Author John M Ford is dead.
I’ll keep this quick. Read his Web of Angels. This vision of “cyberpunk” predates Gibson and is comparable to Vinge’s work of the time. It had a big impact on me when I read it in college. It’s not work of great literature, but it’s pretty darned thoughtful about the future of computer crime, I liked it a lot, and it was his first book. Hard to beat that.