I grabbed Neuromancer from the pile of books a co-worker gave me months ago to read at the beginning of the month because I needed something a bit shorter to fit into the days ahead of the new Brandon Sanderson book release. Neuromancer fit the bill because it’s only 300 pages long, making it possible to read the entire thing before the new book coming out without going over past the release date.
Most of the time I read science fiction books that are a little newer, released in the last 5 or 6 years, and that feature a pretty straightforward writing style. Neuromancer is definitely not one of those things. It’s a much older book that features a style of writing with lots of metaphors, philosophical questions, and so forth. That isn’t to say the book is bad, it’s just a lot different from my usual fare. Different enough that every so often I had to flip back a few pages and reread what I’d just finished to make sure I understood what the author was doing with the story.
Following the story was easy enough. I really liked the idea of specialized hackers who used their brains to power their hacking ability. It’s not something I haven’t seen before, but I do feel like the way Gibson did it was very well done. Probably better than the few other examples I’ve been exposed to in my reading. However, because the story was so short it was a little more difficult for me to get down deep and invest myself fully.
Whenever I read one of these older science fiction books I have to remind myself that I’m not part of the generation that these books were originally written for and that I need to make allowances because of it. These are great books, but my experience with this kind of science fiction is so limited. Perhaps I need to make a concerted effort to read more books from the 70s and 80s, or even earlier to increase my exposure.
Neuromancer is a critically acclaimed book, and I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t deserve that acclaim. If you’ve never read it, give it a try.