As Aaron is reading Spook Country I also wanted to chime in with some Gibsoness. I finished Spook Country, the latest novel of William Gibson, a couple of weeks ago. It's a very stylish work of art with lots of amazingly sharp ideas. I really enjoyed reading it. His concept of locative art is fascinating (and I want a magnetically elevated bed as well ;-)).
I guess Gibson really is my favorite author. I even own a signed copy of Pattern Recognition which I bought in a book store in Provo, Utah, a couple of years ago. My all time favorite still is Mona Lisa Overdrive, though. I come back reading it again and again.
Despite my passion for Gibson I'm actually not a very big science fiction fan. So many books of this genre just feel too artifical. One of the exceptions is Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge which I'm reading right now. It's a view into the future. It's disturbing and fascinating at the same time to think that it might actually come true. Come back in 20 years and I will report if this happened or not.
...is "Vacuum Flowers" by Michael Swanwick - a truly amazing novel on the edge between conventional science fiction and cyberpunk.
60s: drugs, sex, rock'n'roll
90s: bugs, sux, drag'n'drop
indeed he is the Count Zero
I have signed copies of MLO, Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow's Parties from William Gibson book readings. More importantly I acquired less well-known stuff after MLO like the graphic novel of Neuromancer and the Skinner's Room short story he wrote for the Visionary San Francisco exhibition that grew into Virtual Light. Some of his ultra-short stories of the time (1990-1991) like Doing Television and Academy Leader are insanely dense with freighted predictive allusions. He's backed off the density since then but his talk at the Directors Guild of America is wonderful.
... and I'm also not a big SF fan. Most cyberpunk is awful, even Bruce Sterling is only passable. For me, only Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age approaches his writing.
Are you sure you prefer MLO to Count Zero? I wrote a love letter with quotes ;-)
I agree on Diamond Age. Wonderful book. For Count Zero, maybe I should reread the Sprawl series again. Would be fun. I also really love The Difference Engine, by the way. It's different, but intriguingly appealing.