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Count Zero Paperback – March 7, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 168 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Sprawl Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Turner, corporate mercenary, wakes in a reconstructed body, a beautiful woman by his side. Then Hosaka Corporation reactivates him for a mission more dangerous than the one he's recovering from: Maas-Neotek's chief of R&D is defecting. Turner is the one assigned to get him out intact, along with the biochip he's perfected. But this proves to be of supreme interest to certain other parties--some of whom aren't remotely human.

Bobby Newmark is entirely human: a rustbelt data-hustler totally unprepared for what comes his way when the defection triggers war in cyberspace. With voodoo on the Net and a price on his head, Newmark thinks he's only trying to get out alive. A stylish, streetsmart, frighteningly probable parable of the future and sequel to Neuromancer --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Gibson's first novel, Neuromancer, was greeted with hosannas and showered with awards. This second book, set in the same universe, again offers a faddish, glitzy surface not unlike that of Miami Vice. Gibson's central image is the shadow boxes constructed by the artist Joseph Cornell, collections of seemingly unrelated objects whose juxtaposition creates a new impression. In the same fashion, the novel has three protagonists, each of whom is putting together jigsaw clues in pursuit of his separate goal. The corporate headhunter, the art dealer and the computer hacker all find themselves being manipulatedjust as the author contrives to have their paths converge. This book is less appealing and less verbally skillful than Gibson's first novel, dense and dour as that was, but readers who liked that one will want to see this as well.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (March 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441013678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441013678
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Gibson was born in the United States in 1948. In 1972 he moved to Vancouver, Canada, after four years spent in Toronto. He is married with two children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book (many years and many rereads ago) with low expectations. I'd been told that Gibson was a one book wonder, that he'd never managed to pull off a second book nearly as good as his brilliant first novel, NEUROMANCER. Gibson beat that rap, of course, with masterpieces like IDORU and PATTERN RECOGNITION. But somehow COUNT ZERO has always gotten ever so slightly lost in the shuffle.

Well, I'm here to tell you that everyone, starting with Publishers Weekly, got it wrong. COUNT ZERO is no mere repeat of Neuromancer. It's a different beast altogether. It's older, subtler, and stranger. It's Neuromancer's hard-boiled street chic all grown up and with grown-up-sized problems. The characters are real, complex, and unforgettable. And the central image of the book - though I can't describe it without giving much of the plot away - generates one of the most hauntingly beautiful moments in all of science fiction.
If you're one of those Gibson fans who hasn't quite gotten around to reading COUNT ZERO, you're in for a rare treat.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first paragraph of this book sets the narrative tone for the rest of the work, indeed, it is the trademark style of William Gibson and his growing body of science fiction work. Turner is a mercenary in a not-to-distant future earth civilization. In this networked world, multinational mega-corporations, with names like Maas Biolabs and Hosaka wield enormous power especially over the network and the cyberspace world it encompasses.
In these corporations, genius scientists have lifetime contracts. They are well-paid prisoners of these giant enterprises. One such scientist, Christopher Mitchell, a man credited with creating the biochip, a replacement for the silicon chip, wants to leave his current employer Mass Biolabs and join rival Hosaka. The latter commissioned a reconstituted Turner with the job of bringing Mitchell safely out. "It took the Dutchman and his team three months to put Turner together again," the author writes. "They cloned a square meter of skin for him, grew it on slabs of collagen and shark-cartilage polysaccharides. They bought eyes and genitals on the open market. The eyes were green."
Count Zero is the second in a trilogy Gibson has created based on a networked society. The three books explore the notion of information as a life force unto itself that can be stored, manipulated, and evolved into different life forms. In the telling of his tales, Gibson introduces the reader to a rich assortment of unforgettable characters.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Picking up where Neuromancer left off, I can understand why Count Zero was Gibson's favorite of the Sprawl series. He continues to combine cyberpunk with a sense of biopunk, capturing the reader from page one with a description of doctors rebuilding an agent from a description and body parts bought on the black market.
We then watch as three seemingly separate story lines unfold, wait to see how Gibson is going to bring them all together. This book deals with everyone from rising cowboy, to top Hosaka agent, to struggling artist, to super rich vat dweller. I felt that the ending could have maybe been a little better, but did pull all three story lines and almost every major character together for one dynamic finish.
I love to watch the interaction of Gibson's characters, as he is always creating dark and different characters that are often hated by the readers. I guess that is what I like about them. They're real characters they one would expect to find in the slums of the Sprawl, or working for Neotech, not just stereotype heroes.
Throwing in hot cyberdecks, double-agents, lots of drugs, more awesome biotechnology, combined with Gibson's unique characters, this book is a must read for any fan of Neuromancer, Gibson, or Cyberpunk.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Count Zero is considered by many to be the sequel to Neuromancer. Upon finishing it, I was surprised as to how little this story had anything to do with Neuromancer. Taken at face value, Count Zero almost works as an independent novel, although without having first read Neuromancer, the reader would probably have a lot of difficulty making sense of the setting and terminology. However, after giving some thought to the implications of some of the more obscure events that took place in Count Zero, I have discovered a handful of important connections to Neuromancer. These discoveries came to me days later as I mulled over some of the unanswered questions presented by this novel, as well as the handful of direct references to Neuromancer that were only touched upon. Reading Mona Lisa Overdrive after Count Zero also proved vital to bridging the gaps between the three novels, finally showing how they work together as a trilogy. This series does not spell anything out; it's the reader's job to put it all together through various clues spread throughout. So, if you think you're going to read either this book or the whole trilogy and be done with it: No, it doesn't work that way with these books. They get stuck in your brain, and as far as I know, they'll be there forever as your mind tries to put the final few pieces (which it can't identify) into the puzzle (which it only thinks it understands). The scariest part is that I don't think I'm exaggerating. In my mid-40s I'll probably get a brain aneurysm and a surgeon will have to pull off an emergency Neuromancer removal procedure to eradicate the source of the stress... jam a pencil in there and twist it around, that should do! Whoops, I think I got a little side-tracked there.Read more ›
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