"Count Zero" is Gibson's most extensive and effective transplantation of the hardboiled 1930's detective mystery into his signature 21st century cybernetic "sprawl". In his first novel, "Neuromancer", Gibson focused, through his lead character Chase, on a portrait of the archetypal cyberpunk, the hacker mercenary as rebel loner. "Count Zero", by contrast, probes the multiple factions, techno- tribes, youth gangs and subcultures that make up this futurist outlaw caste. He details the culture, spirit and ritual of these envisioned hacker mini-societies with the kind of crazy humor, insight and manic poetic energy Hunter Thompson (before he got stomped and lived to tell about it) brought to his travels with the Hell's Angels.
graphic: Hard Boiled
Here is the TEXT POPUP for Count Zero:
He was like a kid who'd grown up beside an ocean, taking it as much for granted as he took the sky, but knowing nothing of currents, whipping routes, or the ins and outs of weather. He'd used decks in school, toys that shuttled you through the infinite reaches of that space that wasn't space, mankind's unthinkably complex consensual hallucination, the matrix, cyberspace, where the great corporate hotcores burned like neon novas.
Turner himself was incapable of meshing with the intensely tribal world of the zaibatsumen, the lifers. He was a perpetual outsider, a rogue factor adrift on the secret seas of intercorporate politics.