Dig Those Killer Lines

Here’s an easy one. Just soak up the lines of this passage from Neuromancer. It’s tight, clean, inventive. I don’t think there’s much popular fiction that can compete with these lines in terms of confidence. They are focused on sustaining a mood but they also teach us about this place and the character, Case. Not … Continue reading

Talking Technobabble – Neuromancer Does It Right

Neuromancer is a book about computers and hackers. It pretty much invented the genre of hacker literature. And author William Gibson had never owned, or much used, a computer when he wrote this novel. Here’s Gibson talking with critic Larry McCaffery: It wasn’t until I could finally afford a computer of my own that I found … Continue reading

Defragging a Scene (and killing an Internet lie!)

First, I’ll kill an internet lie. (This is a good one, folks.) You’ve probably heard the famous line that celebrates brevity in writing: “I apologize for the length of this letter. If I’d had more time it would have been shorter.” If you’ve heard it, you’ve probably heard it attributed to Mark Twain. This is … Continue reading

Neuromancer – Looking at the First Page

Reading the first page of William Gibson’s Neuromancer, here are some rapid-fire impressions. Setting is important. Gibson opens not with a description of a person, an action, or a line of dialogue, but with a scene setter. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. This sort of … Continue reading