Count Zero (William Gibson)

Cyberpunk, 9/10 – Summer 2004

First realise that this is the 2nd book of a trilogy that is “Neuromancer”, “Count Zero” and “Mona Lisa Overdrive”. I don’t advice reading this until you’ve read Neuromancer and have got into the whole cyberpunk vocabulary.

The plots in the storyline are deliciously challenging to unravel and Gibson certainly doesn’t spoon-feed you all the threads that intertwine everything. I think putting everything together took me 24 hours after finishing the book.
The secret (and illegal by Turing police rules) unification of two AI’s called Wintermute and Neuromancer has left unexplained entities in the matrix (explained in the 1st book) – “Yeah, there’s things out there, Ghosts, voices. Why not? Oceans had mermaids, and we have a sea of silicon, see?” These matrix “voodoo gods” are referred to as the “loa” by Wig, Beauvoir, Lucas and their associates (who basically worship them). The problem is that the “loa” have found a way to inhabit the real world by designing biochips and having them grafted into people’s brains. Angie is one of these people – Angie’s real-life dreams affect the Matrix (she accidentally saved Bobby at the start of the book when he ran into some ICE) and the loa of the Matrix can affect Angie (they can possess her). This technology provokes the interest of one of the richest men in the world who is seeking to free his mind from his cancer-ridden body. The resulting power struggle pulls the strings of all the pawns that are characters in the book. Read it, you might see what I mean?

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