William Gibson doesn't predict the future; he insists that it is contained in the present and in history. In 1984, Digital is a Wild Frontier not real enough or ready for use. Gibson flew blindly into cyberspace to write Neuromancer. Not an engineer but a young creative mind, Gibson investigates the uncanny particles of the new medium and envisions human relationships with it. He engages with the electronic neophobia, visualizes a wet bar of data and charts weird maps on cocktail napkins for the rest of us to follow.

Neuromancer is radically different from the science fiction of the previous generation, the 1940s-50s Issac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clark white/male/conquering/war plots solved easily with action and a belief in the omnipotence of technology. Neuromancer is anti-war/feminist/counterculture/humanist/optimistic and more concerned with surreal unconscious inner space than interstellar space. Moral ambiguity blackens all the characters' hearts as they manipulate each other. Yet humanity and what it means to be human is at the core of the novel. Neuromancer is a clash of optimism and pessimism, creepy tech and exposed nerves.  

Culturally, Neuromancer affected me deeply: the first time I read it I felt like some enormous chunk of data was being hard-grooved into my head -- something new and unexpected. I saw the chance to play, to create, to be a maker of information and cultural change.

 

Other Reviews

A totally new voice...kaleidoscopic, picaresque, flashy and decadent...totally modern...Neuromancer in every sense is state-of-the-art. Washington Post

Compellingly detailed and chilling in its implications. New York Times

A revolutionary novel. Publisher's Weekly