Neuromancer: God or Demon?

At the end of Neuromancer, Case’s first encounter with Neuromancer comes when it appears that Case has flat lined.  He wakes up in some alternate universe akin to the matrix, which is pitch black when he sees an image of a woman who resembles Linda, but can’t possibly be the real her.

Time passes and eventually Case finds out that this “boy”, an AI called Neuromancer knew he was coming. This is interesting because Case doesn’t know where he is, or who put him here. It’s almost like he’s having a hallucination, or a dream. I thought about that until Case discovers Neuromancer, and then I started to think that maybe he is the one who made Case come here and messed with the Simstim that “malfunctioned”.

In my Philosophy class we read Descartes’ first three Meditations of Philosophy, and in the meditations Descartes talks about how we can’t trust our senses unless we know there is a God. This is because if we don’t know there is a God a malicious demon can be deceiving us. It’s interesting to analyze Neuromancer’s role in Neuromancer because of the parallels that Descartes’ philosophy draws upon it. William Gibson made this novel knowing that it would be convoluted, as the AI Neuromancer is so cryptic with Case in their first encounter. This leads me to believe that Neuromancer is a malicious demon. However, we don’t know his intentions, or how Case wakes back up in order to rescue Molly. This leads me to question if Neuromancer isn’t a malicious demon but a God with infinite reality.

In this science-fiction novel it’s interesting and pretty jarring to be comparing AIs with Gods because in reality humans make artificial intelligence. It almost points to some of the concerns that humanists have about how progress in technology in Neuromancer blurs the lines between what is human and not human. It’s also jarring to believe that AI’s in the future will be able to determine life or death itself of humans.

This image depicts Neuromancer

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