Human Machines in Neuromancer

Simon A. Rakov '92 (Vassar College)

Neuromancer actively blurs the distinction between human and computer. People in the novel become partial machines by implanting chips and electronic devices to enhance their mental and physical abilities. Machines also become human in their ability to think and act; Case even refers to Wintermute as "he" several times, and Neuromancer presents itself in the form of a boy. The ROM construct of McCoy Pauley is possibly the most computerized of any personality in the novel. His human form is dead, but his thoughts are still human: "I'm not human...but I respond like one" (131). Pauley's human personality has been transferred to electronic circuitry.

The human body and computer circuitry are equivalent in the novel. Each can access the other: Case in "jacking in" connects his body to the computer matrix, while Wintermute in contacting Case employs personalities and events from Case's memory.

Neuromancer Cyborg Cyberspace OV