I just got around to reading William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and while I may be 30 some years late to this particular party (fashionably late perhaps?), I can say with a great deal of confidence that its a spectacular book well worth reading.
I think a lot of people get caught up in the ‘science’ part of science fiction and forget that blinking lights and flashing consoles a good story does not necessarily make. The science is just the backdrop, it’s the characters and how they interact with that science which makes a compelling story, and as far as I’m concerned, Neuromancer passes this test with flying colours. But even more, the ideas running throughout, whether they be relating to advances in AI, body modification or something in between are not only intriguing in a purely academic sense, but have had noticeable cultural impacts well beyond its readership.
Looking beyond the content of the novel, the writing is definitely worthy of praise as well. The context of the story are presented seamlessly throughout, the most unusual concepts are made to seem completely mundane, because in this world they truly are. An understanding of the background is built piece by piece, but in a way that feels completely organic. As a friend of mine said on the subject: “No one ever stops to explain how their iPhone works”.
If you haven’t read Neuromancer, do yourself a favour and fix that.