Neuromancer

Neuromancer

by

William Gibson

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Neuromancer can help.

The Chatsubo / “The Chat”

Also simply referred to as “the Chat.” A bar in Chiba run by Ratz. (read full term analysis)

The Sprawl

The highly developed Eastern coast of the United States of America. Also known as the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis or BAMA. (read full term analysis)

BAMA

The Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis. Also known as “The Sprawl.” (read full term analysis)

Chiba

A Japanese city outside of Tokyo. Known for its many surgical clinics, both black market and legitimate. (read full term analysis)

Console Cowboy

A person especially skilled at navigating cyberspace, specifically someone employed as a digital thief, who steals money or data. Also known as a jockey. (read full term analysis)
Get the entire Neuromancer LitChart as a printable PDF.
Neuromancer.pdf.medium

Jockey

A person especially killed at navigating cyberspace, specifically someone employed as a digital thief. Also known as a console cowboy. (read full term analysis)

Cyberspace

A term coined by Gibson in 1982. A graphic representation of data and computer networks, accessed by jacking into a computer with the use of dermatrodes. Also known as the matrix. (read full term analysis)

Matrix

A graphic representation of data and computer networks. A “consensual hallucination” also known as cyberspace. (read full term analysis)

Coffin

A rentable hotel room just nine feet long and four-and-a-half feet tall. Case spends his nights in Chiba sleeping in a rented coffin, and uses another for storage. (read full term analysis)

Mycotoxin

A poison derived from mushrooms. In Neuromancer the most frequently mentioned mycotoxin is a nerve agent, used to destroy parts of a victim’s nervous system. (read full term analysis)

Cobra

A weapon like a spring-loaded billy club—a long cudgel. (read full term analysis)

Ninsei / Night City

An outlaw district next to Chiba, Japan, where drug use, criminal activity, and prostitution are, if not legal, then permitted. (read full term analysis)

Dex

Drugs, specifically stimulants. (read full term analysis)

RAM

Random Access Memory. A type of computer storage, and a dynamic form of memory that allows a program to evolve and develop. Contrast with ROM. (read full term analysis)

ROM

Read Only Memory. A type of computer storage that is more or less unchangeable. The construct of Dixie, for example, is ROM—his personality is already fixed and cannot be developed. Contrast with RAM. (read full term analysis)

Hitachi

A brand of computer. Often used to refer to a specific computer. (read full term analysis)

ICE

Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics. This refers to cybersecurity and firewalls. (read full term analysis)

Icebreaker

A virus—a person or program capable of breaking thorough digital security, or ice. (read full term analysis)

Fletcher

A futuristic gun capable of being fitted with darts, bullets, and other projectiles. (read full term analysis)

Construct

A ROM recording of a personality which allows for a reconstruction of that person. (read full term analysis)

Sense/Net

A huge corporation whose holdings include the construct of Dixie Flatline. (read full term analysis)

Flatline

To flatline is to show no brain activity. Characters often flatline when they are in cyberspace going up against particularly difficult ice. (read full term analysis)

SimStim

Simulated Stimulation. A digital representation of the thoughts and feelings of another person. One individual is fitted with a simstim rig that broadcasts their senses to another person, who then rides along in their brain… (read full term analysis)

Sensorium

An individual’s complete sensory system. (read full term analysis)

Dermatrodes (trodes)

Electrode pads that connect individuals to their decks so that they can jack in to cyberspace. (read full term analysis)

Precís

A briefing. Specifically. a report generated by a deck based on research it has done independently. (read full term analysis)

Hosaka

A brand of computer. Often used to refer to a specific deck. (read full term analysis)

Panther Moderns

Also simply referred to as “Moderns.” Case describes them as “mercenaries, practical jokers” and “nihilistic technofetishists.” A global group of teenage hackers and pranksters, who can be purchased by outside groups. They are remarkable for… (read full term analysis)

Blue Nine

Also known as Grievous Angel. An “outlawed psychoactive agent” “shown to produce acute paranoia and homicidal psychosis.” (read full term analysis)

Fence

A trafficker; someone who deals in stolen goods. (read full term analysis)

Freeside

An enormous space colony in orbit above earth. Home to, among other institutions, the Villa Straylight and the Tessier-Ashpool family. (read full term analysis)

Zion

A cluster of space stations founded by a group of Rastafarian workers who defected from their construction jobs. Zion’s inhabitants are called Zionites. (read full term analysis)

SAS

Space Adaptation Syndrome. A kind of motion sickness experienced by those traveling into zero gravity conditions. (read full term analysis)

Dub

A type of music popular with the inhabitants of Zion. “Digitized pop,” also described as a form of worship and community. (read full term analysis)

Villa Straylight

A building at the end of Freeside that houses the Tessier-Ashpool family. (read full term analysis)

Babylon

How Zionites refer to Western Society, specifically Freeside and the Villa Straylight. (read full term analysis)

Joeboy

A Console Cowboy’s assistant. (read full term analysis)

EEG

Electroencephalogram, or the measurement of a person’s brain activity and brainwaves. When a person’s EEG is flat, meaning their brain activity has ceased, they are flatlining. (read full term analysis)

Cut-Out Chip

A chip implanted in the brain that allows a person, or their employer, to selectively turn off their consciousness. Specifically used in brothels, where prostitutes can rent out their bodies without consciously participating in sexual… (read full term analysis)

Kuang Grade Mark Eleven

A powerful Chinese computer virus. Often referred to simply as “Kuang.” (read full term analysis)

Jack In / Jack Out

To connect to or disconnect from the matrix. (read full term analysis)

Braun

A small robot, or drone. (read full term analysis)

Derm

A patch that delivers a dose of a drug. (read full term analysis)

Betaphenethylamine

A stimulant so powerful that Case can feel its effects even with his modified liver and pancreas. (read full term analysis)

Tessier-Ashpool S.A.

The law firm run by the Tessier-Ashpool family, also referred to as T-A. (read full term analysis)

Steppin’ Razor

A dangerous person, specifically one from Rastafarian mythology. Aerol and Maelcum often refer to Molly as Steppin’ Razor, a sign of respect. (read full term analysis)

Razorgirl

A derogatory term for a hired contract killer, especially one with body modifications like Molly has. (read full term analysis)

Ono-Sendai

A brand of computer. Often used to refer to a specific computer itself. (read full term analysis)

Turing Police

An international law enforcement agency dedicated to monitoring artificial intelligences, making sure they don’t grow too powerful or self-aware. Their name is a reference to the “Turing Test,” developed by Alan Turing in 1950, which… (read full term analysis)

Screaming Fist

A massive military operation and subsequent cover up, in which the American military sent forces to attack Russia, knowing full well that Russia had countermeasures in place that would lead the deaths of many American… (read full term analysis)

Microsofts

Metal slivers (not unlike USBs) which contain code that people can insert into ports in their head, modifying their vision and their cognitive abilities. (read full term analysis)