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neuromancer notes.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Mike Johnstone

Neuromancer Explores the increasing interaction between humans and machines and its possible consequences for political and economic power, the environment, popular culture, and the quality of life. Gibson: produced vision in time where people were haunted by idea of urban decay, crime rampant, corruption. Cyberpunk novel set in dystopian Japanese world. Low-lives forced together by the lure of money. Corporations as new form of government, free tech → weapons, surveillance is normalised. Characters: Case (Henry Dorsett Case) The novel's antihero, a drug addict and cyberspace hacker. Attempted to steal from some of his partners in crime. In retaliation they used a Russian mycotoxin to damage his nervous system and make him unable to jack into cyberspace. Armitage offers to cure him in exchange for Case's hacking abilities. He gets his liver and pancreas modified to biochemically nullify his ability to get high; meet the leatherclad Razorgirl, Molly; hang out with the drug-infused space- rastas; free an AI (Wintermute) and change the landscape of the Matrix. Recruited by Molly aka muscle to work for Armitage (broken army sergent named Corto controlled byA.I called Wintermute who's after anotherA.I. :Neuromancer) Molly A"Razorgirl/Muscle" recruited byArmitage. Extensive cybernetic modifications, including retractable, 4 cm double-edged blades under her fingernails which can be used like claws, an enhanced reflex system and implanted mirrored lenses covering her eyesockets, outfitted with added optical enhancements. Armitage (Colonel Willis Corto): Formerly a Green Beret. Took part in secret operation named Screaming Fist. Injured physically and psychologically. "Armitage" personality created as part of experimental "computer-mediated psychotherapy" by Wintermute, which is actually controlling the mission.Armitage's personality slowly disintegrates. He eventually believes that Case is his subordinate during Screaming Fist, and attempts to escape imagined Russian forces using the escape pod on the Marcus Garvey. Killed when he ejects into space with the airlock still open. Peter Riviera Athief/psychopath who projects holographic images using his implants. Drug addict (cocaine & meperedine) Lady 3Jane Marie-France Tessier-Ashpool Leader of Tessier-Ashpool SA, a company running Freeside, a resort in space. She lives in the tip of Freeside (Villa Straylight.) Controls hardwiring that keeps the company's AIs from exceeding their intelligence boundaries. Third clone of the original Jane. Hideo Japanese, ninja, Lady 3Jane's personal servitor and bodyguard. The Finn Molly's old friends. Equipped with debugging & sensor gear, ConfirmsArmitage's mycotoxin sac threat to Case. Wintermute uses his personality to talk with Case and Molly. Maelcum Case's Zionite pilot. Helps Case in penetrating Straylight. The Dixie Flatline (McCoy Pauley) Famous computer hacker. Died & survived three times (flatline) trying to crack an AI. Taught Case how to hack computers. Before his death, Sense/Net saved the contents of his mind onto a ROM. Case and Molly steal the ROM and Dixie helps them complete their mission. Wintermute Tessier-Ashpool AI. Goal: remove the Turing locks upon itself + combine with Neuromancer → superintelligence. Wintermute's efforts are hampered by those same Turing locks; in addition to preventing the merge, they inhibit its efforts to make long term plans or maintain a stable, individual identity (forcing it to adopt personality masks in order to interact with the main characters). Neuromancer Wintermute's siblingAI. Ability: copy minds and run them as RAM(not ROM like the Flatline construct), allowing stored personalities to grow and develop. Neuromancer X want to merge with its siblingAI – Neuromancer
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