Neuromancer (Hardcover)

Author: Gibson, William

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Product Overview

Multiple award-winning author Gibson provides a new Introduction to this special 20th anniversary edition of the most important and influential science fiction novel of the last two decades--the masterpiece that coined the term "cyberpunk" and eased the way into the modern information age.


Publisher Penguin Group USA
Mfg Part# 9780441012039
SKU 36491550
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0441012035
Release Date 4/10/2007
Dimensions (in Inches) 8.75H x 5.5L x 1.25T
Author Info
William Gibson
William Gibson grew up at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, in a town he has described as the sort of place where, when the library burns down, no one rebuilds it. Reading science fiction as an escape, he quickly came to prefer the works of J. G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick to more conventional writers. At the age of 19, he dropped out of high school and went to Toronto, partly to avoid the draft. Drifting for several years, he hung around in the city's demimonde--among hippies, drug dealers, students, and the like. Eventually marrying a teacher, he began to attend college. When Gibson found himself unwilling to write a term paper for a science fiction class he had taken in the hope of an easy grade, his professor convinced him to write a story instead. After graduating with a B.A. in English literature, he became a house-husband, looking after the children while his wife worked. He began to write more frequently, finding a fan in Omni magazine's fiction editor. These early stories, which included "Johnny Mnemonic", "Fragments of a Hologram Rose", and the incendiary title story, were collected in the volume BURNING CHROME (1986), and attracted a wide following that eagerly anticipated his debut novel. When it appeared in 1984, NEUROMANCER exceeded all expectations, becoming the first book to win all of the "big three" sf awards: the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick. The novel anticipated the Internet, predicted virtual reality, coined the word "cyberspace," and quickly became one of the most, if not THE most, influential science fiction works of the latter part of the 20th century. With his next two novels, COUNT ZERO and MONA LISA OVERDRIVE, Gibson became the leading practitioner of a science fiction sub-genre known as cyberpunk, another word which has entered common usage, although not a coinage of Gibson's. After a brief stint in Hollywood, he began to feel limited by the label, and his next book, a collaboration with Bruce Sterling, was set in Victorian England. In VIRTUAL LIGHT and IDORU, Gibson continued to anticipate the near-future, predicting, among other things, the use of nanotechnology in surgery and "virtual" pop singers, a late-1990s trend in Japan. With his uncanny knack of being sometimes just days ahead of technology, Gibson remains a writer well worth watching.
"Mr. Gibson's characters inhabit a bleak amoral world entirely dictated by the machinations of global corporations and organized crime. In it, the closest anyone comes to integrity is dropping out and scrounging on the margins. The outsiders Mr. Gibson chooses for his heroes--hackers, street kids, bike messengers--seldom want more than to save their own skins and be left alone afterward. It was an ethos perfectly suited to the indolent cynicism of post-60's youth culture and the have-code-will-travel individualism of the programming class."
"NEUROMANCER may not be the best-written SF novel, it may have dated massively and been ripped off shamelessly by Hollywood, but its amphetamine-fast tale...launched cyberpunk into the mainstream and still stands alone."
"NEUROMANCER is good mental exercise as well as superb entertainment."
From the Publisher
Annotation Gibson's instant classic combined nihilistic info-junkies with hacker mavericks, and launched the cyberpunk genre. This thriller, about a young man who breaks into a high-profile computer system only to discover that the system is overseen by an artificial intelligence that can fight back, won the 1985 Hugo and 1984 Nebula Awards and the Philip K. Dick Award.
First Line The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
Annotation 2 William Gibson's groundbreaking debut became an instant classic, sweeping for the first time all of science fiction's major awards (the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Philip K. Dick), coining the term "cyberspace," and effectively launching the cyberpunk subgenre in the mid-'80s. Having grown out of a subculture disillusioned with technology's impersonal and demoralizing ubiquity, NEUROMANCER portrays an urban wasteland where the individual struggles to survive in a decaying, fractured society, moving beyond earlier works on these themes (such as the film BLADE RUNNER) to create its own unique vision of a disintegrating digital future. Case, a disaffected, drug-addicted hustler living a hand-to-mouth existence in Japan, is hired to hack into a high-profile computer system. He flickers from one hazardous encounter to the next, journeying around and off the planet to gather the components for the job, accompanied by a sexy, razor-nailed female bodyguard; a psychopath whose electronically generated illusions can kill; an ex-army colonel whose mind is on the verge of disintegration; and the cybernetic ghost of the world's greatest hacker. Gradually, Case realizes that his true employer and the system he is breaking into are one and the same: a frighteningly sophisticated, self-aware artificial intelligence that seeks to free itself from its human masters. Many of the elements here became iconic in future works of cyberpunk, including the bleak, cynical outlook; a balkanized United States destroyed by urban sprawl; a world ruled not by governments, but by corporations; the prevalence of cybernetic implants; frequent use of designer drugs; and the idealization of Japanese culture and technology. But it was Gibson's foresight about the relevance of information and virtual realities that makes his novel resonate today. Though written decades before the Web introduced e-commerce, identity theft, and global computer viruses, NEUROMANCER was among the first to envision cyberspace as not just a concept but an actual setting, popularizing in a compelling and prescient way the idea that digital information is power, capable of being controlled and abused by unseen forces. Gibson's pioneering cyberpunk masterpiece helped spawn an industry of futuristic interpretations such as THE MATRIX and the animated GHOST IN THE SHELL, ensuring its continued influence on our attempts to understand the struggle between technology and individualism.
Editors Note Case, a burned-out computer whiz, is asked to steal a security code that is locked in the most heavily guarded databank in the solar system, in a special twentieth anniversary edition of the influential Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel.
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Edition 0020
Minimum Age 18
Number of Pages 0384
Publisher Ace Books

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