My reading list is mostly curated by what I happen to pick up at used book stores.
I finally read “Neuromancer”. It took a while and up to about halfway in I wasn’t sure whether I cared enough to keep going, wasn’t sure whether the dialogue read too artificially cool and apocopated, wasn’t sure (until the end) whether I got what was going on. But I finished it and even related a little bit to the characters (esp. Molly) towards the end (that’s not at all crucial, though somebody did tell me once that they stopped reading “Hydrogen Sonata” because they “found it impossible to relate to spaceships”).
From there I went on to “Gifts” by Ursula K. Le Guin, which I picked up because Ursula K. Le Guin. Similar thing: found it incredibly hard to break into the (pre-industrial, agricultural, magical) world, somewhat easier to relate to the characters, made it through.
From there I went on to “Probability Moon” by Nancy Kress. And when it started out in a cuddle-world with “shared reality” and cute “neck fur” and lots of customary polite-talk about flowers and gardening on a world called World, I was ready not to go on, because I had just come out of breaking into a cyberpunk world, which did not come easy, into a pre-industrial magical agricultural world, which NEVER comes easy, to now go into yet another fanciful arcadia? I was about to say, “No thanks, not right now, I want to go back to the Sprawl” when Kress’ book shifted away from flowers and allegorically (?) disrupted harmony into hard Sci Fi and I will stick with it now. (Not quite halfway through.)
But I miss the Sprawl. It was hard to get into, but it also feels so much more appropriate to what I’m thinking about and writing about and living in right now than flowers and clay huts and magic.