William Gibson’s Neuromancer Fits the Definition of Cyberpunk

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William Gibson’s Neuromancer Fits the Definition of Cyberpunk

What is cyberpunk? What criteria must be entailed to fall into this category? In hopes of coming to an understandable definition this elusive category of cyberpunk I turned to the article “Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Science Fiction - Preface from Mirrorshades”, to illustrate how Neuromancer follows the cyberpunk category. The first part of the definition is the “certain central themes [that] come up repeatedly in cyberpunk. The theme of body invasion: prosthetic limbs, implanted circuitry, cosmetic surgery, genetic alteration. The even more powerful theme of mind invasion: brain - computer interfaces, artificial intelligence, neurochemistry - techniques radically redefining the nature of humanity, the nature of self” (346). Another aspect of cyberpunk that sets it apart from science-fiction is that “cyberpunk is widely known for its telling use of detail, its carefully constructed intricacy, its willingness to carry extrapolation into the fabric of daily life” (348). Lastly, to complete this definition is the use of “[m]any drugs, like rock and roll, are definite high-tech products” (346). William Gibson’s Neuromancer fits this definition of cyberpunk because, there is extensive use of the theme of body invasion, he uses explicit detail in the extrapolation of the matrix, and there is an important usage of drugs and music in the novel.

In the beginning of Neuromancer when Molly first enters into the story one of the first description he uses is her mirrorshades, “ the glasses were surgically inset, sealing her sockets” (24). The use of these glasses are an issue all the way to the end of the story when he realizes that, “I never even found out what color her eyes were” (268). I think that this is an important element in the story, because Molly is a very elusive character. The mere fact that her eyes remain hidden from virtually everyone signifies that she remains unattached and aloof. If the eyes are the doorway to your soul, then Molly was keeping the door shut. Maybe, this was to protect her from becoming too attached to anyone. In the article “Preface form Mirrorshades”, it is stated “[b]y hiding the eyes, mirrorshades prevent the forces of normalcy from realizing that one is crazed and possibly dangerous” (344). If that was the reason that Molly’s eyes were covered then it possibly was more of a way for her to fit the character of the bodyguard, and tough girl.

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