Set in a dystopian future, Neuromancer conveys ideas about virtual reality and the internet that were just far enough ahead of their actual introduction to be seen as blindingly prescient. Many of the ideas and themes within the novel have since been repackaged in other media and have become familiar sci-fi tropes. Gibson's coining of the term 'cyberspace' has had a profound cultural impact, having been initially appropriated by science-fiction fans and, subsequently, society at large as a synonym for the internet.
In the book, a computer hacker named Case is able to hack into the cyberspace matrix where he can access the inner workings of huge corporations. His investigations lead him to discover an artificial intelligence.
Much of the book is baffling - deliberately so - since an over-riding theme of the novel is the loss of identity in the face of technology. Case's rebellious attitude towards this technology and the novel's noir-ish tone mark this as the first significant work of the cyberpunk subgenre - Neuromancer effectively marked a paradigm shift in science fiction.
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