The best laid plans, eh? I’ve been doing a fair bit of domestic travel this summer for seminars and the like, and figured that getting a stack of reading lined up would be a good way to eat up all those hours on the shinkansen. I’d finally got hold of a Harper Voyager edition of Count Zero, and what with it being Neuromancer’s 30th anniversary it seemed like a good idea to read straight through the entire Sprawl Trilogy and stick up one huge megapost at the end of the month.
So I’m going to cheat a bit and make some comparisons anyway. What I’d forgotten about Neuromancer was the sheer verve and energy with which Gibson addresses his subjects and story. More specifically, and in comparison with the Bigend books especially, there’s a much greater focus on the play of ideas and concepts rather than the continual and slightly wearying search for the bleeding edge of cool. I think I prefer it that way, to be honest. That said, there are definitely signs of a fairly standard plot-template emerging: shadowy puppet master engages kickass female and/or socially inept male (who may or may not having slightly improbable sex with each other) to undertake a wild macguffin hunt and so allow exploration of various aspects of post-modernity and futuricity. If that’s a word. Case is essentially a cipher and Molly is, er, cool but not exactly without problems; frankly I could have done without the prostitution/rape backstory. Still, product of (or to be fair, in many ways ahead) of its time and all that. I shall, hopefully, have more to say once I’ve visited the Lost and Found office.