The original cyberpunk novel, and still the epitome of the genre, 'Neuromancer' single-handedly invented cyberspace and virtual reality. As a piece of fiction it has inspired many imitators, both in print and on film, but ultimately the book transcends its cult status. Its intense, complex plot, gritty yet beautifully textured narrative, and characters that are both ultra-cool and incredibly engaging, make this a classic that stands the test of time.
The Matrix is a world within a world, a graphic representation of the databanks of every computer in the human system; a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate users in the Sprawl alone. And by Case, computer cowboy, until his nervous system is grievously maimed by a client he double-crossed.
Japanese experts in nerve-splicing and microbionics have left him broke and close to dead. But at last Case has found a cure. He's going back into the system. Not for the bliss of cyberspace, but to steal again - this time from the big boys, the almighty megacorps. In return, should he survive, he will stay cured.
Written in 1984, 'Neuromancer' has proved eerily prophetic, perfectly capturing the mixture of ennui and excitement that pervades online life. Gibson's visionary depiction of a dark future of information overload, the melting-pot of globalisation, reliance on technology, and global pollution seems to be moving closer to reality every day.