Neuromancer: Blog #1

How does Gibson demonstrate the omnipotence of technology in his futuristic narrative Neuromancer?

Gibson’s dystopia, Neuromancer, quickly establishes itself as the “ruins” of a technological world by evoking the pungent societal climate in Japan and the qualities of the story’s protagonist, Case. Although some may argue that those examples showcase the influence of technology in the futuristic world, the supremacy of technology is best displayed by the subtle references to technology made in the characters’ dialogue and Gibson’s imagery.

From the beginning of the novel, Gibson quickly intertwines technology as a replacement for nature when describing beauty. This happens as Case describes the attractive aesthetics of his supposed ex-girlfriend Linda Lee “ Her face bathed in restless laser light… mouth touched with hot gold as a gliding cursor struck sparks” (8) displaying the absence of nature when something discussing something as banal as beauty. Furthermore, Case’s statement avoids the trite sceneries of a face bathed in moonlight or sunlight, presenting the ubiquity of technology. In a sense, technology has literally overshadowed nature, since it has overpowered the beams of the moon and sun. Another subtle description appears when Gibson illustrates the decrepit world “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” (3), which in a sense flip-flops a conventional comparison one would make (The television was tuned to a dead channel, showing a grey sky). With this being the opening words of the novel, Gibson establishes the position of technology as nature. Furthermore, the reference to the sky being a dead channel sends the message that nature has fallen to this technological world; nature is tuned out.  Lastly, another vital point was when Case ingested a pill and Gibson described the process as “The pill lit his circuits” (19), “innocently” making the human biology seem nothing more than a machine with simple circuitry.

Though the subtle statements are the coup de grace in detailing Gibson’s technological dependent world, the obvious scenes of hackers, cyberspace, coffins, etc.; should not be overlooked, since they add to the mayhem. In retrospect, Gibson’s machination, Neuromancer, exposes the supremacy of technology through understated scenes rather than obvious points.

1 comment
  1. I like your attention to these small details, Christian. That’s an important skill to work on when writing about literature. I think you’re slightly off in how you represent the passage about Linda (you make it read like a simile when it is not one in the novel) but the point is correct: Gibson and his characters are seeing the world around them reflected and refracted in technology.

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