My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a book where characters interact through virtual reality and chase people through cyberspace. They plug microsofts (basically apps) into themselves and the world is a matrix of code. None of this is particularly impressive except that this novel was written in 1984. Neuromancer was included in the Literary Review of Canada 100 Most Important books which calls it "the template for an entire genre of cyberpunk science fiction." Gibson (in a short story that preceded this novel) coined the term cyberspace. He also calls the "real world" of his novel "the sprawl" which I thought was a great term for it.
Besides the amazing vision of what the computer would become this story is a thrilling chase by a damaged but ultimately appealing guy who is trying to figure out, along with the reader, what is going on in the situation he has found himself in. There are passages of great descriptive writing in the novel. This one really struck me as the place he describes is so familiar:
"... reminded Case of deserted early morning shopping centers he'd known as a teenager, low-density places where the small hours brought a fitful stillnesss, a kind of numb expectancy, a tension that left you watching insects swarm around caged bulbs above the entrance of darkened shops. Fringe places, just past the borders of the Sprawl, too far from the all-night click and shudder of the hot core. There was that same sense of being surrounded by the sleeping inhabitants of a waking world he had no interest in visiting or knowing, of dull business temporarily suspended, of futility and repetition soon to wake again." (p.206-7)I really enjoyed this book and would have given it 5 stars except that there are some parts at the beginning where it is really hard to figure out what is going on and that made it a bit tough to get into the flow of the story. This book is on my Classics Club list and counts toward the Canadian Books Challenge 7.