Thursday, July 15, 2010

Neuromancer Vs. Matrix

Neuromancer was written by William Gibson and published in 1984.  I first read it high school back in 1993. Every few years I read it again, and each time I find something new to like.

In my most recent reading, I find myself noticing how much of the concept matter in The Matrix is based on Neuromancer. Gibson coined the term "The Matrix" and "cyberspace", and Gibson describes a Rasta "freeside" called "Zion" (albeit in orbit), and simstim memory sticks that jack in through a socket behind the ear. It's hard to imagine that Gibson wrote Neuromancer before there was a world wide web.

"The Matrix is ... a concentual hallucination. ..A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light arranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding..."

This part reminds me of the "symbols" that fall down the screens in the movie The Matrix:

"And in the bloodlit dark behind his eyes, silver phosphenes boiling in from the edge of space, hypnagogic images jerking past like film compiled from random frames. Symbols, figures, faces, a blurred fragmented mandala of visual information". 

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