This novel made me fall back in love with science fiction. Gritty future noir set amidst AI, evil multinationals, and organized crime. The novel glitters with beautifully written passages, amalgamating techspeak with Japanese, Haitian creole, and back-alley slang. Sure, it’s been criticized as “surface and gloss,” but what surface, what gloss! When most speculative fiction writers — including some Grandmasters who will go unnamed — became prolific typists with good ideas, Gibson took a well-worn idea (hard-boiled crime fiction), gave it a spin, and produced a spectacular gem.
To top it off, Gibson wrote it on a typewriter — how retro! — and had no knowledge of computers. Get this, he used his Imagination to come up with these ideas.
Since 90% of science fiction writing is crap, pick this book up. It’s part of the other 10%. Wonderfully written, tightly plotted, and filled with memorable characters, it’s a fun romp through a neon-lit dystopia.