In Mona Lisa Overdrive Gibson explores the transformations and accommodations that must be made to cope with a changing technology. Understanding the way in which the matrix has changed as a result of the raid on the Villa Straylight in Neuromancer is a central question for the character Gentry, the console cowboy of Monta Lisa Overdrive who is the direct spiritual descendent of earlier figures Case (in Neuromancer) and Bobby Newmark (in Count Zero). He is preoccupied with questions of When It Changed and How It Changed, questions whose answers all stem from the union of the two AI's in Neuromancer.
The union of Wintermute and Neuromancer has a significant impact on the lives of several characters in Mona Lisa Overdrive. In particular, Angie Mitchell's life is changed by the aftermath of the change in the matrix. The unity achieved at the end of Neuromancer apparently lasts only briefly when the matrix is splintered into the "ghosts in the machine" known as the loa, reincarnations of the traditional voodoo gods. They seem to represent the closest paradigm to the new state of the matrix. Angie, with her direct biochip access to the matrix, becomes the vehicle through which these new manifestations of the matrix are embodied. The matrix continues to change in the wake of the union of the artificial intelligences, and a consuming question for Gentry is to determine the new Shape of the matrix.
(The entire section is 734 words.)
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