By William Gibson

If you are a fan of science fiction, you need to read this book. It is one of the most important and celebrated and copied books of the genre. If you read it, you will immediately understand why and the full magnitude of its impact on movies and books you love.

Set in the technology-dominated, dystopian future, this is the story of Case, a former cyber cowboy (a cyber thief), who is pulled back into the game in an elaborate and complicated plot that involves the matrix (there is no Keanu Reeves, sadly), cyborgs, hot chicks, murder, sex, hookers, holograms... you name it, this book has it.

Reading this novel, it is easy to see where countless other sci-fi movies and books got their inspiration.

That being said- this is not the easiest book in the whole world to follow. I sometimes struggled to figure out if Case was in reality, cyberspace, talking to a computer or a human or a half-human-half-machine, on what planet, working for whom, and what was real and what wasn’t. This might have been the intention- but something tells me that it wasn’t (not to this extent, anyway). I mean, I GOT it, but god damn if I didn’t have to concentrate like crazy to ensure that I GOT it as well as I did.

I am somewhat obsessed with Molly, one of the characters who is physically very machine but internally very human. She has built-in sunglasses that read out information and protect her eyes AND keep her looking fresh. I mean, come on. I love a strong, sexy, independent female assassin- but one with perma-shades?! Dag.

That bitch is tough. And I love a tough bitch.

Clearly, I read this with a real academic lens.

On a serious note- this book reflects complicated commentary on contemporary culture (say that five times fast!) and the challenges of creating/finding identity in the postmodern/ technology-filled world. I COULD get into that- but I would rather you note the alliteration I used in the first bit of that sentence.

This isn’t one of those books that just slides through your brain like butter- it will definitely challenge you to think, re-imagine, reconsider, and re-read (certain sections, anyway). It is definitely a worthwhile adventure- one any reader, but especially the sci-fi lovers, will enjoy!

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