Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Count Zero” as Want to Read:
Count Zero
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Count Zero (Sprawl #2)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  29,298 ratings  ·  625 reviews
William Gibson. Count Zero. London: Gollancz, 1986. First edition, first printing. Octavo. 269 pages.
Hardcover, First Edition, First Printing, 269 pages
Published 1986 by London: Gollancz
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Count Zero, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Count Zero

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The coolest thing about reading Gibson is jacking in to his urbane and hip way of descriptive narration.

William Gibson, as prophet of cyber punk and also as the herald of his later Blue Ant works, returns to The Sprawl for a continuation of the setting he began in his masterwork, Neuromancer.

But like many of his books, this sequel is only that in regard to a return to the original setting, Count Zero works as a stand alone. The Sprawl, the megalopolis formed by the Eastern United States, from Bo

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my FINISHING THE SERIES! list.

I loves me a good series! But I'm terrible for starting a new series before finishing my last - so this reading list is all about trying to close out those series I've got on the go...

A quick look at the numbers...
Why is it that
I would perhaps complain that the ending was a bit to deus ex machina for my taste, but then the entire book is wound around the theme of god being in the machine. From the vodou loa who seemingly possess various characters and steer the entire plot; to the mad European trillionare who has reached near immortality through preservation vats and virtual reality; to the insane former net cowboy who now believes he has found god in the random yet deeply moving works of art created by long abandoned ...more
“it involved the idea that people who were genuinely dangerous might not need to exhibit the fact at all, and that the ability to conceal a threat made them even more dangerous.”
― William Gibson, Count Zero


I haven't read Sprawl # 3 (Mona Lisa Overdrive), but after reading Neuromancer and now 'Count Zero', I think I will start referring to the Sprawl trilogy as the Sprawl Dialectic. 'Neuromancer' = Thesis. 'Count Zero' = Antithesis, so I guess I have to wait to see if 'Mona Lisa Overdrive' = Sy
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

"They plot with men, my other selves, and men imagine they are gods."

Several years have passed since Molly and Case freed the AI who calls himself Neuromancer. Neuromancer’s been busy and now his plots have widened to involve several people whom we meet in Count Zero:

Turner is a recently reconstructed mercenary who’s been hired by the Hosaka Corporation to extract Christopher Mitchell and his daughter Angie from Mitchell’s job at Maas Biolabs. Mitchell is
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans
Recommended to Carmen by: Derek in Real Life
This is a "sequel" to Neuromancer. I use the term loosely.

There's really 3 stories here that all tie together at the end.

Marly, an art specialist, her world wracked by scandal, is a approached by an incredibly rich man and offered obscene amounts of money to track the origins of some art pieces he's interested in. But what has she really gotten herself into?

Turner is a badass mercenary who does his job ruthlessly and efficiently. Now he's been hired by a man named Mitchell. But when it all goes
An interesting addition to the Sprawl trilogy started with Neuromancer, taking a look at similar themes from a different perspective. What makes us human? What effect is technology having on us as a species? What happens if technology develops beyond our understanding and of its own free will?

I wasn't blown away, in fact I found it quite difficult to read at times yet managed to read it what felt like no time at all. This sort of sums up the contradiction of my experience of this book. Bored yet
Ian Agadada-Davida
A Modish Synopsis, A Modest Assemblage, A Little Looksee

It's a whole long story, and it's open to interpretation. Each chapter begins with a pronoun, or two. And then it's off like a robber's dog. I decided you and I might hit the matrix for a little looksee. You followed, forgetting your fears, forgetting the nausea and constant vertigo. You were there, and you understood this was our space, our construct. It came on, a flickering, non-linear flood of fact and sensory data, a kind of narrative

3 Stars

Well, just like with Neurmonancer, William Gibson’s amazing command of the English language, coupled with his incredible writing style was not enough for me to love Count Zero. It is very well written, fast paced, filled with cool sci-fi action scenes and gadgetry, and not overly long in length.

The problem with this book is that I really never cared one bit about any of the characters in this book, or in book one for that matter. As a result, all the world building, science, and cool gadg
When I was maybe halfway through this book, I wrote this elsewhere:


It’s funny reading “classic” William Gibson now because he basically imagined a version of the internet that was much less life-changing than the actual internet.

"There will be instant electronic full VR communication but there will be no communities or subcultures in it, people will still just be friends in real life and then talk on the (video) phone sometimes. Using the internet is sort of like playing a vi
This review was written in the late nineties (for my eyes only), and it was buried in amongst my things until recently when I uncovered the journal in which it was written. I have transcribed it verbatim from all those years ago (although square brackets may indicate some additional information for the sake of readability or some sort of commentary from now). This is one of my lost reviews.

"She's gone and the present is trivia." That line from Memento scrawled in my handwriting at the back of Co
They say that teachers steadily develop during their first ten years. After that, some teachers continue to grow and others plateau. Sometimes I get the feeling that there's a similar arc of development for authors, one that means authors become less interesting as they get older.

I first noticed this back in my university days, when I read quite a bit of John Steinbeck. I really liked the earlier works that I read, but as I began to read his later works, I found that something was missing. Over
Executive Summary: A fast-paced thriller from the master of cyberpunk.

Full Review
I've had this book and Mona Lisa Overdrive sitting unread on my shelves for far too long. I kept finding other books to grab my attention.

I finally got around to reading this, and I wish I had sooner. I wanted something short and fun and this fit the bill nicely.

The book opens with Turner, a mercenary for hire, who specializes in aggressive corporate recruiting, of a sort. His job involves extracting high value em
Ben Babcock
William Gibson can write. I keep exploring this in different ways and different words as I read through Gibson’s oeuvre, but in the end it comes down to two appropriately alliterative words: William Gibson has voice and vision. He has a way with language that not every writer, even really good ones, ever manages to master. He knows how to use and manipulate words and phrases to create cultures. With this talent, he creates novels that conjure up pocket universes of our future.

Count Zero is much
Salman Mehedy Titas
Count Zero is the sequel to Neuromancer in the sense that Neuromancer was the sequel to Burning Chrome. It takes place seven years after the events of Neuromancer. The book was written two years after the publication of its prequel. If you're thinking that Gibson decided to take pity on his readers, you're wrong. Count Zero makes Neuromancer seem like an easy book to read.

Turner, a mercenary, who had been severely injured, had his body reconstructed. He is allowed him a period of time to rest, b
’Conde Cero’ (Count Zero, 1986), es la segunda novela de la trilogía The Sprawl, que se inició en 1984 con la ya mítica ‘Neuromante’, y que finaliza con ‘Mona Lisa Acelerada’. ’Conde Cero’ contiene la gran mayoría de elementos del género cyberpunk, a saber: futuro distópico, grandes corporaciones con objetivos bastante discutibles, personajes como meros peones de la trama, ciudades controladas por bandas callejeras, cyberjerga, acceso a la Red mediante conexiones neurológicas, inteligencias arti ...more
David Mcangus
With Count Zero, William Gibson employs the familiar device of fragmenting his narrative between multiple protagonists. On paper, this was a good idea. By utilising four characters and telling their stories separately, it had to the potential to go into greater detail with the world building and increase the complexity of the plot. The problem however, is that by incorporating four protagonists, his weakness in characterisation is made that more apparent. In Neuromancer, Molly was the linchpin. ...more
William Gibson's "Neuromancer," the first book in The Sprawl Trilogy, was loved by all for its original voice, and it really managed to reinvigorate science fiction in the era. The first novel to win the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick awards, the second book had a lot to live up to, and in my humble opinion, it surpasses it.

Between the first two books of the trilogy, Gibson has managed to create not only an interesting future world, but an entire culture. Everything including language, religio
The Sprawl Trilogy consists of:

* Neuromancer
* Count Zero
* Mona Lisa Overdrive

Gibson invented the cyberpunk subgenre with this plot-wise loosely connected series of books and he revitalized SciFi in the process. His sparse, cool prose and his approach to characterization mark the writing of many of his successors, probably chief among those Neal Stephenson.

His descriptions of cyberculture have aged well, since he was wise enough not to be too specific about hardware and software. He himself at
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is the middle book of the Sprawl Trilogy by Gibson (in between Neuromancer and Mona Lisa Overdrive), and my absolute favorite. The other two are largely action-based, and this one had a lot of that but also a lot of beautiful descriptions, somewhat mystically-oriented plotlines, and it really drew me in, probably because I'm no stranger to cyberspace myself. I really loved the ending, so much that I re-read it twice before moving on.

"Bobby had been trying to chart a way out of this landscap
Nick Wellings
How can a book so lovingly crafted, so self-assured in its own 'cosmology' so full of verve and relentless hard-boiled action, so chock full of fantastic prose feel so...dated? Is it because Gibson's "Matrix" has been realised in film-form full of spangly graphics and gunfights and cod-philosophy? because his immersive cyberspace has become something like our reality? because the digital is integrated into our lives, become drug of choice for men, women and children by the millions? After all, t ...more
Adam Koebel
Not the cohesive piece of ground-breakery that Neuromancer was, obviously, but really cool anyway. I love how computer-ignorant Gibson's early stuff is. The idea of a cyberdeck with software on cassette tapes? Amazing.

Also, best new thing to say about a person once they're dead: "He was - he was a dude."
-Otro libro del padre putativo del Cyberpunk pero cuidando más las formas desde lo narrativamente convencional.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Turner es un mercenario especializado en operaciones de extracción que tras ser dañado en un atentado provoca dudas sobre su capacidad actual en sus nuevos potenciales empleadores. Marly es una galerista caída en desgracia por un escándalo de falsificación del que en realidad no era directamente responsable y que ahora parece ser del interés d
Alexander McNabb
The second of Gibson's Sprawl trilogy, this is very much a continuation of Neuromancer but is, in hindsight, overshadowed by its successor, Mona Lisa Overdrive.

But the book's still a rocking good read, seemingly splashed on the page with strokes of such verve at times it feels like it's careening out of control. It's a bit fractal - the novel as a whole feels like a leviathan spaceship-cum-junkyard, bits hanging off it everywhere, but the whole thing set in unstoppable forward motion.

I feel guil
Nate D
My problem with a lot of genre fiction is that when not wholly unimaginative, it is often too restrained and quasi-literary to take full advantage of the opportunities open to it. Not so here. Gibson shows a rare willingness to plunge as far into his crazed techno-mythology as I could reasonably hope. Haitian gods manifesting (or seeming to manifest) in lost corners of the internet, megacorporations more powerful than nations which have all but ceased to exist, rewired brains and bodies, and pil ...more
Feb 26, 2011 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Probably would award this book a "4.5+" is such a grade existed.

Not a "5" as for "Neuromancer" because as unfair as it is, that book set the bar so high that subjectively a book has to better it to get the same score. I can't really add much to my review of this (as I don't do synopsis or spoilers) that I did not just write in my text about "Neuromancer". But this book did not disappoint. It was a welcome new tale from an author I had been very, very impressed by.
You may be as well. Get a copy a
Leo Walsh
Good, but not near as good as Neuromancer . Voodoo gods -- autonomous parts that have split off the fused Wintermute/ Neuromancer AI -- inhabit cyberspace. If you're cool with them and respect them, they're cool with you. But don't tick 'em off.

And I don't want to throw up any spoilers, but it's tough to say which adversary I'd prefer to face. A ticked off Voodoo god. A burly mercenary named Turner. Or a female hacker whose been betrayed and her boyfriend killed.

Good, and enjoyable. But one o
William Gibson's command of the hard boiled voice is highly refined. I'd say this alone makes this book worth reading.

In 2014 there are aspects of his style that today are considered bad writing - substituting a brand name for a description, for example. He might write (a completely made up sentence on my part): "He sat down at the Sony and patched in," without the least description of what the Sony is. This is considered bad writing today because William Gibson spawned so many imitators. In sho
Rich Rosell
There's something to be said for a book where a main character is blown into many pieces in the first paragraph only to be restored to more-or-less the same old tough guy by page three.

As the second installment of Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy I just don't care as much overall for Count Zero as I do the groovy cool of Neuromancer, but when this one is on it is fun times. Three very different tales eventually dovetail together, but some parts of this tech-y adventure never connected all that well with
I'm intermingling my reading of the books in William Gibson's first two series ("The Sprawl" and "The Bridge"). This book, "Count Zero," is the second book in his first (the Sprawl) trilogy. Since I'm reading the books in an odd order, I'm noticing how I prefer Gibson's earlier work to the later. So far, even though the writing is very similar in both series, the older (Sprawl) books remain on target much better than the books in the later series (i.e., here, Gibson doesn't get side-tracked desc ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
A question about the resolution (Big spoiler included) 2 66 Jun 20, 2013 06:03AM  
The final dialogue exchange...(spoilers) 6 78 Feb 13, 2013 04:54AM  
Just aquired this book. 2 33 Sep 07, 2008 01:58PM  
  • Islands in the Net
  • A Fire in the Sun (Marîd Audran #2)
  • Wetware (Ware #2)
  • Hardwired (Hardwired, #1)
  • Eclipse (A Song Called Youth, #1)
  • Broken Angels (Takeshi Kovacs, #2)
  • Synners
  • The Shockwave Rider
  • Vacuum Flowers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

William Ford Gibson is an American-Canadian writer who has been called the father of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction, having coined the term cyberspace in 1982 and popularized it in his first novel, Neuromancer(1984), which has sold more than 6.5 million copies wor
More about William Gibson...

Other Books in the Series

Sprawl (4 books)
  • Burning Chrome
  • Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)
  • Mona Lisa Overdrive (Sprawl, #3)

Share This Book

“And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.” 65 likes
“Voodou isn’t like that. It isn’t concerned with notions of salvation and transcendence. What it’s about is getting things done. You follow me? In out system, there are many gods, spirits. Part of one big family, with all the virtues, all the vices. There’s a ritual tradition of communal manifestation, understand? Voodou says, there’s a God, sure, Gran Met, but He’s big, too big and too far away to worry Himself if your ass is poor, or you can’t get laid. Come on, man, you know how this works, it’s street religion, came out of dirt poor places a million years ago. Voodou’s like the street. Some duster chops out your sister, you don’t go camp on the Yakuza’s doorstep, do you? No way. You go to somebody, though, who can get the thing done. Right?” 7 likes
More quotes…