I’ve read and loved Gibson’s recent work, Pattern Recognition and Spook Country, but I’d never before read this classic cyberpunk novel.
It’s good, but having read his later work it’s clear he has progressed enormously as a writer. This isn’t to bash Neuromancer. The story is fast-paced and gets going from the start, no messing around. However this is an earlier work, and shows it. The talent is there, but not as well-tuned as in his later work. If you’ve never read Neuromancer I’d certainly recommend it, but behind Gibson’s more recent books.
I’ve passed on a small dose of my thoughts on genre.
In 2006 I really enjoyed reading Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. I would like to read more books like it. But what if I don’t know where to go for recommendations online? What if I have no friends who read? Help me, oh incessant and pedantic labellers of things!
Apparently, it’s called Mundane SF. Catchy. This is SF written for today, tomorrow, next week. Okay, I get that. I understand why a writer won’t want to spend all day saying “I write science fiction. No, not like Star Wars.” I’m not sure ‘SF that’s not like Star Wars’ needs its own separate label.
These guys are serious. They even have a manifesto. May dog have mercy on their soles.
Actually by manifesto, I just mean some guy and his Clarion workshop students decided to pontificate about what ‘proper’ SF should and shouldn’t be like. You know, dictating to writers about how to express themselves through writing? How utterly pointless. Genre is a dead end street, I’m just saying. The silver lining on that pareticular cloud comes as the occasional amusing rebuttal. Okay, that part is fun.
Rudy says in part, “A manifesto needn’t be a universal strait-jacket. But maybe some forms are self-defeating. Like a novel that doesn’t use the letter E. Or a piano piece that doesn’t use the black keys. Or a painting with no red or yellow.”
I like that, and following a decent interval, I intend to steal it, and use it in conversation to sound witty. Now there’s my manifesto! No Red Dwarf quote too obscure, no Simpsons reference too irrelevant. Actually there’s probably a label for that too.