Case (Henry Dorsett Case) is the protagonist of Neuromancer, William Gibson's first novel, and first installment of the Sprawl Trilogy. An antihero, Case is introduced as a drug addict and cyberspace hacker. However, the character does get a mention in the final book, Mona Lisa. Henry Dorsett Case is a main character from William Gibson's Neuromancer. He is a console cowboy, who was making a living using cyberspace to carry out lucrative crime until he defrauded a client. His drug use makes him paranoid, and his desperation grows as his deals start falling. Neuromancer is a science fiction novel by American-Canadian writer William Gibson. Henry Dorsett Case is a low-level hustler in the dystopian underworld of Chiba City, Japan. Once a talented computer hacker, Case was caught.
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Once a talented computer hacker , Case was caught stealing from his employer. As punishment for his theft, Case's central nervous system was damaged with a mycotoxin , leaving him unable to access the global computer network in cyberspace , a virtual reality dataspace called the "matrix". Case is unemployable, suicidal, and apparently at the top of the hit list of a drug lord named Wage.
Case is saved by Molly Millions , an augmented "street samurai" and mercenary for a shadowy US ex-military officer named Armitage, who offers to cure Case in exchange for his services as a hacker. Case jumps at the chance to regain his life as a "console cowboy," but neither Case nor Molly knows what Armitage is really planning. Case's nervous system is repaired using new technology that Armitage offers the clinic as payment, but he soon learns from Armitage that sacs of the poison that first crippled him have been placed in his blood vessels as well.
Armitage promises Case that if he completes his work in time, the sacs will be removed; otherwise they will dissolve, disabling him again. He also has Case's pancreas replaced and new tissue grafted into his liver, leaving Case incapable of metabolizing cocaine or amphetamines and apparently ending his drug addiction. Case develops a close personal relationship with Molly, who suggests that he begin looking into Armitage's background. Meanwhile, Armitage assigns them their first job: The diversion allows Molly to penetrate the building and steal Dixie's ROM with Case unlocking the computer safeguards on the way in and out from within the matrix.
Case and Molly continue to investigate Armitage, discovering his former identity of Colonel Willis Corto. Corto was a member of "Operation Screaming Fist," which planned on infiltrating and disrupting Soviet computer systems from ultralight aircraft dropped over Russia. The Russian military had learned of the idea and installed defenses to render the attack impossible, but the military went ahead with Screaming Fist, with a new secret purpose of testing these Russian defenses.
As his team attacked a Soviet computer center, EMP weapons shut down their computers and flight systems, and Corto and his men were targeted by Soviet laser defenses. He and a few survivors commandeered a Soviet military helicopter and escaped over the heavily guarded Finnish border. The helicopter was shot down by Finnish defense forces mistaking it for a hostile aircraft, and everyone aboard was killed except for Corto, who was seriously wounded and disfigured.
After some months in the hospital, Corto was visited by a US government official, who returned him to the United States to receive computer-aided psychotherapy and reconstructive surgery and to be able to provide what he came to realize was false testimony, designed to mislead the public and protect the senior military officers who had covered up knowledge of the EMP weapons.
After the trials, Corto snapped, killing the official who had first contacted him and then disappearing into the criminal underworld, becoming Armitage. In Istanbul , the team recruits Peter Riviera, an artist, thief, and drug addict who is able to project detailed holographic illusions with the aid of sophisticated cybernetic implants. Although Riviera is a sociopath , Armitage coerces him into joining the team. The trail leads Case and Molly to Wintermute, a powerful artificial intelligence created by the Tessier-Ashpool family.
The Tessier-Ashpools spend most of their inactive time in cryonic preservation in a labyrinthine mansion known as Villa Straylight, located at one end of Freeside, a cylindrical space habitat at L5 , which functions primarily as a Las Vegas -style space resort for the wealthy.
Wintermute's nature is finally revealed—it is one-half of a super- AI entity planned by the family, although its exact purpose is unknown. Wintermute housed in a computer mainframe in Berne, Switzerland was programmed by the Tessier-Ashpools with a need to merge with its other half, Neuromancer whose physical mainframe is installed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Unable to achieve this merger on its own, Wintermute recruited Armitage and his team to help complete the goal. Case is tasked with entering cyberspace to pierce the Turing-imposed software barriers using a powerful icebreaker program. Wintermute believes Riviera will pose an irresistible temptation to her, and that she will give him the password.
The password must be spoken into an ornate computer terminal located in Villa Straylight, and entered simultaneously as Case pierces the software barriers in cyberspace—otherwise the Turing lock will remain intact. Armitage's team attracts the attention of the Turing Police, whose job is to prevent AIs from exceeding their built-in limitations.
As Molly and Riviera gain entrance to Villa Straylight, three Turing officers arrest Case and take him into custody; Wintermute manipulates the orbital casino's security and maintenance systems and kills the officers, allowing Case to escape. Armitage's personality starts to disintegrate and revert to the Corto personality as he relives Screaming Fist.
It is revealed that Wintermute had originally contacted Corto through a bedside computer during his original psychotherapy, eventually convincing Corto that he was Armitage. Finally, Corto breaks through the remains of the Armitage personality, but he is uncontrollable, and Wintermute kills him by ejecting him through an airlock into space.
Worried about Molly and operating under orders from Wintermute, Case tracks her down with help from Maelcum, his Rastafarian pilot. Neuromancer attempts to trap Case within a cyber-construct where he finds the consciousness of Linda Lee, his girlfriend from Chiba City, who was murdered by one of Case's underworld contacts.
Case manages to escape after Maelcum gives him an overdose of a drug that can bypass his augmented liver and pancreas. Riviera blinds Hideo with a concentrated laser pulse from his projector implant, but flees when he learns that the ninja is just as adept without his sight.
Molly then explains to Case that Riviera is doomed anyway, as he has been fatally poisoned by his drugs, which she had spiked with a lethal toxin to ensure he would never survive the mission, regardless of the outcome. With Lady 3Jane in possession of the password, the team makes it to the computer terminal. Case enters cyberspace to guide the icebreaker to penetrate its target; Lady 3Jane is induced to give up her password, and the lock is opened. Wintermute unites with Neuromancer, fusing into a superconsciousness.
The poison in Case's bloodstream is washed out, and he, Molly, and Maelcum are profusely paid for their efforts, while Pauley's ROM construct is apparently erased, at his own request. In the epilogue, Molly leaves Case. Case finds a new girlfriend, resumes his hacking work, and spends his earnings from the mission replacing his internal organs. Scanning old recorded transmissions from the s, the super-AI finds an AI transmitting from the Alpha Centauri star system. In the matrix, Case hears inhuman laughter, a trait associated with Pauley during Case's work with his ROM construct, thus suggesting that Pauley was not erased after all, but instead transformed and exists in the matrix.
In the end, while logged into the matrix, Case catches a glimpse of himself, his dead girlfriend Linda Lee, and Neuromancer. The implication of the sighting is that Neuromancer created a copy of Case's consciousness. The copy of Case's consciousness now exists with that of Linda's and Pauley's, in the matrix. As promised there has been change, but what that change means is left ambiguous.
Neuromancer ' s release was not greeted with fanfare, but it hit a cultural nerve,  quickly becoming an underground word-of-mouth hit.
It is among the most-honored works of science fiction in recent history, and appeared on Time magazine's list of best English-language novels written since Neuromancer is considered "the archetypal cyberpunk work". The novel has had significant linguistic influence, popularizing such terms as cyberspace and ICE Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics. Gibson himself coined the term "cyberspace" in his novelette " Burning Chrome ", published in by Omni magazine,  but it was through its use in Neuromancer that it gained recognition to become the de facto term for the World Wide Web during the s.
The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding. The cyberpunk science fiction film The Matrix particularly draws from Neuromancer both eponym and usage of the term "matrix". In his afterword to the re-issue of Neuromancer , fellow author Jack Womack goes as far as to suggest that Gibson's vision of cyberspace may have inspired the way in which the Internet developed particularly the World Wide Web , after the publication of Neuromancer in He asks "[w]hat if the act of writing it down, in fact, brought it about?
Norman Spinrad , in his essay "The Neuromantics" which appears in his non-fiction collection Science Fiction in the Real World , saw the book's title as a triple pun: The cyberpunk genre, the authors of which he suggested be called "neuromantics", was "a fusion of the romantic impulse with science and technology", according to Spinrad.
Lawrence Person in his "Notes Toward a Postcyberpunk Manifesto" identified Neuromancer as "the archetypal cyberpunk work",  and in , Time included it in their list of the best English-language novels written since , opining that "[t]here is no way to overstate how radical [ Neuromancer ] was when it first appeared. A video game adaptation of the novel—also titled Neuromancer —was published in by Interplay.
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John Henry Dorsett
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