Neuromancer by William Gibson


Author: Gibson

Title: Neuromancer

Genre: Science Fiction, Cyberpunk

Publication Date: 1984

Number of Pages: 271 pages

Geographical Setting: Japan, Eastern           U.S., Istanbul, and the Freeside Space Station

Time Period: The near future

Series: First book of The Sprawl Trilogy;   also known as The Neuromancer Trilogy

Plot Summary:

Henry Dorsett Case is a drug-addicted, computer-hacking hustler who had his central nervous system injected with a mycotoxin as punishment for stealing from his partners.  While searching for a cure, he is propositioned by Armitage, an ex-military officer with a suspicious past, to undergo one more hack in exchange for a cure.  Armtiage then implants poisonous sacs in Case’s blood vessels, forcing him to obery his command in exchange for his life.  Case and his new “Razorgirl” partner, Molly Millions, who’s cybernetic enhancements include retractable claws and improved optical ability, must deal with Armitage’s vague ambitions, a powerful Artifical Intelligence, and slew of drug addicts, sadists, and hackers.    

Subject Headings: Science Fiction; Futurism; Dystopian Future; Computer Hackers; Cyberpunk—Fiction; Conspiracies—Fiction

Appeal: Series-characters, builds in intensity, densely written, gritty, cinematic, complex, imaginative, multiple plot lines, urban, detailed setting, computer jargon, dangerous, bleak, uneasy

3 terms that best describe this book: Cyberpunk, bleak, detailed

3 relevant Nonfiction works and authors:
No Maps for These Territories – A documentary film by Mark Neale that features William Gibson discussing post-human society, nanotechnology, drug-culture, and his career.

The Ultimate Cyberpunk by Pat Cadigan – An anthology of the predecessors, brightest stars, and future genre evolution compiled by a major name in cyberpunk fiction.

Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century by Mark Dery – An introduction not the technological underground including techno-hippies, cyberpunks, and influential theorists such as Foucault, McLuhan and Baudrillard

3 relevant Fiction works and authors:

The Nova Trilogy by William S. Burroughs – An earlier science fiction series involving drug addiction, body manipulation, and speculative science.  The books can be read as stand-alones.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick – This precursor to Gibson’s cyberpunk tale follows a bounty hunter as he tracks down androids that are under the guise of humans in a post-apocalyptic world. It was the book that became the film, Blade Runner.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson – After Hiro Protaganist uses the synthetic drug “Snow Crash”, which has effects on both the physical world and the metaverse, he begins to uncover a mystery that can unravel the nature of his meta-universe.

Name: Mike Monahan


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