William Gibson seems to have channelled the future right back into the late 1980′s, when he wrote this book. Knowing that the nerve splice is still nonexistant, but imminent, clues the knowledgeable reader to just how well Gibson interprets the world economy today, alongwith its inevitable affect on tomorrow.
The world moves on, as another famous author reminds us, (SK) and it appears to me that Gibson has more of a handle on reality than many give him credit for.
The lost and somewhat illucid character of Case, alongwith the tussle-ready Molly, speak of a street sense learned the hard way. My favorite clip is where Molly slaps a captive who was causing trouble in his own weird way and tells him something like “…I can hurt you real bad, and not leave a mark on you…I LIKE to do that…”. The book will grab and pull and color your emotions, making it a very quick and enjoyable read. Too quick, you ask me.
I have reread it several times, and plan on doing so again. Palimpsest-like, the scenarios of the book truly reveal themselves through the minutiae of repitition. To me the book explains a lot, and says “Prepare…prepare for what we ourselves have wrought.
The worldwide AI race began around 1983, and was already fairly old news by time this book was written, but because of the scantiness of information on that subject, along with the myriad military applications inherent in AI, anyone must know that the reality far surpasses the false front of the technology brokers everywhere in the world. I was able to glean a little more about AI from this book, Though not as much as from “The God Project”, and some others. The best is Feigenbaum and McCorducks “The Fifth Generation: Japans Computer Challenge to the world”, 1983.
Gibson touches on the funny similarity between possible definitions of the term AI, and even goes so far as to stipulate it as “Alien Intelligence, as well as Artificial Intelligence.
The book is great, and will take you through a long flight or other trip with no problem at all. Definitely NOT a waste of time.