Yesterday I posted a note about what I've been reading and about Melissa Scott's The Jazz, and in it I realized that I talked about William Gibson's Neuromancer in comparison to Melissa's book and I didn't get into my thoughts on the Gibson.
Which is awkward, because it's such an important book and I didn't like it very much. Although Gibson writes very beautiful prose, I had a hard time maintaining interest in the book. Maybe this is a feature of the cyberpunk sub-genre's difficulty aging--but that seems too simple. While I think the more rigorously derived from the future a piece of SF is, the harder it ages 
I asked Chris, "Isn't this supposed to rock world, I feel very unrocked," and he said (ever helpfully) that "maybe my world was already rocked." Which it might be, I think this is another angle on the "it's past it's moment." And unlike some cyberpunk which engages issues of identity, the meaning of "reality," government intervention in people's lives, and other interesting issues, the major argument in Neuromancer amounted to "Duuudes cyberspace, it's like drugs..."
I joke, but there was a lot of drug use in the book, and while it gave Gibson the space to write some really trippy scenes, which really were beautiful, beyond that I was unimpressed. And probably as a result I didn't find myself not particularly invested in the characters.
I'd be interested in hearing what your thoughts are on the book, it's role in the science fiction canon, and about cyberpunk in general. I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Thanks for reading.
Onward and Upward!
|||I think this is an observer problem, because if you set a book 100 years in the future, and 5 years later it becomes clear that it's not going to happen that way, everyone notices. If you set things 1000 years in the future it's easier for people to get that it's all allegory, anyway. Nevertheless I think this is a challenge of SF that tries to be less fantastic.|