When Neuromancer was written, black-hat hacking was nascent and an unknown term to much of the world. Phone phreaking was about as crazy as things got. But Neuromancer isn’t about phreaking; it’s about a blackballed console cowboy being given the opportunity to redeem himself in a nearly impossible virtual heist.

“A thief, he’d worked for other, wealthier thieves, employers who provided the exotic software required to penetrate the bright walls of corporate systems, opening windows into rich fields of data.”

page 5

Case and his protector/assassin Molly begin preparing for this heist all the while trying to determine who is behind it, and what they hope to gain.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

This is science fiction. It also happens to be a fantastic story about hacking and corporate espionage.

Neuromancer is also a 1985 Hugo Award winner, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick award winner.

Rating (4 stars)

I went about halfway through this book before looking at the copyright (1984). I was quite surprised. Although there are some references that sound contextually vintage– words like cassette and brands like Sanyo– this book is still a great story of hacking, visualized in a way that makes it accessible.

After all, a story about someone typing on a command prompt and writing python scripts would be dull.