I've always enjoyed the cyberpunk setting, especially since I played as a teenager a few Cyberpunk 2020 RPG adventures, so reading Neuromancer was something always on my "pending readings list", but I had never really decided to do act and go for it. Well, not anymore. Last week I bought the book, and read it in a few nights.
I really don't like spoilers, as one of the reasons I enjoyed so much this reading was not knowing much about it except that it was the source of so many futuristic materials and terms, so I'll just briefly mention that we'll follow certain adventures of Case, an ex hacker that got his nervous system damaged as punishment, not allowing him to connect to the cyberspace (to the matrix) anymore. After some events, he will embark on a job that will get his body healed and allow to hack again, with a very special and dangerous mission...
I think that many if not all the basic cyberpunk setting pillars are present: mixture of noir and hardboiled style, grim, decadent future where technology has advanced but life sucks and is really hard to survive, low-tech and high-tech weaponry, cyberspace and hacking, action... even razorblades (a la Wolverine).
An excellent and intriguing read, my only issue with it was that, as I'm not a native English speaker, the street jargon dialogs, including cut words and the like, was quite a challenge to understand sometimes (except for the key words).
I also learned that this title is part of a trilogy, so I'll surely get into the remaining books in the future.
Similarities with The Matrix movies' Zion:
They called him Mir, which to these people meant “the world beneath the world.”
The descriptions of The Matrix that clearly the films were inspired by:
he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he’d taken and the corners he’d cut in Night City, and still he’d see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colourless void...
jacked into a custom cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination that was the matrix.
And the way to connect...
‘The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games,’ said the voice-over, ‘in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks.’
And kind of the source of "the machines"
[...] the construction of our artificial intelligences. She was quite a visionary. She imagined us in a symbiotic relationship with the AIs, our corporate decisions made for us. [...], a hive, each of us units of a larger entity. Fascinating.
I didn't knew the term ICE was invented in this book:
‘Icebreakers,’ Case said, over the rim of the red mug. ‘Ice from ICE, intrusion countermeasures electronics.’
But also, after the following reference to Johnny Mnemonic, I digged and found that both the reference and the movie are based on a short story!
Johnny, see, he was smart, real flash boy. Started out as a stash on Memory Lane, chips in his head and people paid to hide data there.