Neuromancer

Neuromancer

by

William Gibson

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Maelcum Character Analysis

A pilot and Zionite. Maelcum pilots the Marcus Garvey, a ship on which Case has set up his deck, and where he jacks into cyberspace during the attack on Villa Straylight. Although Maelcum has been paid to help Armitage and his team, when the Founders of Zion tell Maelcum to pull out, Case’s plea for his help to save Molly wins Maelcum over, and he happily continues to participate in the mission, even entering Straylight with Case.

Maelcum Quotes in Neuromancer

The Neuromancer quotes below are all either spoken by Maelcum or refer to Maelcum. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Neuromancer published in 1984.
Chapter 16 Quotes

He closed his eyes. He saw the sacs of toxin dissolving in his arteries. He saw Molly hauling herself up the endless steel rungs. He opened his eyes.

“I dunno, man,” he said, a strange taste in his mouth. He looked down at his desk, at his hands. “I don’t know.” He looked back up. The brown face was calm now, intent. Maelcum’s chin was hidden by the high helmet ring of his old blue suit. “She’s inside,” he said. “Molly’s inside. In Straylight, it’s called. If there’s any Babylon, man, that’s it. We leave on her, she ain’t comin’ out, Steppin’ Razor or not.”

Maelcum nodded, the dreadbag bobbing behind him like a captive balloon of crocheted cotton. “She you woman, Case?”

“I dunno. Nobody’s woman, maybe.” He shrugged. And found his anger again, real as a shard of hot rock beneath his ribs. “Fuck this,” he said. “Fuck Armitage, fuck Wintermute, and fuck you. I’m stayin’ right here.”

Maelcum’s smile spread across his face like light breaking. “Maelcum a rude boy, Case. Garvey Maelcum boat.” His gloved hand slapped a panel and the bass-heavy rocksteady of Zion dub came pulsing from the tug’s speakers. “Maelcum not runnin’, no. I talk wi’ Aerol, he certain t’ see it in similar light.”

Case stared. “I don’t understand you guys at all,” he said.

“Don’ ’stan’ you, mon,” the Zionite said, nodding to the beat, “but we mus’ move by Jah love, each one.”

Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Chapter 18 Quotes

“Wintermute won’t be the first to have made the same mistake. Underestimating me…He talked with me, Molly. I suppose he talked to all of us. You, and Case, whatever there is of Armitage to talk to. He can’t really understand us, you know. He has his profiles, but those are only statistics. You may be the statistical animal, darling, and Case is nothing but, but I possess a quality unquantifiable by its very nature.” He drank.

“And what exactly is that, Peter?” Molly asked, her voice flat.

Riviera beamed. “Perversity.”

Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Neuromancer LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Maelcum Character Timeline in Neuromancer

The timeline below shows where the character Maelcum appears in Neuromancer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
As Case and Molly sleep the next night, a Zionite named Maelcum wakes them, and invites them to meet with the Founders of Zion. Maelcum calls Molly... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...Case, who might “serve as a tool of Final Days.” The have decided to send Maelcum as a pilot to transport Case and Molly to Freeside, but will also send Aerol... (full context)
Chapter 9
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Maelcum transports Case and Molly from Zion to Freeside on his ship, the Marcus Garvey. As... (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Case wakes up, back on the Garvey. He can hear Maelcum and Molly talking above him. Molly is unconcerned, but Maelcum notes Case’s EEG was flat... (full context)
Chapter 10
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
...of Freeside, while Case is going to buy a vacuum-sealed space suit and return to Maelcum’s ship. (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Back on the Marcus Garvey, Maelcum gives Case a steel cassette that a man delivered to him earlier in the day.... (full context)
Chapter 11
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case returns to his empty hotel room and calls Maelcum, asking to be connected to Dixie. Speaking through the Hosaka voice chip, Case notices the... (full context)
Chapter 14
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...the Garvey cannot move on its own because Armitage’s ship has anchored itself to it. Maelcum greets Case as he enters the ship, and announces the ghost is asking for him.... (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Case jacks out for a moment, telling Maelcum he’s starting his mission, and to grab his arm if he needs anything. Case plugs... (full context)
Chapter 15
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
...to Wintermute as “he,” and instead as “it.” Case jacks out for a moment, assuring Maelcum he’s fine, before jacking into Molly’s simstim. He watches her ignore Wintermute’s instructions, and take... (full context)
Chapter 16
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Case jacks out. Back on the Garvey, Maelcum informs Case that Armitage/Corto is acting weird and giving orders about some war. Aerol and... (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Maelcum smiles, and tells Case Maelcum owns his boat, and so can make his own choices.... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case jacks out, and Maelcum helps him put on a vacuum suit and cross the gangway from the Marcus Garvey... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Maelcum points out that the bridge is an escape pod, and it is counting down. However,... (full context)
Chapter 18
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Case jacks out. Maelcum stands over him, looking concerned. He tells Case he screamed a few minutes ago (when... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...in the Straylight, the virus will move from the ship into the Villa. Case and Maelcum will find 3Jane, get the word, kill Riviera, and get the physical key from Molly.... (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Case jacks into Molly’s simstim as Maelcum navigates the Garvey towards Straylight. 3Jane is telling Molly about her mother, Marie-France, but then... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Case jacks out. Maelcum, will bring a gun to Straylight, just in case. Case checks on Dixie, who tells... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Case jacks out. Maelcum navigates the Garvey, which is still attached to the Haniwa, to the spindle of Freeside... (full context)
Chapter 19
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case and Maelcum enter the Villa Straylight. Case carries Dixie’s construct and his computer as he climbs up... (full context)
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Inside, Maelcum and Case pass a screen. The Finn/Wintermute appears and tells them to lock the doorman... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
...corner. On it sits a little spider drone, a Braun, blinking at them. Case and Maelcum hop on. (full context)
Chapter 20
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
As Case rides in the cart with Maelcum, he observes that he’s “lost his anger again. He missed it.” Eventually, the cart shorts... (full context)
Chapter 21
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...asks him to stay, but Case walks away, towards the music, which he recognizes as Maelcum’s dub. (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
...travels through a gray place, through voices, and finally, he’s back in the Straylight library. Maelcum takes the headphones off his ears, and tells Case he was out for five minutes.... (full context)
Chapter 22
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
The broken-down service cart sputters back to life and brings Case and Maelcum down the hallway towards 3Jane’s lair. Case tells Maelcum the situation inside: Molly’s incapacitated, Riviera... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case and Maelcum descend the steps to 3Jane’s room. At first it appears empty, until suddenly one of... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
3Jane orders Hideo to help bandage Maelcum’s wound. As Hideo works, Case tells 3Jane they’re running out of time. Riviera tries to... (full context)
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Maelcum picks up the gun from where he dropped it, pointing it at 3Jane. Molly raises... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Case, Maelcum, Molly, and 3Jane make their way towards the core of Villa Straylight. Maelcum carries Molly,... (full context)