The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

— William Gibson, Neuromancer (3)

Truly, it’s impossible to overstate how much these words have changed my life.

Primarily, I can attribute my acceptance to USC’s Resident Honors Program (and thus my early graduation from high school) to an encounter with Neuromancer in 2013; by using Gibson’s cyberpunk classic as a template for my application essays, I was able to captivate my audience with a compelling vision for the 21st century, one replete with direct neural implants.

Moreover, Neuromancer was easily what secured my position in Hires Lab, where I’m currently investigating the neural mechanisms of sensorimotor coding and tactile sensation. For when I arrived at my interview and was asked why I became interested in neural engineering, I mentioned Gibson’s masterpiece—and was dumbstruck as my employer recited its opening line from memory.

Thus, despite my growing disillusionment with Gibson’s fictional universe, subsequent posts will begin to address:

  1. Key plot points of The Sprawl Trilogy [shown above]
  2. Gibson’s prophetic statements about the present state of (neuro)technology
  3. What we can learn from cyberpunk’s mistakes

You in?


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