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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson


Book Review
Neuromancer (1984)
 by William Gibson

   Fact I didn't know about Neuromancer, the 1984 "cyber punk" trailblazer by William Gibson: It was the first novel to win the "triple crown" of science fiction: Nebula, Hugo and Phillip K Dick awards.  It is typically credited with coining the term "cyberpunk" itself, though that actually happened two years prior in another William Gibson title, Burning Chrome.   You can make the argument, and support it by Gibson's own statements on the subject, that Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982) actually was the first work to describe the cyber punk world, but that was a film version of an earlier science fiction story that itself lacked the certain something which Gibson brings to the table in Neuromancer.

  The plot of Neuromancer is straight forward, pedestrian even, the story of a disgraced hacker who is brought back for "one last heist."   Everything else about it is hard to follow, and only the accumulated familiarity with the world Gibson describes makes reading Neuromancer any less disorienting than it was when it was originally published.    

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