Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I've always been a fan of the Cyberpunk genre, and Neuromancer is quite the example of this particular narrative style. What appeals to me is the high technology and low life aspects of it. Often the characters within a cyberpunk society are so overcome with technology, to the point where its even integrated into their own bodies (i.e. cyborgs) that they tend to lose site of what's really important in their lives. What's nice about Gibson in particular, is that he has this environmental narrative sort of way of telling his stories. He spends a lot of time introducing the whole environment and how it socially describes what's going on in the scene. Although some people tend to think it may be a kind of slow and boring approach, I enjoy it for its vast imagery. Plus, I appreciate for it's different method of storytelling. This method of storytelling is really visible right off the bat the way the story starts off. The opening scene is introduced as a sort of cyber bar, with all sorts of vulgar characters and people with prosthetic limbs, which really establishes the style. Of course the story is also set in Japan, which is pretty common for this genre considering how densely overpopulated Japan is with not only people but also advanced technology. The lead male protagonist in Neuromancer is a washed up hacker with a drug addiction and a damaged nervous system by the name of Henry Case. He meets up with Molly Millions, who happens to be a reoccurring female lead in Gibson's stories, who offers to help Case end his drug addiction if he offers his hacker abilities to help her out. I should probably mention too that this lead heroine is certainly no damsel in distress. She pretty much sets the bar for the cyberpunk female lead: a total badass street-smart girl that can certainly take care of herself. The characters go on a series of hacking missions for Armitage, who they barely know and investigate as the story goes along. They eventually meet up with the artificial intelligent Wintermute, who is one half of the same Super AI when paired with Neuromancer. They discover that Armitage is kind of a split personality in a way, with is other half being his old self, Corto.

I love how the stories within this genre kind of have a puzzle-solving element with trying to figure out who's AI and who's not. It's like you're not sure who's a human being and who's not, and I think that really attributes to the whole "we're totally screwed" atmosphere. That's why typically the protagonist is the only person with any sense of hope in the whole Dystopian world. Gibson's stories really inspire me, and I'd look forward to reading more of them in lieu of working on my own stories.

1 comment:

  1. hmm, my hub teaches graphics at the college level, but his BFA is in Animation from SVA NY, and MFA from Academy of Art SFrancisco.
    You sound very much alike.

    I agree about Molly Millions, but I suggest you do a google for authors of cyberpunk, or check out the cyberpunk board at FB

    be well