Neuromancer Summary

Henry Dorsett Case is a thief who was punished with damage to his central nervous system therefore becomes very depressed and without a job. He is saved by Molly Millions, a street samurai,  and Armitage, an ex military officer, who promise to fix his nervous system. Case becomes involved in more crime and violence while working with them, falls in love with Molly, finds out Armitage is actually Corto, and gets a new girlfriend after Molly leaves him but only continues getting into trouble. 

Gibson’s writing style in this book is jam packed with details. There is a lot of imagery presented to us within the descriptions of characters, scenery, and terms. This helps move the plot of the novel along because instead of having to try and figure things out or come up with my own ideas of how a world is or what a character may look like Gibson describes everything in such intense detail that I don’t have to do these things. It’s easier to see this world then say Le Guin because her descriptions and world she created was more vague.  I found it easier to understand the characters and their missions and motives in this novel. Every foreign name or concept was explained, maybe  not immediately but somewhere down the line in the book which made it a more enjoyable read for me. The plot moves along with the details because you need the details to help you follow the plot!  Some may classify that characteristic as not challenging enough on the mind and as an “easy” read however I don’t think by giving extra detail it took away from the complexities of the story. 

Replicant or Android?

After watching Blade Runner there a few observations I was able to make. For a 1982 film this interpretation of the future was a bit too futuristic considering they were depicting the time period of 2019. However they did a good job of making it look different than the time period the movie was made. For example the cities and locations in the movie displayed a lot of technology in the terms of skyscrapers, screens, lights, space ships and other vehicles that people could fly around in. Even the citizens umbrellas had light up handles for the grey and rainy weather. The sound effects for the movie also went with the scenes featuring a lot of twinkling noises, space like effects, and suspenseful music. One film feature I enjoyed was the timing of the cuts and the movement of the camera throughout the film. The movement would focus on one thing with long shots but then also zoom in to close up shots at the perfect moments to capture the intentsity or drama of a scene. In addition to that the timing of the cuts were done nicely, one scene would be very slow and long but then it would quicly cut to another image keeping the film exciting. All of these things mentioned above display the difference between print-medium and visual medium. While watching Blade Runner I couldn’t help but to think of Phillip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”. Within the first five minutes of the movie there are notable similarities. In Blade Runner Replicants are very close to humans but lack emotional feelings just as Androids do in Dick’s novel. During the time frame of 6:10 to 7:30 of Blade runner we can see how Replicants resemble Androids. A detective is asking a man about what he would do if a turtle was struggling to flip back over in a desert to see if it would evoke emotional response. The man was getting annoyed with these questions and when the detective asks him about his mother he decides to shoot him. This is just like the Android’s posing as flesh and blood humans in Dick’s novel where they also posses no sense of empathy wand will just shoot someone without any feelings of remorse or regret. Are androids and replicants the same thing?

Gender Stereotypes

 

“A man wants his virility regarded. A woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect and subtle the indications of regard and appreciation. [Here] one is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience.”

I think that throughout this whole novel Le Guin is emphasizing that with gender fluidity it is possible for us to not be able to determine the usual stereotypical characteristics that are associated with females and males. The Gethenians in this novel have gender fluidity which makes It possible for people to judge solely based on their personalities and not their personalities associated with their gender. In our society today men do in fact still want their virility regarded as women want their femininity appreciated but in the sense of being equal to men. This novel touches on the different perspective people would have if genders weren’t a thing which is a cool spin on how a society would function.

Foundation

“It seems reasonable to assume that he used his science to determine the probable course of the history of the immediate future” (Asimov 70).

In this passage the reader can observe that history according to this novel shows a lot of intellect on what our future can hold. The members of the board of trustees overseeing the Encyclopedia Committee are trying to finish the Encyclopedia Galactica and are discussing what needs to be put in the encyclopedia in this passage. The protagonists use the past and it’s discoveries to broaden their creative advancements for the future. I think the discussion and form of narrative technique of Asimov’s texts reads more like a story in progression. The events discussed are mostly sequential and you need to be provided with some historical facts to understand the context with the book whereas in some of the other books we have read we are thrown into these utopias with minimal explanations about how things work.

Magazine Restriction?

In both of the magazine versions  of “The Time Machine” I read I noticed some slight differences in the writing from the book version we read for class. One thing I particularly found interesting was that the Utopia described in the magazine versions seemed less bizarre than the one described in the book version. On page 500 from “A.D. 12,203: A Glimpse of the Future” in the National Observer the time traveler says, “I looked more curiously and less fearfully at this world of the remote future” (500). Yes, the time traveler was intrigued by the new world of the future yet he wasn’t as scared in this version where in the book he did face a bit more of a panic upon arriving into the new atomosphere. I looked at some of the other articles that were in the National Observer that week with Wells and a lot of them focused on politics and social issues. I don’t think the magazines were trying to focus on radical ideas of what the world could be but on what was occurring in the present therefore they had Wells tone down his description of this “peculiar” future. I observed the same concept of the future being not so other worldly than the present time in Part 3 of the New Review. The time traveler states in this magazine excerpt that, “while such details are easy enough to obtain when the whole world is contained in one’s imagination, they are altogether inaccessible to a real traveller amid such realities I found here” (331). Here the time traveler is saying that the future was not so different from the present life he lived in whereas in the book it is evident that the world has changed dramatically. The book may have had more freedom in publishing a more scientific or heightened Utopia because a magazine wasn’t controlling what could be in the book or not. This was just one thing that I observed after reading the magazines compared to the book.