to the Matrix and go on 'runs' (stealing data from big corporations, governments, etc.) in a near-future where the U.S. has fragmented into tribal/corporate nation-states, but the USSR is still around. (In the foreword to this edition, Gibson comments on his own prescience or lack thereof, acknowledging also all the other things he didn't get right which will strike modern readers, like the existence of payphones and the lack of cell phones.) He tried to steal from one of his employers, and in retaliation they poisoned him in a way that left him unable to jack into the matrix again. Now he's a down-and-outer in Chiba City (yes, there's a taste of 80s "Japan is so fucking cool!" weeabooism here) when he gets recruited for a job by a mysterious guy named Armitage who says he can fix him up. Case also meets Molly, a "razor girl" street samurai. With the rest of his motley crew, Case goes on an adventure that takes him into high orbit to the playground of the super-rich. There are futuristic ninjas, artificial intelligences, and your basic cyberpunk RPG adventure. Again, not really fair to dismiss it like that, because this book invented cyberpunk RPGing and cyberpunk everything else, but unless you really love all things cyberpunk and/or Gibson, you may find, as I did, that Neuromancer just doesn't quite live up to the hype it earned in 1984 with its Hugo and Nebula awards.William Gibson's writing is superbly clever and descriptive, and boy does he spin ideas. But this is the third book of his I've read, and while I appreciate his craft on a technical level, his stories just don't do much for me. I don't care about his characters.For SF fans, this may be a good book to read to be familiar with, you know, the "seminal" works of the genre, but I just don't feel compelled to go read the rest of the Sprawl trilogy.

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2019-03-05 03:03

    A mind-bender of a read. It has all the elements of a top rate science fiction and a post-industrial dystopian novel. First published in 1984, it was ahead of its time. It coined the term "cyberspace" which Gibson, long before the internet and other virtual technologies were integrated into everyday life, described as "a three-dimensional representation of computer data through which users communicate and do business, alongside a whole host of more dubious activities." In fact, this book said to have inspired a generation of technophiles.Since it coined the term cyberspace, this novel also created a genre in literature called "cyberpunk" which is science fiction genre noted for its focus on "high tech and low life". Cyberpunk works are well situated within postmodern literature. Cyberpunk plots often center on a conflict among hackers, artificial intelligences, and megacorporations, and tend to be set in a near-future Earth, rather than the far-future settings or galactic vistas found in novels such as Isaac Asimov's Foundation or Frank Herbert's Dune (Source: Wikipedia).So, having thought of something that were not existing during the time of its writing is only the reason why this is a mind-bender of a read. Yes? The answer is no. It also has the most imaginative and edge-of-the-seat science fiction thriller that I've read in my life.The story revolves around Case who is top-notch hacker (Gibson's equivalent term is "computer cowboy" or a data thief) who "hacks into" the virtual world until his brain was maimed by a client he has double-crossed. Since he lost his ability to hack, he decides to live in seclusion until he an ex-military businessman Armitage arrives and offers to help him for unknown reason. I will not tell you the reason as it is too much for a spoiler but it is one of the more complex but still believable (as it does not insult your intelligence) plot for a sci-fi novel. It combines the pace and urgency of the best thrillers with scope, invention, and intellectual rigor of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World but it added a lot more of creativity and inventiveness that I think it is even better on each of those aspects than its predecessors.