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17th January 2019
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My Science Fiction Life

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Book: Neuromancer

Author: William Gibson


Damn good read.arrow icon

I first read this round 1987. I was 18, and in my first year at university.
more from Mike Alexander

Internet age classicarrow icon

Bought a copy in 1987, on recommendation of a friend.
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The Original Matrixarrow icon

The first book I actually ever placed an order for.I still have the Gollancz first edition in 1984.I was in Birmingham and picked it up from a book sh ...
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More recollections...

In Depth


The novel that introduced the world to cyberpunk.

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.

Paulvonscott recommends...

My Science Fiction Life contributor paulvonscott recommends his favourite stories from the site.

"I thought hard about them, but I think all of these show how science fiction affects people's lives," he says.

PaulGee31 on Day of the Triffids
It's great to be a thicky!

angelicSpaceboy on Journey into Space
Angelic's vicar rescheduled God for it...

MossyMermaid on The Stone Tape
30 years on, it claims another victim.

JennyDay on Tron
Loved how this changed a software engineer's life.

paulg1974 on Life on Mars
"I hope it's not Crime Traveller again." Exactly!

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