Neuromancer Study Guide

Neuromancer Study Guide - Study Guide for William Gibson:...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Study Guide for William Gibson: Neuromancer (1984) http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/science_fiction/neuromancer.html 1 of 12 1/23/2008 1:51 PM Study Guide for William Gibson: Neuromancer (1984) Using this Guide List of other study guides Doing research on science fiction? Check out the Science Fiction Research Bibliography. See also Literature, Cyberpunk Sci-Fi, Cyberspace, Critical Theory: An Overview Chapter 1 , Chapter 2 , Chapter 3 , Chapter 4 , Chapter 5 , Chapter 6 , Chapter 7 , Chapter 9 , Chapter10 , Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 , Chapter 14 , Chapter 15 , Chapter 16 , Chapter 17 , Chapter 18 , Chapter 19 , Chapter 20 , Chapter 21 , Chapter 22 , Chapter 23 Coda Introduction When Neuromancer by William Gibson was first published it created a sensation. Or perhaps it would be more precise to say that it was used to create a sensation, for Bruce Sterling and other Gibson associates declared that a new kind of science fiction had appeared which rendered merely ordinary SF obsolete. Informed by the amoral urban rage of the punk subculture and depicting the developing human-machine interface created by the widespread use of computers and computer networks, set in the near future in decayed city landscapes like those portrayed in the film Blade Runner it claimed to be the voice of a new generation. (Interestingly, Gibson himself has said he had finished much of what was to be his body of early cyberpunk fiction before ever seeing Blade Runner. ) Eventually it was seized on by hip "postmodern" academics looking to ride the wave of the latest trend. Dubbed "cyberpunk," the stuff was being talked about everywhere in SF. Of course by the time symposia were being held on the subject, writers declared cyberpunk dead, yet the stuff kept being published and it continues to be published today by writers like K. W. Jeter and Rudy Rucker . Perhaps the best and most representative anthology of cyberpunk writers is Mirrorshades., edited by Sterling, the genre's most outspoken advocate. But cyberpunk's status as the revolutionary vanguard was almost immediately challenged. Its narrative techniques, many critics pointed out, were positively reactionary compared to the experimentalism of mid-60s "new wave" SF. One of the main sources of its vision was William S. Burroughs ' quasi-SF novels like Nova Express , (1964), and the voice of Gibson's narrator sounded oddly like a slightly updated version of old Raymond Chandler novels like The Big Sleep, (1939). Others pointed out that almost all of cyberpunk's characteristics could be found in the works of older writers such as J. G. Ballard , Philip K. Dick , Harlan Ellison , or Samuel R. Delany . Most damning of all, it didn't seem to have been claimed by the generation it claimed to represent. Real punks did little reading, and the vast majority of young SF readers preferred to stick with traditional storytellers such as Larry Niven , Anne McCaffrey and even Robert Heinlein . Gibson's prose was too dense and tangled for casual readers, so it is not surprising that he gained more of a
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course COLA Arts of Ex taught by Professor Davidkramer during the Winter '07 term at RIT.

Page1 / 12

Neuromancer Study Guide - Study Guide for William Gibson:...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online