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on March 31, 2015
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.That's how it starts, sorry not sure if you need a spoiler alert for the first sentence of a book. I really liked neuromancer but our age has progressed so far that some of it seems a bit dated but it's not like some other old sci-fi where everything is just wrong. The great thing about this book is that you can see how it has influenced pretty much all the cyber punk that came after it. Great read.
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on November 18, 2014
This is, without a doubt, my favourite book. It says a lot that one of the most iconic science fiction novels was written by a prose poet, on a typewriter. What strikes me most about this book is its elegance. There are so many times that I had to read a passage multiple times, in order to make certain I understood all the layers of beauty therein.

This is the book I recommend to anyone who wants to try science fiction. The pace and immersion frequently leave me out of breath in my chair. My imagination and the texture of my dreams were irreversibility shaped by this book. The lens through which William Gibson sees the world has permanently altered my own and I have never been more grateful.

It's well known that Gibson predicts the existence of the internet in this book, but it's further worth noting that he also predicts the existence of ear bud headphones and dubstep. Something to watch out for.
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on November 6, 2014
It's good
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on August 22, 2014
Neuromancer is a classic sci-fi thriller from a few decades ago. I'd heard of it but never read it. Once I started reading it I realized why it's rated so highly by sci-fi fans. Gibson's command of English is not only huge but highly creative, with phrases that make you smile at their originality. His use of concepts that are rather alien to the world as we know it are used as if we were already in that era and therefore understand them. Although this is confusing at first, it normalizes as one reads on since he defines them mostly by inference and different ways of looking at them. The book takes a bit of work to read, yet it's very worthwhile given the infusion of a great story with superb language and original ideas.
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on August 12, 2014
My favourite sci-fi novel of all time. Poetic and fast-paced, this is a must read for anyone who liked The Matrix or Primer
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2014
Wow. its not my cup of tea. Had to force my way through it, and a month later, I cant remember if I even finished it. Some might like this sort of super sci-fi giberish, but it was painful torture to try to read it to get my moneys worth.
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on April 19, 2014
I should preface this review by stating that Gibson's Neuromancer was the first-ever winner of science fiction's so-called triple crown: all three of the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K Dick awards. A bit of research suggests that Neuromancer is in fact the only novel to do so, but if you replace the PKD award with a 1st Place Campbell award, only three other novels meet the challenge: Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke, Gateway by Frederik Pohl, and Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman.

With all this said, I can state plainly that Neuromancer was not an enjoyable read, and that I disagree with its triple crown status. Let me explain.

The novel tracks the adventures of Case, a computer hacker who's been out of work since he got caught on a botched job. In Gibson's world (keeping in mind this was written in 1984, pre-Internet), the Net is vastly different from our own Internet. Power users such as Case literally jack their minds into the net, experiencing a Tron-like reality complete with glowing cubes for data structures and creeping "Ice"-like structures for computer viruses. After Case's botched job, he was captured by his targets and had his Net-link capabilities destroyed. The main part of the novel begins when Case is recruited by an ex-military officer named Armitage, who promises to restore Case's abilities in exchange for one last job. In the course of the job, Case discovers that Armitage and the job are not what they first appear to be—what initially started as the theft of some computer code turns into an attempt to create a fully-functional AI, led at every step of the way by two lesser instantiations of the AI itself, Wintermute and Neuromancer.

At this point, I've re-read some plot summaries of Neuromancer, and it actually seems like an interesting storyline. The problem? Gibson's writing style makes it nearly impossible to follow the action. Characters appear with no introduction as if they had already been part of the story for several chapters. The setting jumps around from Boston to Japan to Russia to Istanbul to a space station at the L5 Lagrangian point without much notice. The depictions of the Net, while ambitious and probably very vivid for some readers, don't make it easy to visualize what Case is actually doing while he's hacking.

To be honest, the best part of Neuromancer was the end, or rather the epilogue—and I'm not just being facetious here. Without spoiling the motives or the details, the plot to fuse Wintermute and Neuromancer into a superAI is successful, and the new superAI detects in astronomical data from the 1970s the transmissions of another superAI in the Alpha Centauri system. Write *that* novel, Gibson! That sounds far more interesting! Imagine—we make First Contact with an alien civilization, but most of the shots are being called by superAI's on either end. While we deal with the issues of alien contact, we also have to face a growing loss of autonomy to our own superAI, and hope at the same time it decides not to declare war on its alien counterpart.

At the end of the day, Neuromancer was a very difficult and mostly unenjoyable read, but was saved to some degree by a moderately interesting story. Overall, 2 stars.
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on February 12, 2014
William Gibson is an amazing old-school sci-fi writer - a definite pro in the field. Read this book and realise that it has been 'borrowed' from and 'ripped off' many times by countless video games and movies (namely Ghost in the Shell). Overall, an incredibly great, smooth read with hacking, neo-futurism, violence and existentialism!
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on February 4, 2014
I gained an interest in the 'cyberpunk' genre by first reading Shadowrun novels as a kid (and even some as an adult). So I found it interesting to take a look at the book that begun to define the parameters of the cyberpunk genre. And in fact it influenced the meanings and definitions of 'cyberization' before these things even started becoming mainstream and Gibson's terms have already proliferated and become a part of modern culture. You can look at a lot of old scifi and laugh at how silly it is, but this book seems nearly as relevant today as it was when it was written (in the 80's). So lets dive into the book itself.

The book starts out very slick. 'The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel'.

In my opinion, the best poetry possesses the ability to express feelings, visuals and nuances which cannot simply be described by plain exposition, recreating in the readers mind the picture and thus the thousand words that describe that picture. For this, Gibson does a good job, his style is very visual like that. The inner narrative is important but the visuals themselves are described in a way that no amount of pictures can do justice, there are just too many nuances to notice, and Gibsons nuances of description form a very important part of the reader's ability to build the world around Case (the protagonist).

The first act of the book is the best in my opinion. The world building is simply outstanding, the text and prose is clear. It feels as you (through the eyes of the protagonist, Case) are on the streets of a night and future society, being hunted. The clarity is occasionally broken by moments of franticness and bursts of activity which shatter the clarity, but these are very stylistic and I believe put you into the mindset of Case himself. And honestly, after reading the first act this was easily shaping up to being one of the best books i've ever read.

The second act is where things start to lull. The purpose of the second act it seems is to expound on things, to take that international adventure as a type of 'secret agent', but it lacks the visual power and worldbuilding of the first act. However it still advances the story in a critical way.

The final act is long and at times confusing. I believe Gibson explains the story well enough, however I've occasionally felt a sense of disorientation that I don't think was meant to be there. The ending is not as satisfying or clear as I wouldve hoped.

However, all throughout, Gibson does a great job of writing very visually. If you are a fan of cyberpunk or want to see what the genre is about, then definitely read this book -- it's very unique and definitely a piece of history, maybe even enough to be considered 'literature'.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2013
It was a great idea and "genre-bending" back in the 80s, I'm sure. But as I'm reading this at the end of 2013, I couldn't help getting the feeling that the novel is now dated. Too anchored in the 80s: for example, the book has heavy dose of reference to all things Japan. But let's face it, Japan is not as hot as it was back in the 80s. It went through two decades of dead-end economy and cultural inertia. Even the technology terms have an archaic feeling, but then maybe this was intended...
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