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The book that changed the world...
on June 12, 2003
For those of you out there under the age of 30, it may be hard to fathom the impact of Neuromancer and the stories that preceded it (collected in "Burning Chrome"). I really am NOT exaggerating when I tell you they changed the world.
When "Neuromancer" was published, SF was a genre whose time had passed. While some good writers & old masters were laboring in the trenches & publishing to the same fans they always had, there was really no mass market conciousness of SF except as the source of bad 50's monster movies. "Neuromancer" changed that. "Neuromancer" caused an entire generation to look at computers as something cool rather than nerdy. "Neuromancer" created the concept of "cyberspace" (without which you would not currently be accessing Amazon). "Neuromancer" even gave Bill Gates the name for his fledging operating systems company. Yup, folks, this is THE book!
I very clearly remember first reading this. It was about 1 year after it was published, & I had the vaguest of notions concerning the subject. If I'd read the short stories that preceded it, they had somehow not registered in my conciousness. Page one: CHIBA CITY BLUES what a cool title! Then that famous opening paragraph "The sky was the color of a TV tuned to a blank channel." I thought I'd died & gone to literary heaven! I was convinced this was the reason I'd learned to read 15 years prior, I had been waiting all this time for "Neuromancer"!
I could sum the plot up for you. I could tell you why Gibson's writing is so technically brilliant. I could quote page after page. But why? I feel sorry for the readers who haven't experienced "Neuromancer" because you lost the opportunity to watch a book change the world. Now it's 20 years later. Don't get me wrong: THIS IS A GREAT BOOK! But you'll never experience the mind-bending rush of possibilities now that the future in the book has become a reality.