Definitely the most lyrical sci-fi novel I’ve read so far. A bang-on quote on the back of this edition, from Bruce Sterling, refers to it as “high-tech electric poetry.” Mystery from the noir era, melded with technology still theoretical in our own. Pretty impressive considering it was written in the 80’s. It must have been incredible to read this novel when it first came out; Gibson imagining technology and equipment that surely seemed unattainable. This novel predated the internet. Home computers had just become available in the late 70’s (I’m not counting the build-your-own-computer kits from MITS, needing to solder well enough to put a computer together excluded many consumers from bringing them into their own homes). While the Soviets had put a woman in space back in the 60’s, the States didn’t work out how to do that for another 20 years. Yet in Gibson’s novel space travel is commonplace. Space vacations are common place. You can have a full time job in virtual reality. Lab grown organs, synapse implants and just about any cybernetic body modification you can imagine are all more common than the untouched human. Gibson imagined a truly fantastic universe for his first novel. It’s still pretty impressive today.