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Count Zero (Sprawl #2)

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  31,261 Ratings  ·  676 Reviews
A 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: to get a defecting chief of R&D—and the biochip he’s perfected—out intact. But this proves to be of supreme interest to certain other parties—some of whom aren’t remotely human...
Paperback, 308 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Ace Books (first published 1986)
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Neuromancer by William GibsonSnow Crash by Neal StephensonThe Diamond Age by Neal StephensonDo Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. DickAltered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Best of Cyberpunk
6th out of 221 books — 913 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
227th out of 5,480 books — 18,280 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lyn
Nov 23, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it
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
...more
Darwin8u
Feb 05, 2016 Darwin8u rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
“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

description

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
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Clouds

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
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Chris
Apr 30, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
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
Kat  Hooper
Sep 22, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
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Tfitoby
May 16, 2012 Tfitoby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
...more
Ian Grayejoy
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
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Carmen
Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans
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
...more
Jason
Feb 10, 2013 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2013

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
...more
Nostalgebraist
Dec 24, 2014 Nostalgebraist rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, boring-futures
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
...more
Brad
Jan 29, 2012 Brad rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, lost-reviews
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
...more
Joseph
May 11, 2016 Joseph rated it it was amazing
Not the blinding, genre-defining supernova of Neuromancer -- that pretty much only happens once per author or once per series -- but a stronger book in pretty much every way that matters, and proof positive (not needed now, certainly, but probably much more welcome back in the heady days of the late 1980s) that Gibson was not a one-hit wonder.

Events pick up about seven years after the close of Neuromancer, with an entirely new cast of characters (although there are a few Neuromancer cameos and/o
...more
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
...more
Ryan
Aug 30, 2010 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
David Mcangus
May 13, 2013 David Mcangus rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Rob
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Erik
Jul 28, 2015 Erik rated it liked it
With each review I write, I become increasingly daunted by a sense of infinite possibility. I have an entire book, this Count Zero, to write about – what in the world should I focus on? The question in turn gives rise to an equally haunting sense of relativism. Is this book good? Sure. Is this book bad? Sure. With few exceptions, a good book is not infallibly so nor a bad book insurmountably so. Rather, the goodness or badness is a choice I, the reader, must make.

Yet when I make that choice – to
...more
Oscar
’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
Matt
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
...more
Andreas
Mar 27, 2011 Andreas rated it it was amazing
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
...more
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."
Olethros
-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
...more
Alexander McNabb
Nov 19, 2012 Alexander McNabb rated it really liked it
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
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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
Mike
Feb 26, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
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
...more
Leo Walsh
Jun 03, 2015 Leo Walsh rated it liked it
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
...more
Alex
Feb 27, 2014 Alex rated it liked it
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
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A question about the resolution (Big spoiler included) 2 68 Jun 20, 2013 09:03PM  
The final dialogue exchange...(spoilers) 6 79 Feb 13, 2013 08:54PM  
Just aquired this book. 2 35 Sep 08, 2008 04:58AM  
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9226
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
More about William Gibson...

Other Books in the Series

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

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“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.” 66 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?” 8 likes
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