NeuromancerNeuromancer (Sprawl, #1) by William Gibson
Published by Ace Books on July 1st 1984
Pages: 271
My Rating: four-stars

The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus- hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace . . .
Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employers crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.
Hotwired to the leading edges of art and technology, Neuromancer ranks with 1984 and Brave New World as one of the century's most potent visions of the future.

I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book. I’ve been a fan of cyberpunk for years, but hadn’t read one of it’s first hits. Terrible.

I read this around the same time as my wife so we got to have couples book club to discuss it when we were done. She wrote a review here.

This is one of those books that have a “that just happened” stun during and directly after reading it, but then follow with a few weeks/months of the story and characters popping back into your thoughts. We went to see Blade Runner 2049 a week after reading so we were steeped in visuals of futuristic cities crawling with genetically modified humans, androids, and future tech.

I’ve always had technophile tendencies which is what got me into computer programming at a young age so dystopian and bleak futures predicted by cyberpunk don’t bother me as long as there is a helping of tech to cover the harshness.

I can’t wait to read the rest of the Sprawl series and some of the other books in the genre.

This was book number 44 of 52 for 2017.

Dune Messiah

Dune MessiahDune Messiah (Dune Chronicles #2) by Frank Herbert
Published by Ace Books on July 15th 1987
Pages: 331
My Rating: three-stars

Dune Messiah continues the story of the man Muad'dib, heir to a power unimaginable, bringing to completion the centuries-old scheme to create a super-being."Brilliant...It is all that Dune was, and maybe a little bit more."--Galaxy Magazine

I read Dune in my teens and loved it. LOVED IT. I memorized Paul’s whole soliloquy “I must not fear, fear is the mind killer…” and really liked the planets as feudal houses makeup of the universe (literally). I adored the love story of Paul and Chani. Maybe this was the beginning of my attraction to strong willed women? who knows.

When I started this book I felt like I had read it before, but enough time has passed since my teens that it felt like a first reading. Re-entering the universe of The Spice Melange in book form was a welcome feeling. A re-watching of the Dune movie with my wife last year did not bring the same good feelings. It hasn’t aged well which is a shame.

*** Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned ***

This book picks up where the first one leaves off. Paul Atreides, or Muad’dib, has conquered Arrakis and the Empire. He’s reached god-like status and has an army of super killers. Given how omnipotent and omniscient Paul’s powers seem to make him as the super-being it is difficult to imagine any antagonist challenging his authority. Any possible plot against him should be seen coming a mile away and thwarted right? Or any that got too close would be quickly defeated by his super powers. That’s a tight corner for the author to paint himself out of.

The book weaves some political intrigue and “challenges of nation-building” into the plot that make it plausible. The threat from far-off turns out to be a reanimated Duncan Idaho who may or may not be an assassin, but is presented to Paul as a gift. Once that happened I kinda detached from the story and finished on auto-pilot.

I won’t be continuing with the series, but am glad I read this one.

This was book number 10 of 52 for 2017.