Sunday, October 3, 2010

Neuromancer, by William Gibson

Book 38

Neuromancer, by William Gibson, was a pick for my book club.  Shannon said that she chose it because while she has read plenty of fantasy, she had never really read straight-up sci-fi.  And the point of our book club is to read things we would not have otherwise read.

OK, then.

I started reading it cold.  No background, just opened and started reading.   I got about a hundred pages in when I realized that I wasn't really getting it.  The scenes were really cinematic, and I could picture some things pretty well, but I didn't feel like I was getting the point.  I needed Cliff's Notes, so I found a summary on the Internet.

After reading a summary, I realized that I wasn't too far off on the meta-plot.  I just wasn't particularly enjoying it.  The hero, (or anti-hero as it happens) a hacker named Case, never really grabbed me.  The mystery of the "job"  and who was in charge was decent.  But I am a bit bothered that my favorite character was Dixie, the computer program containing the.. what did they call it?..saved consciousness of a legendary hacker.

Then we get to the AI questions.  How intelligent should we make them?  Legislating their "lives".  Somewhere around that point, I remembered that Neuromancer was written before Star Trek had Data.  Before Keanu was plugging into the Matrix.  Before "cyberspace" was a mainstream word.  Before the freakin' Internet.

OK.  I guess I get why it is so great.  But that doesn't mean that reading this book was any fun.

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