Neuromancer

Neuromancer

by

William Gibson

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Console Cowboy Term Analysis

A person especially skilled at navigating cyberspace, specifically someone employed as a digital thief, who steals money or data. Also known as a jockey.

Console Cowboy Quotes in Neuromancer

The Neuromancer quotes below are all either spoken by Console Cowboy or refer to Console Cowboy. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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 1 Quotes

A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he’d taken and the corners he’d cut in Night City, and still he’d see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void….The Sprawl was a long strange way home over the Pacific now, and he was no console man, no cyberspace cowboy. Just another hustler, trying to make it through. But the dreams came on in the Japanese night like livewire voodoo, and he’d cry for it, cry in his sleep, and wake alone in the dark, curled in his capsule in some coffin hotel, his hands clawed into the bedslab, temperfoam bunched between his fingers, trying to reach the console that wasn’t there.

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case, Armitage / Corto
Page Number: 4-5
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

For Case, who'd lived for the bodiless exultation of cyberspace, it was the Fall. In the bars he’d frequented as a cowboy hotshot, the elite stance involved a certain relaxed contempt for the flesh. The body was meat. Case fell into the prison of his own flesh.

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 3 Quotes

“The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games,” said the voice-over, “in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks.” On the Sony, a two-dimensional space war faded behind a forest of mathematically generated ferns, demonstrating the spacial possibilities of logarithmic spirals; cold blue military footage burned through, lab animals wired into test systems, helmets feeding into fire control circuits of tanks and war planes. “Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding....”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 5 Quotes

He coughed. “Dix? McCoy? That you man?” His throat was tight.

“Hey, bro,” said a directionless voice.

“It’s Case, man. Remember?”

“Miami, joeboy, quick study.”

“What’s the last thing you remember before I spoke to you, Dix?”

“Nothin’.”

“Hang on.”

He disconnected the construct. The presence was gone. He reconnected it. “Dix? Who am I?”

“You got me hung, Jack. Who the fuck are you?”

“Ca—your buddy. Partner. What’s happening, man?”

“Good question.”

“Remember being here, a second ago?”

“No.”

“Know how a ROM personality matrix works?”

“Sure, bro, it’s a firmware construct.”

“So I jack it into the bank I’m using, I can give it sequential, real time memory?”

“Guess so,” said the construct.

“Okay, Dix. You are a ROM construct. Got me?”

“If you say so,” said the construct. “Who are you?”

“Case.”

“Miami,” said the voice, “joeboy, quick study.”

“Right. And for starts, Dix, you and me, we’re gonna sleaze over to London grid and access a little data. You game for that?”

“You gonna tell me I got a choice, boy?”

Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 12 Quotes

He bought a mug of Carlsberg and found a place against the wall. Closing his eyes, he felt for the knot of rage, the pure small coal of his anger. It was there still. Where had it come from? He remembered feeling only a kind of bafflement at his maiming in Memphis, nothing at all when he’d killed to defend his dealing interests in Night City, and a slack sickness and loathing after Linda’s death under the inflated dome. But no anger. Small and far away, on the mind’s screen, a semblance of Deane struck a semblance of an office wall in an explosion of brains and blood. He knew then: the rage had come in the arcade, when Wintermute rescinded the simstim ghost of Linda Lee, yanking away the simple animal promise of food, warmth, a place to sleep. But he hadn’t become aware of it until his exchange with the holo-construct of Lonny Zone.

It was a strange thing. He couldn’t take its measure.

“Numb,” he said. He’d been numb a long time, years. All his nights down Ninsei, his nights with Linda, numb in bed and numb at the cold sweating center of every drug deal. But now he’d found this warm thing, this chip of murder. Meat, some part of him said. It’s the meat talking, ignore it.

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), Julius “Julie” Deane (speaker), Linda Lee, Molly, Lonny Zone
Page Number: 152
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Console Cowboy Term Timeline in Neuromancer

The timeline below shows where the term Console Cowboy appears in Neuromancer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...knows first-hand that they cannot repair his particular nerve damage. He used to be a console cowboy , but now he’s just a hustler who uses drugs to numb his pain and... (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
...of his life: he is twenty-four, but has already worked for many years as a console cowboy . He was a thief, stealing money and data, until, at twenty-two, he stole from... (full context)
Chapter 3
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...Case, and why they’re pulling off a heist for the digital ghost of a dead console cowboy . (full context)
Chapter 4
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Case sits in the loft and considers the simstim. He explains that cowboys had seem simstim as a “meat toy,” and had never been interested in it. (full context)
Chapter 20
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
...having sex. The sensation he has with her belongs “to the meat, the flesh the cowboys mocked.” It’s an “infinite intricacy that only the body […] could ever read.” (full context)