The problem with reading futuristic books some 20+ years after they’re written is that they come off sounding hopelessly dated. Neuromancer was published in the mid-eighties, but it’s set in the future, so the mid-nineties. By which I mean there’s a lot of black mesh and baggy fatigues.
Ok, so Case is a cyberspace cowboy (in all seriousness) who…I don’t know. Hangs out in the matrix…doing stuff. And he has this ‘deck’ that he uses to ‘jack’ into the matrixy thing, and while I’m sure this sounded really hip and rad in 84, now it just smacks of Ace of Base cassettes, no? Anyways, somewhere way before page 1 he was stripped of his ‘jacking’ abilities (hee!) and then early on in this book someone approaches him and offers to give him back said abilities if he will…I’m not sure. This is where Gibson sort of lost me, round about page 30.
Case drags his ass of the streets and joins this be-Wolverined ninja with built-in Aviators named Molly and somehow they get involved with an Artificial Intelligence who I think wants to be destroyed? And I’m not sure if that was their primary directive and now, oh good, it wants to die? Or what. Anyway, then a bunch of stuff happens and there are Rastafarians. Hilariousment.
Reading Neuromancer was like wandering around inside a computer. There’s all this RAM and ROM and shit, and you’re sure it all does something important, but you can’t for the life of you figure out what that is, and you’re not sure where all the dodabits link up. To be fair, sci-fi ain’t my bag, baby. Maybe it’s just familiarity bred by association, but fantasy makes all kinds of sense to me. I get fantastical creatures and inner powers. I don’t get…cyberspace…and diatrodes…consoles. Burrr?
So…sigh. Reading EW’s New Classics Because I Am A Sheep continues to sludge along.