Gibson Carries a Microscope Le Guin, a Map.

Emotional strained cyber hacker is “saved” by a cool warrior chick who takes him on an adventure back into his old life of crime and takes away his drug addiction. But . . . its not what he thinks and he’s dragged into a huge crazy mess of crime, drugs, fighting, old girlfriends, and ninjas. After its all over he gets paid, gets a new girlfriend, and does his best to become a drug addict again because that’s a good thing.

There are moments in Neuromancer that are so up close its as if Gibson is looking through a microscope at every object in the room and explaining to us what he sees.  I wonder if it is even important to know these small details and if the story would be the same without them, but because he is mentioning them, they seem important. For example, the moment he describes the gun he picks up from the black market and we find out the kind of gun it is a model of a model of. The plastic. The feel of the gun at night. It can be compared to Le Guin’s foray guns of which we are only briefly told shoot metal, like human guns, unlike the sonic guns that seem to just make you feel uncomfortable or pass out.  On that note, the guns in The left hand of darkness are less important it seems than the gun in Neuromancer.  Maybe they are just as important but they aren’t given as much thought and detail.  We don’t particularly know what any of Le Guin’s guns look like let alone feel like. The story is still just as interesting and has just as much that can be said about it.  What ends up happening is that we get an enormous sprawling and mystical landscape from Le Guin, or a map of a new world where we take in what is necessary, and from Gibson we are force fed sensory information that seems unnecessary but because we as readers generally trust that an author will only tell us what we need to know for the story to go on, we try to make meaning from sensory overload.

Author: Celephaïs

In the valley of Ooth-Nargai, beside the Cerenerian Sea, is Celephaïs, the living city of dreams, untouched by time.

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