identify SF book from very vague descrip?

I remember reading a SF book some time ago, but can remember precious little about it. I don’t read too much SF, but my son does, and I wanted to recommend it to him. Wondered if any of you could help.

As I recall, it was reputed to be somewhat of an “important” work in the genre, but it was not by Asimov, Bradbury, or an author I have previously been aware of.

As I recall, a significant element of the story concerned the extent and willingness with which people received technological implants, such as for their eyes or other ways to “enhance/supplement” their senses and brain function.

The story took place in the future, entirely or primarily on earth.

The protagonist was male - operating somewhat outside of sanctioned circles. Not sure if he was an out-and-out criminal, a nonconformist, or what, but I’m sure he had dealings with shady characters, and acted in non-sanctioned ways.

I believe the story began in Japan or elsewhere in the far east, and later moved to (I think) New York.

I’m vaguely recalling that “computers” figured significantly, perhaps to the extent that folks were concerned whether they were taking over too many aspects of humanity or such.

I believe the title was relatively short, 2-3 words, along the lines of “The __ __.” For some reason I believe the main word in the title may have begun with a “C”.

Any thoughts?

Could it have been Neuromancer? That included bio-enhancements (drugs and/or cybernetic implants), took place at least partly in Chiba, Japan (and I think Japanese corporations figured into some of the plot pints, but it’s been a while since I’ve re-read it I may be confusing it with other Gibson stories), it had AIs trying to enhance / grow themselves, and the main character was a hacker who usually worked on the wrong side of the law.

Snow Crash, or The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson, maybe?

It sure sounds like Neuromancer, although there’s a large chunk of that that happens in an orbital habitat, but otherwise you’re spot-on in every way (if you read Sprawl for NY, of course)

Thanks, guys.
Neuromancer it is.
You are aces, giving that kind of response to such a vague reference.

Like I said, SF is a genre I only dabble in, but he seems to really be approaching it well, not only trying to read the entire outputs of writers such as Asimov, Heinlein, Card, but also developing his own preferences (and writing his own as well.)
Tho I didn’t remember much ot the Neuromancer, I thought it might be something he should read over the summer.

Here’s another one - I read a couple of books in a series, and wondered if any subsequent books had come out.
It had to do with time travel on earth.
The main character was female.
I believe she was a member/representative of a guild or somesuch that could move through time to either correct things, or to preserve endangered societies that would be valuable later.
For example, I believe the 2d or 3d book involved her attempts to preserve an Indian tribe in the NW US.

(You guys are so good at this, that I feel obligated to shamelessly use you in this way! ;))

The ‘Company’ books of Kage Baker, maybe.
Sky Coyote could be the one you’re thinking of… the series starts with In the Garden of Iden

Man - 10 minutes!
That’s gotta be worth my annual fee right there!
I happened to pick up the first couple and enjoyed them, but forgot the author’s name. Not “great” literature, but I guess I liked something about the characters/concept, and they were certainly enjoyable reads.
Just checked, and it looks like she wrote several more installments and my library has them all! Guess I know what I’ll be reading over the next couple of weeks!

FYI, there are two sequels to NeuromancerCount Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive – forming the “Sprawl Trilogy.” If your son likes the first he’ll like the others.

I’d have been quicker, but I read another couple of threads before opening this one… :slight_smile:

BTW, if your son enjoys Heinlein and Asimov, he should give Clarke a try. It’s a mystery to me how I managed to mostly avoid Clarke during my schooldays, when I voraciously devoured all science fiction I could get my hands on. The silver lining is that I’m currently ripping through his bibliography to make up for lost time, and its been like finding a treasure chest full of books written just for me. :slight_smile:

Childhood’s End and Rendezvous with Rama are two of his more “important” novels, and both really excellent. And he’s written plenty of really great hard-sf space adventure stories, comparable to Heinlein juvies like The Rolling Stones, Rocket Ship Galileo, Farmer in the Sky, etc.

Oh, and if Neuromancer is a success, he must not miss Gibson’s Burning Chrome, which is a superlative short story collection.

Thanks for the recs.
I’ll definitely pass them on, as well as others listed in past SF recommendation threads.
Like I said, I really like his approach. He is reading a lot of current stuff, but realizes the value of the older stuff as well.
He’d love to be a SF writer, and spends at least a couple of hours a day writing stories, at least 2 novels, a screenplay, and video game backstories. I think I’ve convinced him that he should continue those efforts, but think of it more as a serious hobby or sideline while developing other ways to put bread on the table. If you asked him I think he’d say he intends to major in aeronautical engineering and pursue a career with DARPA.
Pretty neat kid (despite my efforts!)

I hope he either reads very fast, or lives for a very long time. There might have been one person who read the entire output of Asimov (and I’m doubtful even on that), but I’m sure there haven’t been two.

How old is your son?

Well, if you think your son will be interested in this particular book, it means he might be interested in the cyberpunk subgenre of SF – which did not really emerge until the '80s, long after Heinlein, Clarke and Asimove had published their most seminal works.

For some classic cyberpunk, check out the anthology Mirrorshades, edited with an introduction by Bruce Sterling (the other God of Cyberpunk).