My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Now a classic of science fiction, Neuromancer by William Gibson launched the cyberpunk genre, and gave readers a look into a future that to some extent has become real.
Like most science fiction, some of Gibson’s technological inventions are now outdated, but I can imagine in the near future the possibility of humans being able visit virtual worlds while linked physically to computers, and enhance ourselves cybernetically.
The novel follows computer hacker Case and cybernetically enhanced mercenary Molly as they delve into the virtual worlds of an AI, Wintermute. They eventually learn Wintermute is trying to merge with its twin, Neuromancer to create a super AI.
At times it’s a trippy read, especially when Gibson sends his characters into the virtual world; it becomes as hard for the reader to tell what is real and what is virtual, as it does for the Gibson’s characters to make such a distinction.
Which leads to an interesting question in our current world: Where does reality end and virtual reality begin, especially at a time when people “live” in virtual worlds such as Second Life?
The novel also has one of the best opening lines in literature: “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”