Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards
FIRST SENTENCE: The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
WHAT’s it ABOUT: Hmmmm. How do I explain this? Should I just borrow the blurb on the back of the book? Sure…
Case was the sharpest data thief (aka ‘cowboy’) in the Matrix (not that Matrix, I don’t think), until an ex-employer crippled his nervous system. Now a new employer has recuited him for a last-chance run against an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. With a mirror-eyed girl street-samarai riding shotgun, he’s ready for the silicon-quick, bleakly prophetic adventure that upped the ante on an entire genre of fiction.
WHAT’s GOOD: It’s fast-paced and easy to read if you don’t question too much; but at the same time, fun to compare the ‘future’ as written here in the early 80s to the technology we know today. Our protagonist, Case, is likable as a smart by lost loner and Molly is the kick-ass tough chick I would want to be if I ever had to be street-smart.
WHAT’s not so GOOD? Considering that bit at the end of the blurb above, “… that upped the ante on an entire genre…” um, I have NO CLUE if this is true so I don’t know how to review the book from that perspective. Is that important? not to me, really. SO why do I want to want to be inspired to read more SciFi? I dunno. I know I won’t.
Back to the question I’m supposed to be answering here. I get that this was a cool book in the day. It was an interesting thriller of who is really working for who (whom? what?)? What are we really chasing here? What world is this set in, etc etc. ETC. I did get confused but loved the creativity and descriptions. For example, one of the ‘team’ was the brain-dump/cognitive ‘powers’ of a no longer living person. They were able to access it! after stealing it, of course. But I do have a few questions and had a few along the way that I just abandoned, thinking I probably just wasn’t paying enough attention.
WE INTERRUPT this nutty post to point to a review I found when I wondered if I should even post this at all: Ela’s Book Blog tells us much more about plot and characters and relates it very well to ‘NOW’, why it was ground-breaking at the time, and then some. Just click this paragraph to go there. I recommend.
They (somebody) are (is) supposed to be developing this into a movie! Woo hoo! Should be fun.
I put this on my tbr after reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson which I think I would say I enjoyed MORE than Neuromancer. These two books are often mentioned together; “if you liked __, then you might enjoy __.” Thus the dilemma… I keep changing my star rating from 3 to 4 to back to 3 – AGAIN, three stars means I did like it! So, no one needs to leave me a comment about ‘sorry, this didn’t work for you’. (After reading Ela’s review, I understand a bit more, too.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: If you enjoy Science Fiction, then you’ve probably read this already. If you like thrillers set in very descriptive futuristic world, you might enjoy this. If you like to see how current technology compares to what someone 30 years ago imagined, it is kinda cool. I’m geeky like that, I guess.
I enjoyed reading this and I’m glad I can say I finally read it.
RATING: Three and a half slices of pie.