Now, I know I haven’t written anything in a long long time. Well, that isn’t entirely true, I did write a bunch of emails, some word documents, filled out a whole set of forms, signed my name in about a gajillion places but none of that was what you’d call _creative_ or any good.
As a result, the blog hasn’t seen any activity either. It’s not due to a shortage of material, off the top of my head I can come up with posts about the car, about the move, about this place, about the weather here, about a musical I went and saw (which was superb by the way), about the cloud, about the kindle, about CeG<Butcher> and his American transformation, and yada yada yada, you get the idea.
It took something rather special to get me off my arse and start writing this. It was a book that began like so:
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
I’ve read a whole bunch of great books over the last 6-9 months. This one was very different from them all and so I hesitate in calling it better. It was however, not to put too fine a point on it, a stunning stunning read. None of the books I’ve read has started off like that. And when a book starts like that you expect it to be good. Neuromancer does not disappoint.
The book, Neuromancer is science-fiction. It is about a hacker. I will now ask those of you who are saying to themselves, “Oh my god, this chap, he gets on my nerves, all he talks about is computers and is now reading about some hacker”, to put a sock in it.
It is set in a psuedo-alternate reality (hence science fiction). It is about this hacker who bungled up an operation (the operation was penetrating the computer defenses of Soviet Russia with parachuting out of an ultra light airline being the modus operandi) and was poisoned, doomed to die a slow death. Its about this cybernetic-totally-kickass-bio-enhanced-chick who rescues him and this man who has plans for them both. It is about the AI that is running the whole show from behind the scenes. I won’t give away more, go read the book I say.
It is definitely dark, not your happy yellow-tulips-red-daffodils-butterflies-flapping their wings type books. The metaphors are brilliant, the writing is superb. The plot moves faster than a hippopotamus on roller-blades (obligatory drawing below). The imagery is vivid; stunningly rich. Every scene, every location, every twist is described perfectly. The world portrayed in the book is surreal.
At the end, the story in a sense is about two beings completing each other. Yes, I read that sentence out aloud to myself and I do not intend either a perverted-sexual-double-entendre or a “the-notebook” gushy-mushy love story pun. Imagine a poem, with a happy ending, with kick-ass action, kind of like the first paragraph from “The charge of the light brigade”. Imagine a poem like the one about that ancient mariner dude, with that level of depth. This book is like that. After reading it you will be left feeling … well, I don’t have the vocabulary to describe what I felt.
I do say, read this book, and do it justice. If you’re reading those cheap-ass John-whats-his-middle-name-Grisham thrillers about lawyers gaying it up in prisons then please ditch that and take a look at this.
hippopotamus on rollerblades
oBelIX (April 2011)
PS: The MS Paint that comes in windows 7 is uber awesome. Has multiple undo support