Neuromancer Additional Summary

William Gibson


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

The title’s significance is revealed late in the book, but the word itself is evocative: taken from necromancer, magic involving the dead, neuromancer is magic involving the human nervous system. Henry Dorsett Case’s neuromancy is his ability to jack into cyberspace and navigate through the matrix of a computerized online world. Once a highly skilled console cowboy—someone who navigates through cyberspace (also known as the matrix) and breaks ICE, security measures that protect information—-he stole from a client and had his jacking abilities physically destroyed as punishment.

Now based in Chiba, Japan, Case finds out from his lover Linda Lee that a client of his, Wage, wants him dead. Confronting Wage, Case learns that Linda’s claim was merely a ruse so she could steal a RAM from Case and fly home. However, Case was being tailed by Molly, a cybernetically enhanced bodyguard. Molly introduces Case to her boss, Armitage, who offers to surgically restore his console abilities if he will perform an assignment with those skills. Later, at an arena with Molly, Case witnesses Linda’s murder.

After Case undergoes his operations in Chiba, he, Molly, and Armitage head to Paris, then to the Sprawl, a megalopolis covering the eastern United States. Thrilled to be able to jack into the matrix again, Case gets to work. With the help of Molly’s associate Finn and the Modern Panthers gang, Case simstims through Molly—that is, jacks into her sensory experiences—while she steals a construct housing a copy of legendary console cowboy McCoy “Dixie” Pauley’s intelligence. Later, the group finds out Armitage is controlled by Wintermute, an artificial intelligence (AI) owned by the Tessier-Ashpool corporation. Finn recalls an earlier encounter with another Tessier-Ashpool AI, Rio. With the Flatline Dixie’s help, Case discovers Armitage is a personality imposed on...

(The entire section is 777 words.)