Sunday, January 9, 2011

Neuromancer (book)

Disturbing. Brilliant. Trail-blazing. I won’t even pretend the 1985 Hugo and 1984 Nebula Award winning novel Neuromancer by William Gibson was my cup of tea. It is filled with violence, drug use, disturbing images, and perverse sexual references. The pages also are woven with invented slang that left me lost at times. On the other hand, Case, the antihero cyber-hacker, has enough redeeming qualities that I wanted to know what happened to him. I also admired Gibson’s ability to create an original, vivid world.

Neuromancer is a classic, a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the larger genre of Science Fiction. It helped to popularize cyberpunk and is reputed to be the inspiration for the direction of the Internet and Web. Gibson coined the term “cyberspace,” and Neuromancer was the vehicle for exposing the term to millions of people.

My commitment to reading all the Hugo Award winning novels between 1959 and the present has been an interesting path. Neuromancer was another one of those novels that took me outside of my comfort zone. What it rewarded me with was a sense of history, an example of brilliant writing and an example of a human being’s capacity to imagine.

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