The Cybernetic Bible

Sebastian Kearse '10, English 65, The Cyborg Self, Brown University (Fall 2006)

What is fate exactly? Does anyone have any real control over his life, or is everything supposed to happen for a reason? The novel, Count Zero by William Gibson, takes us into the perspective of three characters that start separately, each with different goals, but slowly come together with the cards fate dealt them. Yet these characters do not seem in control of their next action as they are manipulated technology and by some higher power. Turner, a mercenary for hire, is stuck in his mission that only he was selected for. Marly, who was seemingly forced into finding a particular artist, has her entire lifetime to accomplish the task. Bobby cares only making a name for himself in the "biz" in order to move out of his mother's home. However, his early experiences with religion, along with the feeling that someone is tracking him, make him tread on a straight path.

Basically, the way he figured it, there were just some people around who needed that shit, and he guessed there always has been, but he wasn't one of them, so he didn't. [35]

Bobby may not think he need it at first, but he and the other characters soon become entangled in the unsure reality of their world.


1. How in control do you feel over your life? Are some actions chosen by the self or affected by narrow, pre-selected possibilities?

2. Religion seems to play a big role in the novel. What are some scenes that can be described as divine intervention?

3. Describe the connections between Count Zero and Necromancer?

4. How is Turner's reconstruction in the beginning considered to be a type of resurrection?


Gibson, William Count Zero. New York: Ace Books, 1986.

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Last modified 27 September 2006