Summary: The book that coined the word cyberspace turns 30 this year. Arguably the start of the cyberpunk movement.
Growing up, my go-to genres were Science Fiction, Fantasy and Biography. All three of which I still have a great fondness for, even though I have have greatly expanded my literary palate.
Neuromancer is one of those books that is referred to by so many that I feel like I should have read it by now. I have read a number of other cyberpunk books but not this one that is now 30 years old.
If you have not heard of cyberpunk but have heard of Neuromancer, it is because William Gibson coined the word cyberspace in its pages.
The story is set in a future where the US has fallen into a variety of city states. Corporations rule and the state is weak. Drugs and crime are pervasive and like most cyberpunk books, Asian culture is dominant.
Case is on the run, he is given an offer he can’t refuse. He is a washed up hacker, addicted to drugs and barely able to make it. But when he is recruited by some unknown organization, they clean him up, given him some new organs to make sure he can’t process drugs and put him on a task.
The Matrix is an immersive world wide computer system, it is cyberspace. Molly is the muscle and the initial face of the group that recruited Case. She has access to new tech, the ability for Case to jack into Molly, to see and feel what she sees and feels. And he can do that while attempting to steal something, but he is not sure what.
Overall this is a very strange novel. I am used to reading cyberpunk that uses lots of made up jargon and slang. I am used to stories that don’t really make sense until halfway through. I am used to novels that have no hope and technology that no one is really sure is worth it. But this Neuromancer is another example of how story needs to be more than that to really engage. Books that have no hope can tell a story, but they cannot inspire. The can produce fear, or give a warning, but that is about the extent of their ability.
Personally I am tired of books that have lost hope. I want books that have hope and a story to life for.