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Course Hero. "Neuromancer Study Guide." Course Hero. 11 Aug. 2017. Web. 15 Nov. 2018. <>.

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Course Hero. (2017, August 11). Neuromancer Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from

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(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "Neuromancer Study Guide." August 11, 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018.


Course Hero, "Neuromancer Study Guide," August 11, 2017, accessed November 15, 2018,

Neuromancer | Plot Summary

See Plot Diagram


Part 1: Chiba City Blues

It is the 21st century, and a data thief named Case is living in Chiba City, Japan. He used to make his living stealing data via cyberspace, but he got greedy and tried to profit from one of his thefts. His employers caught him and damaged his nervous system with a Russian toxin as punishment. One effect is that he can't go online anymore. As a result, Case is just barely getting by as a low-level hustler. His girlfriend Linda Lee tells him someone is trying to kill him, but while Case is checking this out, she breaks into his hotel room and steals his belongings.

A man named Armitage sends Molly to recruit Case for a job. As payment, Armitage offers to repair Case's nervous system so he can go online again. Case takes the job. After the surgery, Case and Molly become lovers. When the two are out looking for dinner, a group of criminals kills Linda Lee.

Part 2: The Shopping Expedition

Case, Molly, and Armitage travel to North America, to "the Sprawl" stretching from Boston to Atlanta, a place Case calls home. Armitage tells Case the surgeons didn't just give him a new pancreas, which restores his ability to jack into cyberspace; they also implanted 15 sacs full of the same toxin Case's previous employers used to destroy his nervous system to blackmail him and make sure he finishes the job. Molly takes Case to visit a tech expert called the Finn, who scans Case's body to see whether Armitage is telling the truth about the toxin or not. The Finn says that this sort of implant is too subtle to show up. Once the eight days pass, Case jacks into cyberspace successfully. Case is so happy to be home, he weeps with joy. The Finn, whom Armitage hired as tech support, fits Molly with "simstim" technology to broadcast what she senses.

Case experiences Molly's perceptions via simstim as she contacts the Panther Modern gang. Case then spends days in cyberspace, cutting through the protective measures guarding Sense/Net, a corporate data personality library. Once he does, he disrupts the organization's systems at a distance. Molly breaks in to steal a storage unit containing the recorded personality of Dixie Flatline, a hacker, but is injured in the process. As the Panther Moderns conclude negotiations with Case, they pass on a brief, cryptic message: "Wintermute."

After Molly receives medical treatment for her injuries, Case discretely shares the term "Wintermute" with her. Molly consults the Finn, who tells them it's the name of an AI owned by the Tessier-Ashpool Corporation. Case turns on the construct holding the memories of the dead Dixie Flatline and discusses the job with it. Now that he is turned back on, Dixie Flatline takes a mentor position to Case. He guides him to a section of the matrix where he can get more background on Armitage. Case discovers Armitage used to be a soldier named Corto, part of the Screaming Fist mission. Corto was terribly injured in a helicopter accident and needed extensive surgery and rehab. He became schizophrenic when it was over, until a computer healed him.

Armitage, Molly, and Case fly to Istanbul. The Finn is already there waiting for them. Case and Molly meet with someone named Terzibashjian, who guides them to the next member of their team: Peter Riviera. Riviera had a lung removed and replaced it with technology that lets him project holograms of others' imaginings. They track Riviera into the old bazaar and gather him by force. Molly has read a profile about him and shares that he's a sociopath who gets sexual satisfaction from betraying those he loves.

Part 3: Midnight in the Rue Jules Verne

Case, Molly, Armitage, and Riviera fly to Paris and then take a shuttle to a space colony called Zion, founded by Rastafarian workers who refused to return to Earth. The team prepares for their raid on Freeside, another space station. The Elders of Zion tell Case and Molly that she is part of their religious prophecy and that Wintermute spoke to them through their worship music, telling them to help Case and Molly. Case consults Dixie about how to hack an AI, and they give it a trial run. Case flatlines and dies briefly. Wintermute uses visions from Case's past to communicate with him and explain their mission: Wintermute is part of a larger entity, and Case is helping them unite.

Molly and Case travel to Freeside, where they meet up with Armitage and Riviera. Armitage gives everyone their tasks. Case returns to the tugboat Marcus Garvey, where he and Dixie begin running a virus to hack the target AI. Because it will take several hours, Case goes off to explore Freeside and manages to find drugs that will bypass his modified pancreas and let him get high. Later, Case goes with Armitage and Molly to the colony's most expensive restaurant, where Riviera uses his holographic projection talent to put on a show. It tells a pornographic story about Molly. Still hungover from the drugs, Case feels ill and leaves. When he returns, Molly is gone. He gets Dixie to find her room, and he enlists some former drug dealers to help him find his way there. Once he finds Molly's room, she tells him the story of how she paid for her surgical augmentation by working as a special kind of prostitute with an implanted chip that blocked the memories of what she did. After Case leaves Molly's room, he gets high again and spends the night walking around. When he returns to his hotel room, the Turing police arrest him.

Part 4: The Straylight Run

The Turing police interrogate Case and suggest he is betraying the human race by helping an AI escape its limits. Eventually they leave, planning to take Case back to Earth. However, Wintermute takes over a security drone and a gardening robot and kills the Turing cops.

Case returns to the tug that brought him to Freeside, and he and Dixie begin hacking Tessier-Ashpool. Case flatlines again, a potential danger of jacking into cyberspace. While he's clinically dead, Wintermute gives him visions of Villa Straylight. Case then uses his simstim link to follow along with Molly as she penetrates the villa. She encounters one of the members of the Ashpool clan about to commit suicide. He falls asleep while talking to Molly, and she kills him.

Case checks in with Armitage and Dixie and then returns to following Molly. Dixie sends a message indicating Armitage is falling apart. When Case returns from cyberspace, he learns Armitage has devolved back into Corto, his original personality. He is once again experiencing the battle in which he was injured. He uses the escape pod on the space yacht he is on, but Wintermute tinkers with it. The pod isn't airtight when Armitage takes off, and he dies.

Case rejoins Molly via simstim. She reaches an area full of Riviera's holographic visions. She passes them to enter a large space with a pool, where she finds a boy, a girl, and 3Jane—the most active face of the Tessier-Ashpool plan. The boy dives into the pool. Molly throws a grenade and then collapses. When she wakes up, she is in restraints. Case listens in via simstim as 3Jane interrogates Molly and Riviera tortures her.

The Rastafarian pilot flies them physically to the space station, and he and Case enter Villa Straylight to save Molly. Case still listens in periodically as they approach, and he hears Molly try to get 3Jane to give her the code Wintermute needs. As Case and the pilot get closer, Wintermute appears to Case on a computer monitor and tells him to jack into cyberspace. When he does, Case sees a very different reality. He is on a beach and encounters his dead girlfriend Linda Lee. Considerable time seems to pass, and Case realizes it isn't Wintermute doing this but another entity. The other entity eventually speaks to Case directly, identifying itself as "Neuromancer."

Case jacks out of the realm and joins the pilot to try to save Molly. When they enter the room, the Tessier-Ashpool clan's assassin shoots the pilot with an arrow. Riviera emerges from the shadows and tells Case both Case and Molly will die there. 3Jane then emerges, and they talk about what is happening. When Riviera tries to shoot Case, the assassin shoots the gun out of his hands. Riviera responds by shooting lasers into the man's eyes and blinding him. However, the assassin is so skilled that he can chase Riviera blind—and does so. The pilot then pulls a gun on 3Jane, forcing her to release Molly. Everyone then rides an elevator to the center of Villa Straylight.

In cyberspace, Case and Dixie penetrate Tessier-Ashpool's defenses. Case once again sees Neuromancer, who invites him to live there as a construct. In the physical world, 3Jane gives Molly the code, and Case wakes up.

Coda: Departure and Arrival

An indefinite amount of time passes. Case and Molly lived through the event and were a couple until her need for battle led her to take another job. In the hotel room they shared, Case reflects on what happened. Wintermute and Neuromancer fused into a larger entity. The new entity altered computer records, so there is no record of its existence, and paid Case a lot of money. The entity is now the matrix and is talking to another similar entity in a distant solar system. Case buys himself a new liver and pancreas and a new deck he can use to jack into the matrix. He starts working again as a cyber cowboy. At one point in the matrix he sees three figures: the boy who had been the other AI, Linda, and himself. Case never sees Molly again.

Neuromancer Plot Diagram

123456789101112131415ClimaxResolutionIntroductionRising ActionFalling Action


1 Armitage hires Case and repairs his nervous system.

Rising Action

2 Case and Molly steal Dixie Flatline's recorded personality.

3 Case, Molly, and Armitage go to Istanbul to recruit Riviera.

4 The team goes to Freeside; the Turing police arrest Case.

5 Wintermute uses robots to kill the Turing police.

6 Case and Dixie launch a cyber attack on Tessier-Ashpool.

7 Armitage devolves back into Corto, and Wintermute kills him.

8 Molly attacks 3Jane, but she collapses and is taken captive.

9 Case and Maelcum enter Villa Straylight to rescue Molly.

10 Maelcum pressures 3Jane to supply the code Wintermute needs.


11 Case penetrates the Tessier-Ashpool defense system .

Falling Action

12 Wintermute and Neuromancer become a larger entity.

13 Molly leaves Case for a new adventure.

14 Wintermute becomes the matrix and contacts other AIs.


15 Case returns to hacking computer systems.

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