Augmented Reality and Life in the Cyberspace in William Gibson’s Neuromancer

Md. Shafiqul Islam

Abstract


This paper attempts a cybercritical reading of William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer (1984) to explore the genesis of cyborgs in the novel, address issues pertaining to cyberpunks and scrutinize the portrayal of a cyberculture set in the futuristic dystopian city of Chiba. The relationship between humans and machines has gone through multiple phases of changes in the recent past. That is why instead of satirizing machinized-humans, science fiction writers have embraced different dimensions of man-machine relationships during the past few decades. ‘Cyborg’ is no longer represented as the ‘mutation of human capabilities’, but as ‘machines with Artificial Intelligence’. Gibson’s Neuromancer, a landmark piece of literary work in the sphere of Sci-Fi literature, specifically predicts a new height of man-machine relationship by employing both human and cyborg characters at the center of his story line. This paper shows how Gibson accurately prophesizes the matrix of machine-human relationship in his novel. It also explores Gibson’s depiction of female characters through the lens of cyberfeminist theories. In view of that, this paper uses contemporary critical and cultural theories including Donna Haraway’s idea of cyberfeminism, Baudrillard’s simulation and simulacra, Foucauldian discourse analysis, Jeremy Bentham’s concept of tabula rasa and other relevant theoretical ideas to examine and evaluate the transformative changes.

Keywords


Dystopian Science Fiction, Cybercriticism, Cyberspace, Cyberculture, Cyberfeminism, Artificial Intelligence, Cyborg

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.12n.4.p.30

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