Mona Lisa Overdrive (Sprawl Trilogy, Book 3), by William Gibson

A teen prostitute named Mona could be the twin of simstim star Angela Mitchell. Kumiko, daughter of a Yakuza boss, is shuffled off to the protection of the London mob while her father deals with a gang war, and there she meets Molly Millions in hiding and using the name Sally Shears. Angela Mitchell, altered by her father to be able to enter cyberspace without having to jack in is the subject of an abduction plot, replacing her with Mona. Bobby Newmark is in a coma. Called Count, he’s permanently jacked into a massive hard drive that can hold an entire human personality. A car thief named Slick Harry is hired to take care of him.

This is the general weave of the last book of the Sprawl Trilogy, the most eloquent and humane of the three. Its ending also makes it feel the most optimistic in the trilogy as well.

Written in 1988 the book foresaw an addictive cyber landscape in which people could plug their minds directly into cyberspace while the Internet was still largely a science and military tool and years before World Wide Web was named.

Like his world, these books drop you into their universe with no time for explanations or backgrounding. The characters are there, they’re living their lives, you get to go along for the ride without having stops for physics lessons. They are subversively modern and a dystopian world in which none of the characters are aware they live in dystopia.

Like the other two in the series, Mona Lisa Overdrive is a push forward from earlier writers like Delany, Jeter, and LeGuin building an earthbound future that feels completely real and human.