MONA LISA OVERDRIVE
Another brilliant, gritty, densely textured novel from the author of Neuromancer (paperback, 1984; Hugo, Nebula, P.K. Dick awards) and Count Zero (1986). From elements of the previous novels, Gibson spins three story lines, knitting them together about 15 years after the close of Count Zero. Angle Mitchell, whose scientist father customized her brain to link directly (if unwillingly) to the consensual hallucination of cyberspace, is now the Sense/Net star. Her lover, Bobby Newmark, Count Zero, has recently disappeared. Jacked into a massive biochip, his unconscious, dying body is brought to the Factory, an abandoned industrial site located on toxic landfill in New Jersey. There, Gentry, a seeker obsessed with the shape of cyberspace (which parallels Bobby's search for the truth of When It Changed--the moment when cyberspace became aware of itself, generating independent Als within the matrix), recognizes the biochip as a key to his quest. Molly, the augmented mercenary of Neuromancer, involved in a plot to kidnap Angle, brings her together with Mona, a young junkie and Angle look-alike, and then to the Factory--where. in an uncharacteristically fantastic sequence, Angle joins Bobby in the synthetic reality of cyberspace (and we receive hints of a truly innovative First Contact). As usual with Gibson, the point here is not so much the plot as the future in which it unfolds--and the remarkably accomplished prose with which he reveals it. This one probably won't win over any new fans, but the many extant will be delighted.