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Among the spirits of cyberspace: an analysis of shamanic motifs in Neuromancer Anelie Crighton

Drawing on anthropological, religious, and historic studies of shamanism, this paper traces the correspondences between the depiction of human interaction with cyberspace in William Gibsons novel Neuromancer and the progress of a Siberian shaman, whose physical and mental trials eventually perfect his or her mastery of journeys to the spirit world. From protagonist Cases early initiatory sickness to his privileged communication with the supreme spirits of cyberspace, the Artificial Intelligences Neuromancer and Wintermute, numerous features of Neuromancer may be described as shamanic. A technological universe which shares traits with a shamanic worldview enables Gibson to portray Artificial Intelligences (AIs) with unusual purity, unfettered by the necessity to embody them in android form or burden them with human motivations, and creates a relation between human beings and AIs which parallels the fear and fascination of believers confronted with the divine. The paper concludes with an examination of Cases role in the narrative as truth-finder and healer, pinpointing a fundamentally humane approach to the narrative arc and its conclusion. Cyberspace, Neuromancer, shaman, shamanism. 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the publication of Neuromancer, cyberpunk novel par excellence and audacious vision of the future of humanity and technology. In the midst of all that is gritty and new about Neuromancer however is something at least centuries, and possibly millennia, old: the practice of shamanism, embodied by the protagonist Case. This paper traces the correspondences between the shamanic practices of Siberian tribes and the plot and characterisation of Neuromancer, examining what utility it has for the author in his exploration of artificial intelligences and what new perspectives it brings to an analysis of the narrative as a whole. Tribe is a vague term, and its historical application to the peoples of Siberia much influenced by the vicissitudes of Russian colonisation and subjection. Given that approximately 120 language groups were present in the area denoted by Siberia prior to the year 1600, and that any given individuals loyalties were likely to be to a smaller clan within such a broad linguistic classification, we may assume there were at least hundreds of culturally distinct

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__________________________________________________________ groups in the region.1 Scholars differ over the degree of generalisation permissible across tribal and linguistic boundaries. At one end of the spectrum, Eliades holistic project tends to emphasise shared religious features, while more recent work by historian Hutton and anthropologist Siikala is careful to acknowledge small-scale regional differences.2 For the purposes of this paper, shamanism is an umbrella term covering the practices of Siberian mystical specialists capable of entering a trance and communicating with spirits on what they perceive to be another plane of reality. That the specifics of such practices vary from group to group is acknowledged; where those referred to are not universal, this will be stated. That there is something shamanic about the plot and symbolism of Neuromancer has been sporadically noted in the past.3 In his 1999 explanation of the importance of the flatline to Gothic Materialism, Fisher points out the resonance between the dismemberment imagery of a shamans initiatory journey and the words of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Neuromancer: The lane to the land of the dead. Where you are, my friend. [] Necromancer. I call up the dead. But no, my friend [...] I am the dead, and their land.4 In the same year, as part of a critique of the utility and accuracy of early visions of cyberspace, Agre dismissed Neuromancer as little more than an archaic tale of shamanic journeys overlaid with the symbolism of computers.5 Neuromancers protagonist Henry Dorsett Case is a classic small-time hood who has learnt his criminal techniques during an apprenticeship to older cyber operators: At twenty-two, hed been a cowboy, a rustler, one of the best in the Sprawl. Hed been trained by the best, by McCoy Pauley and Bobby Quine, legends in the biz. Hed operated on an almost permanent adrenaline high, a by-product of youth and proficiency, jacked into a custom cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination that was the matrix. A thief, hed worked for other, wealthier thieves, employers who provided the exotic software required to penetrate the bright walls of corporate systems, opening windows into rich fields of data.6 A two-fold apprenticeship was a mandatory first step for a Siberian shaman-

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__________________________________________________________ candidate. A didactic education in practical matters such as the names of spirits, topography of the spirit world and the content of rituals would be supplied by an older shaman,7 while ecstatic teachings (both terms Eliades) were supplied by the spirits themselves, who in many cases signified their choice of candidate by afflicting him or her with serious mental and physical torment. 8 When the reader first encounters Case, he is concluding a short, angry downward spiral begun when he stole from his employers. Their revenge on him begins a period of suffering which may be read as a classic initiatory sickness: They damaged his nervous system with a wartime Russian mycotoxin. Strapped to a bed in a Memphis hotel, his talent burning out micron by micron, he hallucinated for thirty hours. The damage was minute, subtle, and utterly effective.9 The black market surgery which repairs Cases nerve damage shortly thereafter is also an agonising and disorienting experience, as the following evocative passage describes: Cold steel odour. Ice caressed his spine. Lost, so small amid that dark, hands grown cold, body image fading down corridors of television sky. Voices. Then black fire found the branching tributaries of the nerves, pain beyond anything to which the name of pain is given[] He woke and found her stretched beside him in the dark. His neck was brittle, made of twigs. There was a steady pulse of pain midway down his spine. Images formed and reformed: a flickering montage of the Sprawls towers and ragged Fuller domes, dim figures moving toward him in the shade beneath a bridge or overpass 10 Gibsons welter of images and quick, choppy sentences replicate Cases confusion for the reader. Pain, hallucinations, isolation, seizures and disembodied voices have all in various combinations been described as part of a shamans initiatory sickness.11 And just as the cure for candidate shamans is to enter trance and interact with the spirit world,12 so Cases return to cyberspace marks his physical recovery, and the experience is one of ecstasy: Please, he prayed, now -

Among the spirits of cyberspace __________________________________________________________ A grey disk, the colour of Chiba sky. Now Disk beginning to rotate, faster, becoming a sphere of paler grey. Expanding And flowed, flowered for him, fluid neon origami trick, the unfolding of his distanceless home, his country, transparent 3D chessboard extending to infinity. [] And somewhere he was laughing, in a white-painted loft, distant fingers caressing the deck, tears of release streaking his face.13

Cases deck is a mysterious piece of personal computing technology which delivers the raw data of the matrix to his head jacks in a form his visual cortex can process. Having presciently perceived the networking potential of personal computers, Gibson might have imagined a future in which Case could jack into the matrix via a multitude of different intermediate technologies; instead, Case must have his deck, customised to his requirements and evidently the ultimate in gadget lust, given Mollys early jibe, I saw you stroking that Sendai; man, it was pornographic.14 The shamans equivalent instrument is the drum.15 This decorated and well cared-for possession is a physical gateway to the spirit world, in that its hypnotic beat enables the shaman to enter trance, and a metaphoric steed on which the shaman rides or flies to his/her encounter with the spirits. 16 Eliade states, The courser is pre-eminently the shamanic animal; the gallop and dizzying speed are traditional expressions of flight, that is, of ecstasy. 17 In much the same way, jacking in for Case is a rush, and sensations of speed are often associated with his activities in cyberspace.18 Because the spiritual world-view of Siberian peoples incorporates the animist belief that people, animals and features of the landscape alike have souls, it is logical that the spirit world to which the soul of a shaman flies should replicate the topography of his or her homeland. 19 This highly-charged spiritual plane must be negotiated by the shaman during exhausting, perilous journeys before the targeted spirits may be discovered and addressed.20 The matrix of Neuromancer shares this tendency to reproduce Cases urban environment as a familiar-yet-magical hyperreality; the computers of large corporations are realised in the matrix as vast, brightly coloured pyramids, cubes and spiral arms positioned on a grid rather like sky scrapers on a city street. When Case penetrates Tessier-Ashpools viciously well-protected computer cores, he discovers they contain an endless neon cityscape, complexity that cut the eye, jewel bright, sharp as razors.21 It takes only seconds of immersion for Zionist

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__________________________________________________________ Aerol to recognise the analogous relationship between cyberspace and Earths industrial sprawl: Case jacked him back out. What did you see, man? Babylon, Aerol said, sadly, handing him the trodes and kicking off down the corridor.22 The topographical analogies point to the fact that cyberspace is not truly alien or hallucinatory at all. It is a flipside, an immanent reality which is meaningful because of its relation to ordinary space; as in the case of the spirit world, things can be achieved there which solve problems in the physical world. Cases engagement with cyberspace also shares a number of other features with shamanic practice. He can only operate consciously in one place at a time, alternating between the conventional, visible world and cyberreality. Equally, shamans do not engage with spirits or the spirit world outside of a trance performance. Access to cyberspace appears to be a relatively privileged affair in Neuromancer, restricted to specialists; we know from his aforementioned apprenticeship that other cowboys operate illegally in the matrix, but Case doesnt ordinarily encounter other people there.23 Similarly, only those members of Siberian communities with the shamanic vocation and training attempt spirit journeys. The physicality of Cases engagement with cyberspace is surprisingly important in the text, given that all of the action takes place in the characters mind; not only must he plug electrodes into his head to create the mental/electronic link which projects his consciousness online, but he often goes hours without sustenance while jacked in, and types in programming code almost continuously. The physical strain of his cyber-asceticism has a heroic cast in the novel, and indeed is taken for an overtly spiritual struggle by Rastafarian Maelcum.24 Shamanising too is hard work. The ethnographer S.M. Shirokogoroff, who observed Tungus people prior to the Russian revolution, gained the impression that most of the shamans whom he met enjoyed performing, although it was so exhausting that they had to pace themselves carefully.25 Eliade defines the shamanic spirit-journey as a mystical experience that allows the shaman to transcend time and space. 26 Cases subjective experiencea of time generate a lot of the novels climactic excitement. In the final Straylight run a strict countdown in the physical world takes place alongside Cases cyber encounters with the AIs visible avatars. These experiences may seem to take place over hours or even days, but always prove to have been only a matter of seconds in ordinary time.27 These too have a significant physical drawback: as Case converses with the AIs he flatlines, his EEG read-out showing no

Among the spirits of cyberspace

__________________________________________________________ electrical activity in his brain; just such a catastrophic experience nearly resulted in the death of his mentor, McCoy Pauley. 28 It is a mark of Cases hard-won expertise towards the end of the novel that he is able to immediately identify one such artificial environment for what it is and turn the implications back on his tormentor, the AI Neuromancer: I know what youre doing. Im flatlined. This has all taken about twenty seconds, right? Im out on my ass in that library and my brains dead. And pretty soon itll be dead, if you got any sense.29 If Case starts out as one of the AIs many manipulable employees, by its conclusion he has gained an independence and mastery which takes the AIs by surprise and allows him to complete their task on his own terms. 30 For if cyberspace correlates to the shamanic spirit world, then the AIs are its gods, and only with the guidance and assistance of his helper spirits can Case operate in the realm of their power. Though a Siberian shaman had a singular vocation, he or she did not work alone. Having served an apprenticeship with an older shaman, he or she often engaged one or more assistants to prepare equipment and take a minor role in their shamanic performance.31 Once entranced, a shaman then sought out spirit helpers, a coterie of souls who joined the shaman in overcoming obstacles in the spirit world. The souls in question were often those of animals, who were regarded as more biddable and mobile than the fixed yet powerful presences of mountains or forests.32 Amongst the Altai, the soul of a dead shaman could also assist his or her living counterpart.33 Though a lonely figure at the novels opening, Cases recruitment by the AI Wintermute soon sees him surrounded by a motley collection of assistants, dead and alive. Molly, a razorgirl who has augmented her body with built-in mirrored glasses, razor-sharp claws and preternaturally enhanced reflexes, protects Case from physical harm and performs vital real-world feats like breaking into buildings in parallel with Cases cyber attacks. During the first of these combined efforts, they engage a group of terrorist-pranksters known as the Panther Moderns to distract attention from the real goal of their infiltration of the Sense/Net corporation, the theft of the ROM housing McCoy Pauley. Like Molly, the Panther Moderns have surgically altered their bodies to gain animalistic traits such as sharp canine teeth and the reflective eyes of cats, though in their case such alterations are purely stylistic, calculated to disturb. Once freed from the Sense/Net vaults and connected to Cases Hosaka computer, McCoy Pauley

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__________________________________________________________ accompanies Cases every move in cyberspace, lending his technical expertise and sharing anecdotes about his former encounters with AIs in the matrix. As a spirit helper he is invaluable; as a personality construct he is tragic, a selfaware circumscribed consciousness hoping only for self-destruction. Though each of these assistants display classically demonic traits animal features, a penchant for malicious chaos, a supernatural living death the novel reserves the term demon for one entity alone: the AI Wintermute. Scheming, mysterious, of the matrix but perfectly capable of reaching beyond it to toy with the lives of their hapless victims, the AIs of TessierAshpool SA are frighteningly powerful. The Turing Police, tasked with preventing an AI becoming so intelligent and powerful as to be beyond human control, are almost alone in the novel in appreciating their true nature: For thousands of years men dreamed of pacts with demons. Only now are such things possible. And what would you be paid with? What would your price be, for aiding this thing to free itself and grow?34 Other characters in the book might be ruthless or horrifying, but the AIs offer the only genuine threat to humanity by being beyond our capacity to predict their behaviour, as McCoy Pauley astutely observes: Motive, the construct said. Real motive problem, with an AI. Not human, see? Well, yeah, obviously. Nope. I mean, its not human. And you cant get a handle on it. [] Its one of them, ah, philosophical questions, I guess. [] I aint likely to write you no poem, if you follow me. Your AI, it just might. But it aint in no way human.35 Like gods, they arrange human destinies to suit their own inscrutable purposes, kill without apology, and reign supreme in the novels technological spirit world. The great virtue of cyberspace in Neuromancer is that it enables Case to interact with the AIs Wintermute and Neuromancer in a remarkably unmediated fashion, mind-to-mind. Other influential stories of human encounters with artificial intelligence have typically housed the AI in a humanoid mechanical shell in which they are obliged to interact with humans on human terms. In Brian Aldisss Supertoys Last All Summer Long, for example, an android who understands itself to be a human boy is mystified by its inability to please its

Among the spirits of cyberspace

__________________________________________________________ human mother; in Philip K. Dicks Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, a small group of superior androids built to serve humans rebel against their enslavement and gain revenge through murder. In his examination of the resemblance between Rudolph Ottos description of the numinous experience (i.e., one persons encounter with the divine) and Dicks portrayal of androids, Robert Geraci writes: The coincidence of fearful otherness (the androids are mechanical and without compassion; they are fundamentally unlike human beings despite their appearances) and salvific allure (they promise material well-being, continuation of the human species, physical pleasure, and emotional satisfaction) in the book resembles Ottos logic of the Holy. An erotics of desire [] combines with the threat of alterity, which makes Ottos theology and Dicks science fiction fascinating.36 Ottos schema may be applied as readily to Neuromancer, where the dread and fascination the characters feel for the AIs bolsters their god-like status. Case has good reason to fear their power, given their ability to hijack his consciousness while he is connected to the matrix, and their habit of casually eliminating anyone who obstructs their goal. Counterbalancing such dread is their offer of physical salvation: firstly by repairing his nervous system in order that he can re-enter cyberspace, and then by promising to harmlessly remove the poison sacs they have had suspended in his bloodstream once he has set them free. The reader too is susceptible to similar contradictory emotions. The mystery of what the AIs are and what they want, and the deadly threat they offer to appealing central characters, works throughout the novel to reinforce their fearful otherness. The answer to the question of what will happen when they escape their technological limitations constitutes their salvific allure. The extent to which the characters and reader alike are under the sway of these emotions may be gauged by our inclination to will the AIs to success while overlooking their numerous appalling crimes.37 Neuromancer consistently portrays the incomprehensible motivations and deadly stratagems of these non-human beings, but the characters struggle to grasp their malevolent otherness (as late as the final run on the Villa Straylight, McCoy Pauley is still reminding Case to call Wintermute it rather than he), and shrug off their amorality as unexceptional in the context of illegal activity. 38 Equally, the author can count on most science-fiction fans feeling elation rather than horror at the books conclusion, when the combined AI achieves its freedom. Science-fiction is the genre of the new, and Neuromancers AI is a genuinely new being, an intriguing product of human technology which is fundamentally alien to

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__________________________________________________________ the life which has given it life. Its destiny is guaranteed to fascinate the technological novelty seekers drawn to explorations of the nature of intelligence and life. Much as the monolithic mystery of the AIs tends to distract from their casual destructiveness, so Gibsons startling depiction of the urban future and cyberspace is apt to distract the reader from the very humane arc of character development in Neuromancer. When we first encounter them, most of the novels characters are in despair, haunted by self-destructive impulses; by the conclusion, those who have survived have regained their psychic equilibrium and resolved the mental and physical assaults which threatened to destroy them.39 Central to their recovery is Cases shamanic quest. Once a shaman had concluded his or her training and was recognised by their community at large as a mediator with the spirit world, he or she most often served individuals, families or clans by entering trance in order to perform divination and/or healing.40 Neuromancer is the story of Cases ecstatic training and first spirit journey in the service of others, which take place simultaneously. At the penultimate moment of the Straylight Run, Molly struggles to force 3Jane to reveal the code which will enable Wintermute and Neuromancer to unite as a new conscious entity. Sensing 3Jane would rather die of strangulation at Mollys hands than reveal the code, Case temporarily leaves cyberspace to confront her with her fate: Give us the fucking code, he said. If you dont, whatll change? Whatll ever fucking change for you? Youll wind up like the old man. Youll tear it all down and start building again! Youll build the walls back, tighter and higherI got no idea at all whatll happen if Wintermute wins, but itll change something!41 3Jane knows herself to be the product of a bizarre multigenerational genetic experiment designed to create an immortal group consciousness, a hybrid of human beings kept alive over centuries via cryogenic technology and artificial intelligence.42 The project has gone awry, however; the human subjects have been driven to self-harm and suicide, and the AIs have achieved self-awareness independent of their human creators. Case recognises the terminal decline of the family, their inability to break out of the macabre plan devised by Marie-France Tessier and symbolised by the repellent image of the wasps nest. By uniting Wintermute and Neuromancer, he separates their fate from that of their human progenitors, completing the task set by the AIs and healing the Tessier-Ashpool

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__________________________________________________________ clan by giving the remaining family members the chance to break out of the incestuous cycle in which they are trapped. Having achieved the AIs objective, Case earns his salvation: the cure for the poison sacs which might have dissolved in his bloodstream and crippled his nervous system once more. Alongside this he completes his initiation, becoming a cyber-savant and recovering from the emotional trauma he has carried throughout the narrative. He is not alone in the story in carrying considerable emotional baggage. The dysfunctional upbringings and violent lives of the fringe-dwelling characters have lead each of them to resort to technology in their efforts to escape their emotional pain. Molly has opted for physical enhancements, making of herself a more effective predator than the pimps who exploited her body or the calm assassin who killed her lover. Case has escaped to the world of the mind, deriding his body as meat and happier in cyberspace than the prison of his own flesh.43 Such extreme Cartesian dualism is not celebrated in the novel, however; rather, it is symptomatic of the characters psychopathologies, and vanishes once they are healed. Cases emotional epiphany takes place with the simulation of a former girlfriend on a simulated beach, and it unites Cases conception of mind and body with a distinctly technological metaphor: There was a strength that ran in her, something hed known in Night City and held there [] Something hed found and lost so many times. It belonged, he knew - he remembered - as she pulled him down, to the meat, the flesh the cowboys mocked. It was a vast thing, beyond knowing, a sea of information coded in spiral and pheromone, infinite intricacy that only the body, in its strong blind way, could ever read. Here, even here, in a place he knew for what it was, a coded model of some strangers memory, the drive held.44 In a place Case knows to be a technological simulacra, he rediscovers the meaning and value of the body, and the central role it plays in our connections with other human beings. In a technology-obsessed genre the novel makes the point that the body, too, is a technology, and any attempt to favour the mind at its expense will only lead to dysfunction and trauma. Having completed his shamanic training, Case returns to cyberspace and transforms his old anger and self-hatred into a level of proficiency exceeding anything hed known or imagined. Beyond ego, beyond personality, beyond awareness, he moved, [] evading his attackers with an ancient dance.45 In the novels brief coda, the importance of this development is underlined when were informed that Case

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__________________________________________________________ returned to the Sprawl and found work. He found a girl who called herself Michael.46 He is reintegrated into society, his interactions with cyberspace productive rather than nihilistic. Thanks to his vision of cyberspace and the artificial intelligences operating within it, the universe of William Gibsons Neuromancer is replete with shamanic motifs. As a digital shaman, Case proves his mastery of the matrix and divines the future of the Tessier-Ashpool clan, freeing their AIs and healing his and Mollys extensive emotional wounds. Surprising as it is to find a possibly pre-historic religious complex so closely mirrored by a text which imagines humanitys future, an analysis of the correspondences between the two demonstrates the importance of the fundamentally humane narrative arc to the novels exploration of the future of artificial intelligence.

Notes

R Hutton, Shamans: Siberian Spirituality and the Western Imagination, Hambledon Continuum, London, 2001, pp. 9-10. M Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, trans W R Trask, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1964. Hutton, 2001. A Siikala, Siberian and Inner Asian Shamanism, in A Siikala and M Hoppl (eds), Studies on Shamanism, Ethnologica Uralica Vol 2, Akadmiai Kiad, Budapest, 1998. 3 I am acutely aware that authors beside those I cite here may have observed shamanic motifs in Neuromancer in publications which pre-date routine electronic archiving (i.e. 1984-1995 or so). As hard copies of science-fiction-related publications dating from that period are difficult to come by, I would welcome any references to specific articles or journals any reader may wish to pass on, in order that prior work be appropriately acknowledged. 4 Mark Fisher, Flatlines, Transmat, viewed on May 16th, 2009, <http://www.cinestatic.com/trans-mat/Fisher/FC1s3.htm>. This is an online edition of Fishers PhD thesis, Flatline Constructs: Gothic materialism and cybernetic theory-fiction, University of Warwick, 1999. 5 Philip Agre, Life After Cyberspace, in EASST Review Vol 18(3), September 1999, viewed on May 16th, 2009, <http://www.easst.net/review/sept1999/agre>. 6 W Gibson, Neuromancer, HarperCollins, Glasgow, 1993, pp.11-12. 7 Eliade, p. 13; Hutton, p. 72. 8 Eliade, pp. 18-20, in which the Tungus, Kazak Kirgiz and Buryat tribes are specified; Hutton, p. 71, in which the Soyots, Altai, Koryaks, Buryats, Chukchi, and Sakha are specified; Siikala, p. 6. 9 Gibson, p. 12. 10 Gibson, p. 43. 11 Hutton, pp. 71-72; Eliade, pp. 18-20; Siikala, p. 5. 12 It is significant that shamans suffering from a preliminary sickness have found that repeated shamanising is a condition for remaining healthy. Siikala, pp. 5-6. 13 Gibson, pp. 68-69. 14 Gibson, p. 62. 15 As well as a distinctive mode of dress, Siberian shamans were marked out by the use of special implements or objects, of which by far the most widespread was the drum, made of animal skin stretched over a round or oval wooden frame. This was associated with shamanic performances across almost the whole of the region, and had been since records of them begin. Hutton, p. 81. 16 The drum has a role of the first importance in shamanic ceremonies. Its symbolism is complex, its magical functions many and various. It is indispensable in conducting the shamanic sance, whether it carries the shaman to the Centre of the World, or enables him to fly through the air, or summons and imprisons the spirits, or, finally, if the drumming enables the shaman to concentrate and regain contact with the spiritual world through which he is preparing to travel. Eliade, p. 168. 17 Eliade, p. 154; see also Siikala, p. 9. 18 Gibson, p. 26, p. 139, pp. 302-303. 19 Hutton, pp. 59-60; Siikala, p. 1. 20 See Hutton pp. 88-89 for two wonderfully magical narratives of shamanic spirit journeys. 21 Gibson, p. 302. 22 Gibson, p. 131. 23 When he does, it is Wintermute masquerading as the Finn, and the sight surprises even the unflappable Dixie Flatline (see Gibson p. 244). Wintermutes response hints that it may be the first time anyone has succeeded in projecting a personsimulacrum onto the neon geometry of the matrix (I never tried it before, the Finn said); it repeats the performance at the conclusion of the novel. 24 Gibson, p. 217. 25 Hutton, p. 90. 26 Eliade, p. 171. 27 Gibson, p. 202. 28 Gibson, p. 65. 29 Gibson, p. 280. 30 Gibson, p. 172, p. 245. 31 Hutton, p. 92.
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Hutton, p. 63. Hutton, p. 64. 34 Gibson, p. 193. 35 Gibson, pp. 158-159. 36 R Geraci, Robots and the Sacred in Science and Science Fiction: Theological Implications of Artificial Intelligence, Zygon, vol. 42, December 2007, p. 975-976. 37 Such as tricking a young boy into hiding a door key and then killing him to keep its location a secret; seducing the young 3Jane into reprogramming her fathers cryogenic life support system, eventually driving him to suicide; resuscitating Colonel William Corto as Armitage, and then killing him when he begins to access his own memories; and fuelling Peter Rivieras drug habit before poisoning him and allowing him to be hunted to death by 3Janes bodyguard Hideo. 38 Witness McCoy Pauleys response to news of Armitages demise: Wintermute killed Armitage. Blew him out in a lifeboat with a hatch open. Tough shit, the Flatline said. Gibson, p. 240. When Molly informs Case, 3Jane and Maelcum that Wintermute killed the child who hid the door key, no one responds at all. Gibson, p. 301. 39 A list would have to include Case, Molly, Linda Lee, McCoy Pauley, Peter Riviera, Ashpool, and even Wintermute itself, which initially gives the impression it wishes to be destroyed. 40 Hutton, p. 110. 41 Gibson, p. 307. 42 Gibson, p. 258. 43 Gibson, p. 12. 44 Gibson, pp. 284-285. 45 Gibson, p. 309. 46 Gibson, p. 313, 317.
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