From my iBook library: Count Zero was published in 1986 and is one of the earliest Cyberpunk novels. The novel presents an alternate reality in a grim post apocalypse world where surgical hacks modify a person’s attributes and, for a price, amazing skills can be developed or, alternatively, a person can escape reality by plugging into Cyberspace where there are no bounds. This is the ultimate escapist reading.
The novel is dedicated to D (Neuromancer is dedicated to Deb) with an excerpt from a Neruda poem:
Quiero hacer contigo
lo que la primavera
hace con los cerezos.
(I want to do with you
what spring does with cherry trees.)
The except is from Poem 14 in Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, which was Neruda’s first published collection of poems, 1924.
Love, desperation with plenty of action—that’s Count Zero in a nutshell.
There are three main characters in Count Zero: Turner is a mercenary specializing in kidnapping corporate executives, Bobby (Count Zero) is a computer hacker, and Marly is a disgraced art expert and gallery owner who can unerringly identify new trends in art. The plot dishes out a conspiracy where malignant global corporations aim for domination of the world. This is a book to read on airlines and in crowded coffee shops.
I bought Count Zero at the Apple eBook store the week before starting off on vacation to New England and read it while traveling. I visited parts of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and blogged in NH Two-finger Typing where I wrote of reading Count Zero on my iPad in a Starbuck’s in Keene, NH while taking a break from “vacationing”.
This eBook was a good read and I look forward to escaping into the 3rd volume of the trilogy, Mona Lisa Overdrive, but maybe I’ll wait until next summer.
Day 2: Count Zero by William Gibson.