Neuromancer: Reader’s Response pt. 1

As a favor to a Geek Night friend, I moved Neuromancer from my “will probably get to it” list to my “reading now” list. I picked up the library copy today. I don’t know if I’ve read any William Gibson in the past. This may seem strange. I’ve apparently read kind of a lot (not just Gibson, who I actually think I haven’t read hardly any of), and probably forgotten much of what I’ve read. I worked in a bookstore for about ten years along the way, and that explains a lot of that.

Didn’t William Gibson write something that was adapted into the Keanu Reeves movie Johnny Mnemonic? I think so, clearly I can’t be bothered too much with this sort of question, since I’m on the internet, and have a web browser open. It would take less time to find out than to finish this thought about why I’m not going to. Essentially, I don’t want to sully my experience with the memory of that poor movie. I didn’t want to go, but someone insisted it would be a good time. Another friend as enthusiastic as I was joined me in the back seat for the ride to the theatre on opening night. We lit a fire in the ash tray between us. Afterword I told the driver that I didn’t blame him for the fact that it was a bad movie, but only for the fact that I had seen it.

Anyway. I’m trying to go into this with an open mind. There’s a book I know I read once which may have been a Gibson title. No, now that I’m thinking on it, I think it was a Philip K. Dick novel. A late one in his bibliography, I think. Something religious… Something Something Happens to Someone Someone, I think. At least that’s the form of the title. Again, I don’t want to muddy my mind. And, of course there’s Canticle for Leibowitz, also by someone not Gibson, and also not the Dick novel. I’ll look these things up and use them as I post more while I work my way through the novel.

These other two books were titles I read while working at the bookstore. There was a staff book club. Every couple of months a staff person would choose a title, and any staff person who wanted to read it could request a copy. The store bought them, and we all took a couple of weeks to read the title. A very nice perk, and it expanded everyone’s “knowledge of of the product line” since the person doing the selection was striving to select something both really good and somewhat obscure. Something the rest of us probably hadn’t read.

Then, after everyone had a chance to read it, we’d get together somewhere to discuss it. Usually at a dive bar in a moderately seedy neighborhood with excellent spiced carrots and prairie fires. The discussion of the evening usually went like this:

“I picked this book because I really like it.”

“I really liked it, too!”

“Yes! It was really good. Thanks! Good job picking that book!”

“Hey! They’ve got Oberon here! Who wants an Oberon!?”

However, there had been a lot of discussion of the book in the days during the reading. People would talk on the sales floor, in the break room, out in the parking lot standing around smoking too close to the loading dock and all that paper, and on the in-store e-mail.

So I’ll keep you posted about Neuromanceras I make my way through it. You’re on your own for the Oberon, though.

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