John Berendt recommends ''Neuromancer'' -- The ''Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil'' tells us about a good read


John Berendt, the best-selling author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and this fall’s The City of Falling Angels, recommends William Gibson’s Neuromancer (Ace, $6.99).

William Gibson is the man who invented the term cyberspace, and this is the book that launched the subgenre of digital science-fiction back in 1984, long before the Internet existed as we know it now. This dark, fast-paced novel is a visionary masterpiece. It is not an easy read, however. Gibson doesn’t bother to explain his terms or lead the reader by the hand through the puzzling dislocations of his futurist landscape. But that’s how the world works: Complex technologies and baffling ideologies come at us without warning and without a user’s manual. We’re on our own. Neuromancer is good mental exercise as well as superb entertainment.

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