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Neuromancer
 
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Neuromancer [Format Kindle]

William Gibson
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Here is the novel that started it all, launching the cyberpunk generation, and the first novel to win the holy trinity of science fiction: the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award and the Philip K. Dick Award. With Neuromancer, William Gibson introduced the world to cyberspace--and science fiction has never been the same.

Case was the hottest computer cowboy cruising the information superhighway--jacking his consciousness into cyberspace, soaring through tactile lattices of data and logic, rustling encoded secrets for anyone with the money to buy his skills. Then he double-crossed the wrong people, who caught up with him in a big way--and burned the talent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courted death in the high-tech underworld. Until a shadowy conspiracy offered him a second chance--and a cure--for a price....

Extrait

The Sky Above The Port

By

William Gibson

 

             It took at least a decade for me to realize that many of my readers, even in 1984, could never have experienced Neuromancer’s opening line as I’d intended them to. I’d actually composed that first image with the black-and-white video-static of my childhood in mind, sodium-silvery and almost painful—a whopping anachronism, right at the very start of my career in the imaginary future.

             But an invisible one, interestingly; one that reveals a peculiar grace enjoyed by all imaginary futures as they make their way up the timeline and into the real future, where we all must go. The reader never stopped to think that I might have been thinking, however unconsciously, of the texture and color of a signal-free channel on a wooden-cabinet Motorola with fabric-covered speakers. Readers compensated for me, shouldering an additional share of the imaginative burden, and allowed whatever they assumed was the color of static to take on the melancholy of the phrase “dead channel”.

             In my teens, in the Sixties, I read a great deal of science fiction dating from the Forties, a very fertile period for the genre, and recall being aware of making just this sort of effort on behalf of fictions that had grown a bit long in the technological tooth, or whose imagined futures had been blindsided by subsequent history. I cut such fictions just the sort of extra slack, in exchange for whatever other value the narrative might offer, that some readers must be cutting Neuromancer today––not for invisible anachronisms like my color of television, but for unavoidable sins of omission on the order of a complete absence of tiny and ubiquitous portable telephones. (Indeed, one of my own favorite moments in the book hinges around the sequenced ringing of a row of pay-phones.

             Imagine a novel from the Sixties whose author had somehow fully envisioned cellular telephony circa 2004, and had worked it, exactly as we know it today, into the fabric of her imaginary future. Such a book would have seemed highly peculiar in the Sixties, even though innumerable novels had already been written in which small personal wireless communications devices were taken for granted. A genuinely prescient cell-phone novel would have moved in a most unsettling way, its characters acting, out of an unprecedented degree of connectivity, in ways that would quickly overwhelm the narrative. 

             In hindsight, I suspect that Neuromancer owes much of its shelf-life to my almost perfect ignorance of the technology I was extrapolating from. I was as far from the Sixties author who knew everything about cell-phones as it was possible to be. Where I made things up from whole cloth, the colors remain bright. Where I was unlucky enough to actually have some small bit of real knowledge, the reader finds things like the rattling keys of a mechanical printer, or Case’s puzzlingly urgent demand, when the going gets tough, for a modem. Unlike the absence of cell-phones, those are sins of commission. Another vast omission is my failure to have quietly collapsed the Soviet Union and swept the rubble offstage when nobody was looking.

             Though there was a strategic reason for my not having done that. I had already done it to the United States, which cannot be proven to exist in the world of Neuromancer. It’s deliberately never mentioned as such, and one vaguely gathers that it’s somehow gone sideways in a puff of what we today would call globalization, to be replaced by some less dangerous combine of large corporations and city-states. Having disappeared the USA, I though I’d better have the USSR in there for the sake of continuity. (Had I disappeared the USSR instead, I might eventually have been burned as a witch, so just as well.)

             Today’s reader might keep in mind that I wrote Neuromancer with absolutely no expectation that it would be in print twenty years later. I knew that it was to be published, if I could finish it and if the editor accepted the manuscript, both of which seemed constantly unlikely, as a paperback original—that most ephemeral of literary units, a pocket-sized slab of prose meant to fit a standard wire rack, printed on high-acid paper and visibly yearning to return to the crude pulp from which it had been pressed. My best hope for the book was that it might find, in whatever modest numbers it would have its debut, some kindred soul or five. Probably in England, as I imagined them, or perhaps in France. I didn’t anticipate much in the way of an American audience, because I felt that I was writing too deliberately counter to what I had come to assume the American audience had been taught to want from science fiction.

             I was doing this because I couldn’t for the life of me seem to do it any other way. Having been talked into signing a contract (by the late Terry Carr, without whom there would certainly be no Neuromancer) I found myself possessed by a dissident attitude that I certainly wasn’t about to share with my editor, or really with much of anyone. The only people who got that were a few of the other tyro writers with whom I would eventually be labeled “cyberpunk”, and they were far away, mostly in Austin TX.

             Like Case at the book’s climax, I was coming in steep, fuelled by…;I couldn’t have to told you, though one element was a smoldering resentment at what the genre I’d loved as a teenager seemed to me in the meantime to have become. Though I know I had neither the intention nor the least hope that what I was doing, tapping out my Ace Special paperback original on an aged manual portable of precision Swiss manufacture, would in any way change the course of science fiction. (Nor did it, apparently, except to the extent of helping to keep open doors I certainly never built, doors I’d found as a teenager, with names like “Bester” and “Leiber” gouged into their lintels.)

             I was recently told that Neuromancer has sold more than a million copies. That would be over the past two decades, and I assume in either North American editions or English-language editions. Abroad, it’s managed to get itself translated into most of the languages books are translated into, though not yet, as far as I know, Chinese or Arabic.

This is something like having an adult child one never hears from, but who evidently does quite well, travels widely, and seems to meet interesting people.

             My real sympathy, though, is with the bright thirteen-year-old curled on a sofa somewhere, twenty pages into the book and desperate to get to the root of the mystery of why cell-phones aren’t allowed in Chiba City.

Hang in there, friend.

It can only get stranger.

 

                                     —Vancouver BC 5 17 04

 

CHIBA  CITY BLUES

 

one

 

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

“It’s not like I’m using,” Case heard someone say, as he shouldered his way through the crowd around the door of the Chat. “It’s like my body’s developed this massive drug deficiency.” It was a Sprawl voice and a Sprawl joke. The Chatsubo was a bar for professional expatriates; you could drink there for a week and never hear two words in Japanese.

Ratz was tending bar, his prosthetic arm jerking monotonously as he filled a tray of glasses with draft  Kirin. He saw Case and smiled, his teeth a webwork of East European steel and brown decay. Case found a place at the bar, between the unlikely tan on one of Lonny Zone’s whores and the crisp naval uniform of a tall African whose cheekbones were ridged with precise rows of tribal scars. “Wage was in here early, with two joeboys,” Ratz said, shoving a draft across the bar with his good hand. “Maybe some business with you, Case?”

Case shrugged. The girl to his right giggled and nudged him.

The bartender’s smile widened. His ugliness was the stuff of legend. In an age of affordable beauty, there was something heraldic about his lack of it. The antique arm whined as he reached for another mug. It was a Russian military prosthesis, a seven-function force-feedback manipu...


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 368 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 323 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0006480411
  • Editeur : Voyager; Édition : New Ed (28 avril 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004XOZ8B0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°3.976 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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5 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Prenant, avant gardiste mais hardu ! 19 novembre 2008
Par Nicolas L
Format:Poche
Incroyablement avant-gardiste (à ma connaissance du moins), ce roman écrit il y a plus de 25 ans plante un décor qui n'a rien à envier à Matrix.
Prenant, plein de suspens, il n'y a rien d'étonnant à ce que ce roman ce soit imposé en son temps comme l'une des références en matières de cyberpunk/science fiction.
Seul avertissement (et qui explique ma note "relativement" basse), j'ai trouvé la lecture de ce livre (en anglais bien sur) particulièrement difficile. Je pense pouvoir dire sans trop me vanter que je possède un niveau en anglais plus que correct et j'ai déjà lu bon nombre de roman, articles et documents techniques dans la langue de Shakespeare. Est-ce du à l'univers cyberpunk et à son vocabulaire si particulier, au style de l'auteur/ à la narration (qui ne vous répétera pas deux fois la même information) ? Je ne saurai le dire. Je me rends compte en tout cas que je suis clairement passé à coté d'un bon nombre de détails ou nuances. A mon avis à déconseiller (en VO du moins) aux personnes totalement néophytes en matière de cyberpunk ou ne jouissant pas d'un (très ?) bon niveau en anglais.
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2 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The First Cyberspace Literature 6 mars 2001
Par Un client
Format:Broché
This is the best novel if anyone wishes to understand the cyberpunk culture.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  793 commentaires
405 internautes sur 424 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Past Page 25 ... 30 janvier 2008
Par Loren Eaton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Adapted from ISawLightningFall.blogspot.com

The first time I tried to read Neuromancer, I stopped around page 25.

I was about 15 years old and I'd heard it was a classic, a must-read from 1984. So I picked it up and I plowed through the first chapter, scratching my head the whole time. Then I shoved it onto my bookshelf, where it was quickly forgotten. It was a dense, multilayered read, requiring more effort than a hormone-addled adolescent wanted to give. But few years later, I pulled the book down and gave it another chance. This time, William Gibson's dystopic rabbit hole swallowed me whole.

Neuromancer is basically a futuristic crime caper. The main character is Case, a burnt-out hacker, a cyberthief. When the book opens, a disgruntled employer has irrevocably destroyed parts of his nervous system with a mycotoxin, meaning he can't jack into the matrix, an abstract representation of earth's computer network. Then he receives a suspiciously sweet offer: A mysterious employer will fix him up if he'll sign on for a special job. He cautiously agrees and finds himself joined by a schizophrenic ex-Special Forces colonel; a perverse performance artist who wrecks havoc with his holographic imaginings; a long-dead mentor whose personality has been encoded as a ROM construct; and a nubile mercenary with silver lenses implanted over her eyes, retractable razors beneath her fingernails and one heckuva chip on her shoulder. Case soon learns that the target he's supposed to crack and his employer and are one and the same -- an artificial intelligence named Wintermute.

Unlike most crime thrillers and many works of speculative fiction, Neuromancer is interested in a whole lot more that plot development. Gibson famously coined the word "cyberspace" and he imagines a world where continents are ruled more by corporations and crime syndicates than nations, where cultural trends both ancient and modern dwell side by side, where high-tech and biotech miracles are as ordinary as air. On one page you'll find a discussion of nerve splicing, on another a description of an open-air market in Istanbul. An African sailor with tribal scars on his face might meet a Japanese corporate drone implanted with microprocessors, the better to measure the mutagen in his bloodstream. When he's not plumbing the future, Gibson dips into weighty themes such as the nature of love, what drives people toward self-destruction and mind/body dualism. It's a rich, heady blend.

That complexity translates over to the novel's prose style, which is why I suspect my first effort to read it failed. Gibson peppers his paragraphs with allusions to Asian geography and Rastafarianism, computer programming and corporate finance. He writes about subjects ranging from drug addiction and zero-gravity physics to synesthesia and brutal back-alley violence. And he writes with next to no exposition. You aren't told that Case grew up in the Sprawl, which is the nickname for the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis, a concreted strip of the Eastern Seaboard, and that he began training in Miami to become a cowboy, which is slang for a cyberspace hacker, and that he was immensely skilled at it, et cetera, et cetera. No, you're thrust right into Case's shoes as he swills rice beer in Japan and pops amphetamines and tries to con the underworld in killing him when his back is turned because he thinks he'll never work again. You have to piece together the rest on your own.

Challenging? You bet. But it's electrifying once you get it.

I've worked by paperback copy until the spine and cover have split, until the pages have faded like old newsprint. Echoes of its diction sound in my own writing. Thoughts of Chiba City or BAMA pop into my head when I walk through the mall and hear a mélange of voices speaking in Spanish and English and Creole and German. Neuromancer is in me like a tea bag, flavoring my life, and I can't imagine what it would be like if I hadn't pressed on into page 26.
86 internautes sur 97 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Simply Put: Great Science Fiction 19 novembre 2002
Par Travis J Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
'Neuromancer' is one of a handful of books/movies that I would pick to represent the science-fiction genre. Gibson succeeds on all levels here - I enjoyed the story, the characters, the settings, the technology, everything. Gibson writes about imperfection - he doesn't gloss anything over or try to make it too pretty. The characters are flawed, and have weaknesses - just like in real life. They live in a gritty world - just like in real life. And around them all, is technology - just like in real life.
'Neuromancer' is the story of Case: a hacker-type, cyberpunk, whatever you want to call him. He makes hackers of today look like amateurs - he totally immerses himself into the machine. Washed-up and raked over the coals, he gets a chance at a come back, even if it isn't on the most pleasant of terms.
Read this book if you are a science fiction fan - if for no other reason than to see what all the hype is about. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
32 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Prophecy or fiction? You pick! 25 mars 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
It took me some time to get started into this book--the
"imaginary" future Gibson has created is somewhat familiar,
yet bizarre enough to leave one grasping for understanding in the beginning pages. Once engrossed, I couldn't put it down! My constant back thought as I read was the absolute awe that I felt for Gibson's ability to envision a computer
world so 1990's true to life at a time when Apple had yet to
create their first Mac! Gibson's description of "jacking in" to the net, and "flipping" is so close to today's "logging on" and "quick-switching" that it gave me goosebumps each time he used the terms! Gibson was truly
touched by the muse of inspiration when writing "Neuromancer", and I'm sure we'll see more of his *prophecies* come to pass before the millenium.
This is advised reading for all who wish to understand the
potential of the internet and the World Wide Web. Just take it slow, by osmosis you'll get the scenario, and by the final chapter--you'll know the concept. You'll be awestruck
too, I guarantee!
Can't wait to read Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive!

you
133 internautes sur 165 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A fun, readable book 3 mai 2000
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I'm only an occasional reader of science fiction, and I've read even less cyberpunk - perhaps that's why I can't go along with all the reviews either calling this the greatest novel ever written, or a terrible hack job...they seem to be taking things within the context of the current cyberpunk scene, a scene I'm only vaguely familiar with.
I enjoyed the book the way one might enjoy a big Hollywood movie. The characterizations and plot were shallow and taken directly from noir and pulp fictions, no doubt about it. However, for all the times I've seen noir plots, I still enjoy them. I think the author made things fun, and kept the story going along smoothly. The ending did fall a little flat, but cyberpunk as a genre seems to flop the endings, and this was at least decent.
Also, I think it's easy to appreciate the futuristic setting of the book. True, it's a largely outdated view of the future, but it's an interesting world, and it's fun to see just how much Gibson got right back in 1984. I read this when I stayed live in post-bubble Osaka, and the book's view of the fringes of an efficient high-tech society struck a chord with me.
34 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Neuromancer invented its own genre. 3 décembre 1999
Par Adam Scoville - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Neuromancer is the epitome and the antecedent of all cyberpunk fiction. In fact, with this book Gibson, seemingly quite accidentally, actually coined the term "cyberspace" (not to mention providing the original "matrix"). The characters are vivid and interesting, and the world that they inhabit is just as colorful, in its urbanized, futuristic way. Neuromancer is relatively brief, laudably free of some science fiction writers' tendency to expound verbosely on their philosophy of the future. Even so, Gibson's vision comes out in the writing, perhaps even more effectively. You will finish this book quickly. When you do, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive are just as well paced, continue in the same vein without becoming philosophical, and are refreshingly self-contained for science fiction sequels.
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Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts  A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding &quote;
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The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. &quote;
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But he also saw a certain sense in the notion that burgeoning technologies require outlaw zones, that Night City wasnt there for its inhabitants, but as a deliberately unsupervised playground for technology itself. &quote;
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