Neuromancer, William Gibson
Neuromancer William Gibson
(Full name William Ford Gibson) American-born Canadian novelist, short story writer, poet, and screenwriter.
The following entry presents criticism on Gibson's novel Neuromancer (1984) through 2002. See also William Gibson Short Story Criticism, William Gibson Literary Criticism (Volume 23), and William Gibson Literary Criticism (Volume 182).
Gibson's first novel, Neuromancer, is regarded as one of the most influential works of twentieth-century speculative fiction and the canonical work of the “cyberpunk” movement, a futuristic style of science fiction that combines the tough atmosphere and scatological language of crime fiction, imagery from the punk counter-culture movement, and the technical developments of the 1980s. The novel claimed all three major science fiction literary awards in 1984—the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, and the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award—and garnered Gibson a vast critical and popular audience. Resembling the “New Wave” authors of the 1960s, who introduced such topics as sex and narcotics to the traditionally conservative science fiction genre, Gibson created a narrative in Neuromancer that embodies the unique sociological concerns of the 1980s. Neuromancer has also won wide praise for accurately forecasting several monumental technological advances, including the Internet and virtual reality.
Plot and Major Characters
“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” This oft-quoted opening line of Neuromancer captures the atmosphere of the novel—a world in which nature has given way to industry, technology, and mass media. Neuromancer is set in the near-future, where much of the East Coast of the United States has become one continuous metropolis known as “the Sprawl,” and multinational corporations have superseded the role of governments. Information is the world's most valuable commodity, and black-market technicians known as “cowboys” continually monitor a vast matrix of data—resembling the Internet—known as cyberspace. Gibson coined the term “cyberspace” in his short story “Burning Chrome” which first established the world Neuromancer inhabits. By employing neural implants, cowboys attempt to pirate information by “jacking”—or plugging—themselves into the matrix, a subreality simulated by a globally-linked computer database.
The novel's protagonist, Case, is a former cowboy, living in Chiba City, Japan. After Case betrayed his former employers, they used a neurotoxin to damage Case's nervous system, preventing him from jacking into cyberspace. The down-on-his-luck Case is approached by Molly Millions, a cybernetically enhanced bodyguard with retractable razorblades implanted under her fingernails, with an offer from a mysterious employer. Armitage, Molly's financier, offers to repair Case's neural damage if he assists Molly in stealing the Dixie Flatline, a computer construct of the consciousness of a legendary cowboy and one of Case's mentors. They intend to use the Dixie Flatline to attack the computer network of the Tessier-Ashpool clan, the secretive founders of a gigantic multinational corporation. The Tessier-Ashpools reside in a complex called Straylight, which is part of a large orbiting space station known as Freeside. Case eventually discovers that Armitage is working for Wintermute, a sentient artificial intelligence (AI) program created by the Tessier-Ashpools. In the future, there are strict laws limiting the development of AI constructs, and Wintermute wants Case to free it and its twin AI program, Neuromancer, from their confinement in the Straylight network. Case and Molly travel to Freeside, where they meet 3Jane, a cloned descendant of the Tessier-Ashpool family. After obtaining information from 3Jane, Case utilizes a particularly effective form of “ice”—a program that bypasses computer defenses—to break into the Tessier-Ashpool system. This frees Wintermute and Neuromancer who merge together, creating a new form of higher intelligence. With Case's assistance, the new program escapes into cyberspace where it becomes a fully omniscient presence in the matrix. Neuromancer became the first novel in a trilogy of works—known collectively as the “Sprawl novels”—which includes Count Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988). Though Case's fate is only hinted at briefly, Molly Millions, the Tessier-Ashpool clan, and the Wintermute/Neuromancer construct feature heavily in the subsequent works, particularly Mona Lisa Overdrive.
The dominant theme in Neuromancer is the evolving relationship between humanity and technology and how scientific advances will one day blur the lines dividing the two. Gibson challenges the boundaries between man and machines by portraying human characters who rely on electronic enhancements and computer programs that adopt emotions and personalities. Neuromancer presents an ambivalent perspective on these developments, characterizing this merging of nature and technology as neither positive nor negative. This ambivalence is further reflected in Gibson's characterizations, particularly with Case, who functions as both a reluctant hero and a tool for Wintermute's aspirations. In Gibson's future, not even death is viewed as a constant, when individuals can have their memories stored for eternity on the matrix. Conflicting cultures are another recurring thematic concern of Neuromancer as Gibson creates a firm division between the world's dominant corporate powers and the urban under-class of Chiba City. The Tessier-Ashpools, the embodiment of the wealthy establishment, are portrayed as isolated and incestuous relics of a stilted past. Conversely, the black-market cowboys—though poor and amoral—are viewed as counter-culture rebels who only seek personal freedom.
Since its initial publication, Neuromancer has been lauded as a monumental science fiction text and the seminal work of the “cyberpunk” genre. Critics have argued that the novel's strength lies in Gibson's stylistic virtuosity, embodied by his vivid and precise narrative voice. Gibson has drawn praise for his skillful and effective combination of literary and cinematic influences in Neuromancer, with scholars frequently comparing his prose to the works of William S. Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, and Robert Stone. Neuromancer has also been recognized by reviewers for its postmodern pastiche of media and subculture references as well as its decidedly antiauthoritarian perspective on the future. Some academics have labeled Neuromancer as a prophetic work of speculative fiction, noting that Gibson's theories on the impact of a global Internet network on the world have been proven amazingly accurate in the years since the book's first release. However, some critics have reacted negatively to Neuromancer, asserting that Gibson overuses technical jargon that obscures the impact of his narrative. Such reviewers have also argued that the novel features weak characterizations and an overly complex plot. Despite such claims, the majority of commentators have recognized Neuromancer as one of the twentieth-century's most significant works of science fiction.
Neuromancer (novel) 1984
*Burning Chrome (short stories) 1986
Count Zero (novel) 1986
Mona Lisa Overdrive (novel) 1988
The Difference Engine [with Bruce Sterling] (novel) 1991
†Agrippa: A Book of the Dead (poetry) 1992
Virtual Light (novel) 1993
Johnny Mnemonic (screenplay) 1995
Idoru (novel) 1996
All Tomorrow's Parties (novel) 1999
Pattern Recognition (novel) 2003
*Includes the short stories “The Belonging Kind,” co-written by John Shirley, “Red Star, Winter Orbit,” co-written by Bruce Sterling, and “Dogfight,” co-written by Michael Swanwick.
†Agrippa was released exclusively on a computer diskette, designed by Dennis Ashbaugh to self-erase after the poem is read. The full text of the poem is now available on the Internet.
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SOURCE: Christie, John R. R. “Science Fiction and the Postmodern: The Recent Fiction of William Gibson and John Crowley.” Essays and Studies 43 (1990): 34-58.
[In the following essay, Christie examines the elements of both traditional science fiction and postmodern experimental fiction in Gibson's Neuromancer and John Crowley's Engine Summer.]
Is there a postmodern science fiction? To a question posed as broadly as this, the answer has to be, yes and no. Yes, because science fiction as a fictional genre is most often placed in a notional future, and therefore attempts to be ‘post’ whatever modernity happens to be current. And no, because it retains the conservatism of most genre fiction, slow to change or to break with the structures and formulae which bind alike the writerly goals and readerly expectations of generic performance and consumption.
There is additionally an issue of clarification to be undertaken for the term postmodern. Without the addition of a suffix, the term has an unfixed status. Postmodern could refer to an era, the period which has succeeded the age of modernity, or it could refer to a cultural and critical category, picking out those aesthetic endeavours which somehow place themselves beyond the aesthetic paradigms of the various modernisms, of architecture, art, film, and literature. The question of science fiction and the postmodern...
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SOURCE: Huntington, John. “Newness, Neuromancer, and the End of Narrative.” Essays and Studies 43 (1990): 59-75.
[In the following essay, Huntington argues that the alienated characters who populate Neuromancer represent a form of resistance to dominant cultural mores.]
The dynamic by which science fiction discovers and defines the ‘new’ has been depicted by the practitioners of the genre itself as a triumph of rational art. In fact it is a much less rational process than is pictured. In addition to the usual sources of conflict that enliven any group or genre—personal envy, political disagreement, generational rivalry—science fiction, by its very nature, must create disagreement about what it is and why it is important. This special level of disagreement is particularly resistant to discussion because the rational terms by which the genre usually formulates its own importance obscure essential social dynamics of the argument and of science fiction's appeal. The argument within the genre about what is the ‘new’ was recently revived by the success of William Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer, which has come to typify what is now known as the ‘cyberpunk’ movement.1 The novel has attracted discussion less for its plot—which tells of how Case, a dejected and self-destructive computer hacker, with the help of an extremely competent...
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SOURCE: Grant, Glenn. “Transcendence through Detournement in William Gibson's Neuromancer.” Science-Fiction Studies 17, no. 1 (March 1990): 41-9.
[In the following essay, Grant discusses the theme of transcendence through technology in Neuromancer.]
1. PEOPLE AS SYSTEMS
Cyberspace. Simstim. Meat puppets. Prosthetic limbs, cranial sockets, and mimetic polycarbon. The vivid and bizarre details of William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984) tumble off the page like the jump-cut images of music videos, hallucinations, nightmares. Disturbing, distorted figures walk this cityscape, people who imitate machines, machines that imitate people. …
Many readers find themselves thrashing about in this chaotic environment, seeking a pattern that will decode the message, separate signal from noise. Some critics accuse the author of dealing only in surfaces, of presenting merely a facade of hipness. But there are intelligible themes hiding here, stored in the data-structures of the Tessier-Ashpool intelligences, encoded in the auto-destructive behavior of Gibson's characters, inherent in his flashy prose-collage technique. Not surprisingly, his central concerns are cybernetic: human memory and personality, considered as information. People as systems.
Systems become a problem, it seems, when they become closed and entropic, and when they become...
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SOURCE: Mead, David G. “Technological Transfiguration in William Gibson's Sprawl Novels: Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive.” Extrapolation 32, no. 4 (1991): 350-60.
[In the following essay, Mead asserts that characters in Gibson's trilogy of “Sprawl” novels—Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive—use technology as a means of transcendence, transformation, and liberation.]
Some years ago, in a review essay in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Norman Spinrad urged calling the writers of the nascent cyberpunk movement “neuromantics.”1 In contradistinction to the hostility to technology, the neo-Ludditism, so to speak, which is often attributed to the New Wave writers of the 1960s and early 1970s, Spinrad found in William Gibson, John Shirley, Bruce Sterling, Pat Cadigan, and Rudy Rucker, among others, a “forthrightly high-tech romanticism,” an attitude that embraces “wholeheartedly the real world that science and technology have made, the technosphere, the reality of the last quarter of the twentieth century” (185). Spinrad uses the adjective “romantic” frequently, defining it very loosely and operationally to mean an unashamed affection for or acceptance of: egregious individualism and defiant self-reliance; radical technological change which provides the opportunity for human beings to...
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SOURCE: Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., Istvan. “The Sentimental Futurist: Cybernetics and Art in William Gibson's Neuromancer.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 33, no. 3 (spring 1992): 221-40.
[In the following essay, Csicsery-Ronay posits that Gibson's narrative in Neuromancer addresses the question of how artists can represent the human condition in a world dominated by cybernetic technologies.]
William Gibson's career and reputation threaten to imitate the panic narrative logic of his own fictions. Gibson was immediately cited as a form of postmodern apotheosis, on the basis of a few stories and a first novel. But largely because of his own enormous influence on the creators of Virtual Reality and cyberspace, we are speeding away from the stars of his imaginary constellation so fast that cyberpunk, the literary movement Gibson was said to epitomize, has all but vanished in the void. Moreover, since the explosive success of Neuromancer, Gibson has studiously cooled and moderated the hellbent intensity of his fiction; consequently, in the opinion of many readers, he has lost some control and conviction.
Gibson is, nevertheless, one of the most inventive and ambitious artists in SF, perhaps in spite of Neuromancer's success in mixing hard SF and scintillating lyric. Unlike most SF, Gibson's writing is concerned with art, in overt and subtle...
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SOURCE: Cherniavsky, Eva. “(En)gendering Cyberspace in Neuromancer: Postmodern Subjectivity and Virtual Motherhood.” Genders, no. 18 (winter 1993): 32-46.
[In the following essay, Cherniavsky examines the representation of gender and reproductive technology in Neuromancer.]
Besides, although the creation of life in vitro would certainly be a scientific feat worthy of note—and probably even a Nobel prize—it would not, in the long run, tell us much more about the space of possible life than we already know …
Computers should be thought of as an important laboratory tool for the study of life, substituting for the array of incubators, culture dishes, microscopes, electrophoretic gels, pipettes, centrifuges and other assorted wet-lab paraphernalia, one simple to master piece of experimental equipment devoted exclusively to the incubation of information structures.
Motherhood acts as a limit to the conceptualization of femininity as a scientific construction of mechanical and electrical parts. And yet it is also that which infuses the machine with the breath of a human spirit. The maternal and the mechanical/synthetic coexist in a relation that is a curious imbrication of dependence and...
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SOURCE: Voller, Jack G. “Neuromanticism: Cyberspace and the Sublime.” Extrapolation 34, no. 1 (spring 1993): 18-29.
[In the following essay, Voller explores how Neuromancer portrays cyberspace as a realm of sublime transcendence devoid of spiritual implications.]
William Gibson's “matrix” works—Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive, two or three stories—mark, for many science fiction readers, something close to the cutting edge of the genre. As innovative and revolutionary as cyberpunk may be, however, it shares with all other varieties of SF a profound indebtedness to the Romantic/Gothic tradition. The manifold complexities of this inheritance are beyond the scope of any single essay, but we gain insight into Gibson's works and their significance by considering the extent to which the concept of cyberspace, central to the above-mentioned works, is an extension of and comment upon one of the most significant elements of Romantic aesthetics, the sublime. There is more to this indebtedness than has been revealed by Lance Olsen's recent (and brief) discussion of the sublime in Gibson's work, which confines itself largely to the sublime aspects of the novels' artificial intelligences. While I agree fully with Olsen's general conclusions, there is much more to be said about the extent to which sublimity informs these works. It determines not only, as Olsen's...
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SOURCE: Schroeder, Randy. “Neu-Criticizing William Gibson.” Extrapolation 35, no. 4 (winter 1994): 330-41.
[In the following essay, Schroeder offers a critical assessment of the relationship between cybernetics and postmodernism in Neuromancer.]
Back in 1983 Time named the computer “Machine of the Year.” This award displaced the usual “Man of the Year,” presumably decentering the human and giving postmodernism permanent status in pop consciousness. In 1984 William Gibson published Neuromancer, presumably giving literary expression to the confluence of cybernetics and postmodernisms. In fact, the subgenre of cyberpunk is widely reported to be both postmodern art and postmodern artifact par excellence, literary examination and product of the post-age.
This assumption has driven some fine criticism. Gibson's information-age world has been examined as a place where distinctions such as human/machine and real/artificial are deconstructed, as invasive technology redefines the human condition. The locus of criticism has been those points where cybernetic technology and postmodern experiences overlap; as Bruce Sterling says, cyberpunks are “fascinated by interzones” (xi).
But the interzone of postmodernisms and cybernetics is a problematic one. Sophisticated simulation does unhinge our sense of referentiality; the prosthesis does...
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SOURCE: Davidson, Cynthia. “Riviera's Golem, Haraway's Cyborg: Reading Neuromancer as Baudrillard's Simulation of Crisis.” Science-Fiction Studies 23, no. 2 (July 1996): 188-98.
[In the following essay, Davidson discusses Neuromancer in terms of postmodern theories of simulation and the visual image, particularly comparing the novel's central themes to the works of Jean Baudrillard.]
Baudrillard's “Simulacra and Simulacrum” is a study of the degeneration of the integrity of the image so far as it is representative of the real. Early in the essay, Baudrillard discusses the “imperialism” of “present-day simulators”:
Something has disappeared. The sovereign difference between them that was the abstraction's charm. For it is the difference which forms the poetry of the map and the charm of the territory, the magic of the concept and the dream of the real. This representational imaginary, which both culminates in and is engulfed by the cartographer's mad project of an ideal coextensivity between the map and the territory, disappears with simulation, whose operation is nuclear and genetic, and no longer specular and discursive. With it goes all of metaphysics. No more mirror of being and appearances, all of the real and its concept; no more imaginary coextensivity: rather, genetic miniaturization is the dimension of simulation. The real is...
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SOURCE: Stevens, Tyler. “‘Sinister Fruitiness’: Neuromancer, Internet Sexuality and the Turing Test.” Studies in the Novel 28, no. 3 (fall 1996): 414-33.
[In the following essay, Stevens presents a thematic analysis of gender, technology, and individual identity in Neuromancer, noting Gibson's complex portrayal of artificial intelligence and sexuality.]
“YEAH. I SAW YOUR PROFILE, CASE. … YOU EVER WORK WITH THE DEAD?”1
The immediate subject of this essay is a set of anxious, confusing, and at times threatening questions posed by computer-mediated communication technology, popularly known as “cyberspace” and most immediately recognizable in the Internet. It also takes as its subject a related set of perhaps more abstract questions about the possibilities of intelligence within our computers. I have chosen to analyze in this essay three moments within the culture of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the development of cyberspace, moments that might be classified as either “fiction” or “real life” (inasmuch as those categories hold steady under the optic of the narratives and textual spaces they share) but that symptomatize how we come to know “intelligence” by the anxiety, confusion, and threat underlying those questions. Some would argue that computers cannot be intelligent; they're not alive. But granted that computers aren't in...
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SOURCE: de Zwaan, Victoria. “Rethinking the Slipstream: Kathy Acker Reads Neuromancer.” Science-Fiction Studies 24, no. 3 (November 1997): 459-70.
[In the following essay, de Zwaan comments on the elements of cyberpunk science fiction and postmodern experimentation in Neuromancer, noting the influence of Thomas Pynchon, Kathy Acker, and Jean Baudrillard on the novel.]
The best known cyberpunk manifesto … cannily describes the cyberpunk school's aspirations not in terms of conceits, but as the reflection of a new cultural synthesis being born in the 1980s, making it essentially a paradoxical form of realism.
Sf is a genre seeking to bury the generic, attempting to transcend itself so as to destroy itself as the degraded “low.”
(Luckhurst, “Polemic” 44)
The guiding premise of Larry McCaffery's Storming the Reality Studio, still the definitive work to date on cyberpunk, is spelled out in McCaffery's introduction:
In a basic sense … this book is dedicated to the proposition that the interaction between genre sf and the literary avant-garde—two groups traditionally segregated (at least in the United States) and, hence, not influencing one another directly—needs to be...
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SOURCE: Concannon, Kevin. “The Contemporary Space of the Border: Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands and William Gibson's Neuromancer.” Textual Practice 12, no. 3 (winter 1998): 429-42.
[In the following essay, Concannon discusses the thematic motif of the border and how it relates to self-identity in Neuromancer and Gloria Anzaldúa's Borderlands/La Frontera.]
When Charles Edwards and a female passenger stopped at a Barstow gas station on a late September day in 1992, little did they know that two hours later they would be just north of Burbank, almost 122 miles from Barstow, and far from alone. In fact, as they sped along the California freeways, they were being followed by at least seven police cars and four helicopters, numerous television and radio trucks, countless spectators, and an even larger television and radio audience, who watched and listened as the spectacle unfolded.
According to news reports, Edwards had kidnapped his female passenger in Barstow, where he picked up the police escort. As the pursuit continued, criss-crossing city and county boundaries at speeds upwards of seventy to eighty miles an hour, the chase pack grew as spectators lined overpasses and civilians followed behind. Television and radio stations interrupted their normal broadcasting to follow the image of police cars, television trucks and interested...
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SOURCE: Freccero, Carla. “Technocultures.” In Popular Culture: An Introduction, pp. 99-129. New York: New York University Press, 1999.
[In the following essay, Freccero contrasts the representations of technology-driven societies in Neuromancer and the Alien film series.]
A. TECHNOCULTURES AND POSTMODERNISM
In this chapter I would like to explore cultural productions that ambivalently represent postindustrial society's romance and disillusionment with advanced technological developments. The representations examined here present technoculture as an important dimension of both the present and the future, and construct a variety of responses, both utopian and dystopian, to that culture. Technology is the defining mark of late-twentieth-century First World existence in the popular imagination, and thus it is a particularly fruitful terrain for social and political analysis.
The texts I am discussing, in their disillusionment with the promises of industrial society and better living through advanced technology, engage in some form or another with the question of the postmodern. Postmodernism suffers from a surfeit of definition, and my characterization here simplifies the range of meanings the concept encompasses. For the purposes of this survey of technocultural fantasies, the postmodern can be thought of as a historical designator, referring...
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SOURCE: Punday, Daniel. “The Narrative Construction of Cyberspace: Reading Neuromancer, Reading Cyberspace Debates.” College English 63, no. 2 (November 2000): 194-213.
[In the following essay, Punday explores the relationship between cyberspace and narrative form in Neuromancer, arguing that the novel “offers us a way to negotiate the conventional discursive elements used within online communication.”]
The Internet seems to have spawned a community with fundamentally new conditions for social interaction. As Shawn Wilbur notes,
“Virtual community” is certainly among the most used, and perhaps abused phrases in the literature of computer-mediated communication. This should come as no surprise. An increasing number of people are finding their lives touched by collectivities which have nothing to do with physical proximity. A space has opened up for something like community on computer networks, at a time when so many forms of “real life” community seem under attack.
Where traditionally individuals have interacted with each other using face-to-face verbal and physical cues limited by their own physical and material conditions, cyberspace's conditions of interaction are much more constructed. Individuals can leave their physical characteristics undefined in some types of online...
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SOURCE: Myers, Tony. “The Postmodern Imaginary in William Gibson's Neuromancer.” Modern Fiction Studies 47, no. 4 (winter 2001): 887-909.
[In the following essay, Myers examines how Gibson utilizes the concept of cyberspace in Neuromancer to create a postmodern narrative setting.]
Much of William Gibson's novel Neuromancer is centered around cyberspace, or the matrix as it is alternatively called, the representational innovation for which his work has become famous. It is first defined for the reader via the narration of a children's educational program: “Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts. … A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights receding …” (67). The concept of cyberspace is valuable as a narrative strategy because it is able to represent “unthinkable complexity,” to gain a cognitive purchase upon the welter of data. It is a response to what Fredric Jameson has called “the incapacity of our minds, at least at present, to map the great global multinational and decentered communicational network in which we find ourselves caught as individual subjects”...
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SOURCE: Brouillette, Sarah. “Corporate Publishing and Canonization: Neuromancer and Science-Fiction Publishing in the 1970s and early 1980s.” In Book History, edited by Ezra Greenspan and Jonathan Rose, pp. 187-208. University Park, Penn.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002.
[In the following essay, Brouillette presents an analysis of the 1984 publication of Neuromancer in terms of the relationship between the corporate publishing industry and the science fiction subculture.]
Since its initial publication as an Ace Science Fiction Special in 1984, William Gibson's Neuromancer has been established as one of the most influential and respected novels in the history of its genre, as well as in mainstream literary culture. It won the three major awards in the science-fiction field that year—the Nebula, the Hugo, and the Philip K. Dick awards—and has since gone on to receive critical treatment rarely accorded to novels that were initially marketed as genre science fiction. Indeed, it is ostensibly responsible for spawning an entire subgenre—cyberpunk—and has become standard fare on syllabuses for literature courses of all varieties.1 It has been translated into languages from Magyar to Japanese to Danish, and has been published in numerous printings and editions—from a Gollancz hardcover published in London in 1984 to a Phantasia Press limited hardcover...
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Davies, Stan Gébler. “Great Balls of Fire.” Punch 288, no. 7522 (6 February 1985): 54.
Davies compliments Gibson's dialogue in Neuromancer, calling it “a clever concoction of gangster talk and computer-speak.”
Gibson, William, and Mikal Gilmore. “The Rise of Cyberpunk.” Rolling Stone, no. 488 (4 December 1986): 77-8, 107-08.
Gibson discusses the critical reception of Neuromancer, the inspirations behind the novel, and the genre of cyberpunk fiction.
Greenland, Colin. “Possess, Integrate, Inform.” Times Literary Supplement, no. 4262 (7 December 1984): 1420.
Greenland characterizes Neuromancer as a “hard-boiled crime thriller.”
Lancashire, Ian. “Ninsei Street, Chiba City, in Gibson's Neuromancer.” Science-Fiction Studies 30, no. 2 (July 2003): 341-43.
Lancashire comments on how Gibson uses the setting of Ninsei Street in Neuromancer as a metaphor for the novel's cyberspace matrix.
Platt, Charles. “Science Fiction.” Washington Post Book World 21, no. 34 (29 July 1984): 11.
Platt offers high praise for Neuromancer, hailing the novel as a “virtuoso performance” and a state-of-the-art work of fiction.
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