Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I loved Neuromancer and want to look into going forward in the series. I happen to have Mona Lisa Overdrive. Should I wait until I have read Count Zero, or is it "safe" to read Mona Lisa Overdrive before?

share|improve this question
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Yes, you should read Count Zero first.

While the plot isn't a direct continuation, the events of Mona Lisa Overdrive take place a few years after Count Zero, and there are some recurring characters, so prior familiarity with them will probably make things more understandable, not to mention enjoyable.

share|improve this answer

In general it is "safe" to read any of Gibson's books in any order. Books within any of the trilogies tend to have enough distance from each other than "spoilers" are rare and don't detract significantly from one's ability to enjoy the prior books. The trilogies tend to be bound together by coherent themes and concepts. So you will better appreciate the trilogy if you read it in order, but your enjoyment won't be significantly harmed if you don't.

I've read both the Sprawl and Blue Ant trilogies multiple times, and found that my appreciation for each book increased on further readings. I know the plots well, but Gibson's genius is really in the texture and subtle detail.

I would almost suggest that if you believe that a book can be 'spoiled' by knowing its plot elements that you read a Gibson trilogy in reverse order to see how true this isn't of good literature. But then I have little patience for literature and film that relies entirely on a plot twist and is 'spoiled' if this twist is known ahead of time.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.