A quick internet search revealed to me that Pattern Recognition, the eighth novel by William Gibson, was the first to be on the New York Times Bestsellers list, and the first to be set in a contemporary world instead of a fantastical one. The increased overall popularity of the more recent William Gibson novels ( as opposed to Neuromancer, whose popularity was more of a word-of-mouth cult hit ) may be due to this; however, speaking personally, I found the contemporary world of Pattern Recognition less compelling.
William Gibson's "Neuromancer" manages to create worlds that are both an exercise n sensory overload and a frustrating lack of detail, leaving the reader confused as to the environment. What is perhaps most interesting in this detailed description is the attention Gibson pays to material. Scarcely a page goes by without some mention of a plastic window, a silk futon, a leather jacket, denim pants, or a fiberglass chassis. A large part of what creates the futuristic sense of Gibson's world is the development of new materials and the unfamiliar hierarchy of materials, consisting of both the new and the jarringly familiar substances. This hierarchy of material breaks down to two separate categories: body modification and environment.