William Gibson is a Canadian Science Fiction author with a crazy talent to prophesize the internet’s future. Not actually, but he came pretty close with “Neuromancer”.
Gibson’s writing style includes short, descriptive sentences that are able to gather the best angles to view and perceive action through writing. Gibson also is able to make characters that feel fictional and realistic through the way he humanizes them in his stories.
In “Neuromancer”, William Gibson created new meanings for tech-y words like “matrix” and “cyberspace”. We constantly use these words today, but Gibson was able to create the context and story that allows us to visualize what matrices and cyberspaces are.
Synopsis (Spoiler Free)
This book starts out with a bang. Case, the main character and lowlife hacker, is given one more shot to make it big with a huge data heist. His nervous system is crippled and most of his organs are failing in the first few pages of the book, but a mysterious employer, Armitage, gives him a chance with this heist.
Case partners with Molly Millions to prepare for this data heist against Lady 3Jane, the most recent clone from the Tessier-Ashpool company. As Case and Molly explore each other’s backgrounds, they do some data digging on their employer, which involves them with an Artificial Intelligence, Wintermute.
Racing through the build-up to the big heist, we are able to learn about Case’s losses and mental issues along with the problems Molly and Armitage face. I found that Molly and Armitage are really good support characters to Case, as they each exemplify parts of himself that he needs to fix. In comparing Molly to Case, it is the guilt and love in Case’s past he needs to work through, and in Armitage’s comparison, it is the trust and support of people Case needs to learn from.
The heist, like many heist books or movies does not go off without a few hitches. Case is able to come to terms with his prior issues through the people he met like Molly. Gibson creates a labyrinth of action sequences that leaves us muddled, confused, yet satisfied up to the final pages of the book.
I am a big Sci-Fi nerd, so learning about the influences “Neuromancer” had on Sci-Fi writing cultures made me interested in picking this book up. I am extremely happy that I did so.
The foundations of shows and movies I love have roots in this book, and for that reason alone it makes “Neuromancer” a must read book. But also, this book is a fantastic piece of literature.
The way Gibson describes technology and the endless expanse of Sprawl (basically a visual internet) without ever seeing anything like it before astounds me. Reading absolutely free thinking people’s crazy fantasies where anything can happen helps open my eyes to the possibilities I can influence around myself.
I can’t wait to read the two follow-up books that make this into a trilogy. I need to read more of Gibson’s style because of how rapid and free it feels, so please check out his book from a library (or buy it form a local bookstore).