I’ll have to confess that I read Neuromancer only a couple of years ago, and at the time, didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. It was a book about computers, written before computers were really a thing. The strange thing about William Gibson’s fantastic novel is it’s staying power and how it’s positively brimming with fresh ideas in a genre gone stale by the early 1980s. Going back to re-read Gibson’s works (especially in Burning Chrome), I’m shocked at how vibrant and raw his writing is.
Neuromancer is one of the more important books to enter the genre, and as it celebrates its third decade in print, it’s an interesting one to go back and look upon and to understand just how revolutionary the title was at the time.
- Across the Wounded Galaxies: Interviews with Contemporary American Science Fiction Authors, Larry McCaffrey. There’s a fantastic interview with Gibson in this book, which provided some keen insights into the development of Neuromancer. It’s also online here.
- The History of Science Fiction, Adam Roberts. Roberts devotes several pages to Neuromancer and Gibson’s influence, providing some key insights into how Neuromancer came together.
- Modern Masters of Science Fiction: William Gibson, Gary Westfahl. This short book came out last year and is part of the fantastic Modern Masters series from the University of Illinois Press. This particular volume is excellent: it’s a detailed look at Gibson’s works, and a bit about his life
Fittingly, a number of sources came from the internet, through interviews or blog posts from Gibson:
- William Gibson: the man who saw tomorrow, The Guardian. Good article on the legacy of Neuromancer, 30 years later.
- Gibson, William, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. As always, the EoSF is particuarly helpful in showing Gibson in the greater SF context.
- Since 1948, William Gibson. An autobiographical sketch from Gibson about his early days.
- William Gibson on The Stars My Destination, Library of America. Here, Gibson writes glowingly about The Stars My Destination and how they were a bit of an influence.
- Blog Archives. There’s an entry in here about some dates around Neuromancer, which were helpful here.
- William Gibson, The Art of Fiction No. 211, Paris Review. This is a fantastic, detailed interview with Gibson about his life and legacy.