The Sprawl Trilogy by WilliamGibson is considered to be one of the earliest examples of {{cyberpunk}}, and as such is a major TropeMaker for the genre. The first book, ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}'', was published in 1984 and widely acclaimed, winning the Nebula, Hugo, and Philip K. Dick awards. It was followed in 1986 by ''Literature/CountZero'', and the final book in the trilogy, ''Literature/MonaLisaOverdrive'' was published in 1988. All three have fallen victim to {{Zeerust}} and TechnologyMarchesOn to some degree, but remain quite readable thanks to more than a few of Gibson's ideas becoming reality, or at least a styled version of it.

Each book stands alone, more or less, though there is a distinct overlap in characters and all three share the same setting- [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the Sprawl]]. Which is nickname for the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis, a massive city state on the East Coast of the United States. As is to be expected in 80s {{cyberpunk}}, the Sprawl (and, for that matter, Gibson's entire world) is decidedly [[{{Dystopia}} dystopian]] in feel. They're set in a world of BlackAndGrayMorality, after the TheGreatPoliticsMessUp, but were published in a time when that was considered quite revolutionary.

Set in the same world are the short stories "Burning Chrome", which introduced the recurring character "the Finn"; "Johnny Mnemonic", the inspiration for the [[JohnnyMnemonic movie of the same name]]; and "New Rose Hotel", which was also adapted into a film.


! The trilogy provides examples of the following tropes:

%%* ActionGirlfriend: Molly Millions
* AIIsACrapshoot: Wintermute. Later, Neuromancer.
* TheAlternet: The Matrix is probably one of the first, and the TropeNamer for {{Cyberspace}}.
* BadAss: Gibson's world is full of these. Molly Millions/Sally Shears, the most famous example, is just the tip of the iceberg.
* BrainUploading: A key part of the plot since "The Winter Market".
* CassetteFuturism: The series features things as complex as human memories recorded on tape. Not to mention that three megabytes of hot RAM is apparently valuable enough to kill for.
* CyberpunkWithAChanceOfRain" The infamous opening line to ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}''.
--> ''"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."''
* DepravedBisexual: Lady 3Jane.
* DisneyVillainDeath: In "Johnny Mnemonic", this is the fate of [[spoiler:the Yakuza assassin]].
* DividedStatesOfAmerica: Implied. In the chaos following WorldWarThree, the United States don't seem to have a single cohesive government, and the country seems to exist as a loose conglomeration of urban city-states. At the very least, corporations have long since eclipsed the world's governments in power, to the point that many people don't take the concept of a "nation" seriously anymore.
%%* ExplosiveLeash
* {{Expy}}: Bobby Newmark, in ''Literature/CountZero'', is the new snarky-underacomplished-hacker to replace Case; Tick is the new eccentric hustler to replace the Finn, in Literature/MonaLisaOverdrive.
* FourLinesAllWaiting: The second and third novels in the trilogy are known for this, though the first (''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}'') is surprisingly straightforward. ''Literature/CountZero'' has Turner in one plot, Bobby Newmark in another, and Marley Krushkova in a third. ''Literature/MonaLisaOverdrive'' has Kumiko and Sally/Molly in one plot, Angie Mitchell in another, Gentry and Slick Henry in a third, and the titular Mona in a fourth.
* FriendInTheBlackMarket: Perhaps a bit redundant to even bring this trope up, given the nature of Gibson's world. But the Finn, a significant character in the series, is the embodiment of this trope.
* FunWithAcronyms: The Sprawl's official name is "BAMA"; it's pronounced like "'''Bama''" (the regional nickname for Alabama), but it actually stands for "Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis", so named because the Sprawl covers most of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, from Boston in the North to Atlanta in the South.
* FutureSlang: Gibson coined a lot of terms that would later be used by other cyberpunk works.
* GenreSavvy: Gibson's characters basically have to be this, in order to survive in his world. Two notable examples are Mona, a prostitute who's aware of [[DisposableSexWorker how disposable the other characters consider her]], and the Finn, a [[TheScrounger "fence" dealing in stolen goods]], who practices extreme discretion, and knows how to defend himself.
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp: By means of economic collapse. Centered around Operation Screaming Fist, where a group of U.S. spec-ops squads tried to hack a key Soviet system with experimental software. They failed, and started a war that lasted all of nine days. The Soviet Union is still up and running while America exists in name only, and mostly as a collection of city-states (for example, the Sprawl itself is an amalgamation of all the cities from Boston to Atlanta).
* HollywoodHacking: {{ZigZagged}} Hacking, and more specifically cyberspace, is like a virtual reality video game. Appropriately enough, that was what virtual reality was first tested for with military applications in mind. The portrayal of the actual hacking process, however, as being mostly a matter of getting the right hardware containing the right hacking tool software in the right physical location, and then doing some prodding and defending to keep it on track, is reasonably accurate.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Mona, one of the protagonists of the third book.
* ImmuneToDrugs: Case, after receiving his new pancreas and liver with several filters built in to prevent him from being affected by cocaine or amphetamines. Subverted when he finds a new designer drug that can bypass the filters, and again when he gets another new pancreas and liver so he can resume his old drug habit.
%%* IndustrialGhetto
* InsideAComputerSystem: Again, cyberspace in general, though Case manages to do this with a few particular systems.
* JapanTakesOverTheWorld: Or, more accurately, its culture. It's implied that Japan emerged as one of the world's premier economic superpowers while the United States and the Soviet Union were busy trying to outspend each other on defense. (Gibson accurately predicted that, but apparently didn't anticipate America winning the Cold War)
* LeftFieldDescription: Gibson is a master of this.
* MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter: Lady 3Jane, and arguably Angie Mitchell.
%%* MindRape
* MasterOfIllusion: Riviera.
* NeuralImplanting: The TropeMaker.
%%* PlayfulHacker
* PrettyInMink: Averted FurAndLoathing by noting all furs were from cloning.
* PrivateMilitaryContractor: Turner.
* TheScrounger: The Finn is a rare example of a smart, GenreSavvy one, who practices smart discretion and proves more than capable of defending himself when attacked. The Finn long surpasses the general life expectancy of this character type in most stories.
* TheStateless: A lot of people have slipped through the cracks of society and lack a Single Identification Number (SIN), without one they can't vote, can't get a credit chip, so far as the government is concerned they don't exist.
* StreetSamurai: Molly Millions is the UrExample.
%%* TheVerse: The Sprawl.
* UnReveal: Gibson often leaves many things ambiguous, the most talked about example probably being Molly's eye color.
* VirtualGhost: The Dixie Flatline. [[spoiler: Finn in ''Literature/MonaLisaOverdrive'']].
%%* WeWillUseWikiWordsInTheFuture
* {{Whatevermancy}}: The title of the first book. Notable for technically being a proper usage of -mancy, in that they are using a neural connection to communicate with, obtain information from, and interact with another plane of existence.
* WorldWarThree: A major part of the series' backstory, occasionally glimpsed in flashbacks and historical archives. Armitage in ''Neuromancer'' fought in Operation Screaming Fist, the military operation in Russia that precipitated the War. In ''Mona Lisa Overdrive'', we get a few more details about it: Molly mentions that public hangings were common in London in the chaos after the War, Angie reads about Bonn and Belgrade being destroyed by nuclear bombs, and Petal recalls that cream was once impossible to get in England because nuclear fallout from Germany mutated the cows.
%%* {{Yakuza}}
%%* ZenSurvivor