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Headscratchers: Neuromancer
  • How does Molly's hand store those claws? If the claws were sheathed in her fingers, her fingers would not be able to bend. So, one might assume that they stay stored inside the palm of her hand, and shoot up through her fingers when she unsheathes them. This would mean that her fingers would have to stay strait while the blades were moving through them to come out. But then there's the scene where Molly holds out her hand as if "holding an invisible fruit," and her claws come out. How? How can her claws move through bent fingers?
    • Maybe they're not metal but some sort of material that turns rigid when subject to an electric charge? It's been a loooooooooong time since I read the book, so that may or may not work...
      • Or maybe the claws are just as short as the distal phalanges.
    • Foldable ceramics, maybe?
    • Maybe the metal was cut so thin that it could telescope, mayhaps?
      • Or maybe they're made from some kind of nanotech memory material? They're experimenting with materials that can change between pre-set shapes with applications of electrical current today, and it's the explanation that the developers of Deus Ex: Human Revolution are using for the protagonist's retractable, Molly-esque cyber-sunglasses.
    • Perhaps they're sheathed back next to the metacarpals when not in use, and emerge along a track to come out of her fingertips? If they're curved forwards, like a sickle, her fingers wouldn't need to be held straight to unsheathe them.
    • Well you also have to consider that there is also the nail, you manage to get something like one or two centimeter of nail and that also add to the perceived length
    • Or maybe they just looked four centimeters long to Case, because the first time he saw her extend them it scared the living crap out of him.
    • Rule of Cool.

  • Another one about Molly's implants: Why was it necessary to re-route her tear ducts into her oral cavity? Eyes already have a natural drainage system that leads into the nasal cavity, which is why people get a runny nose when they cry. So why not just widen her existing ducts a little, so excess tears produced at times of intense emotion would have space to flow?
    • Because a street samurai with a runny nose is less cool than a street samurai who spits instead of crying.
    • Spitting is a sign of derision, so street samurai literally spit on emotional weakness. Plus it's easier to spit than blow your nose. Plus Gibson probably didn't know about the whole eye-nose connection.

  • In one of the sequels, "Mona Lisa Overdrive," Molly has changed her name to Sally Shears, but no longer seems to use her claws. It's understandable that she might have lost the claws over the years. But why did the author change her name to Shears, and not have the character use her claws?
    • She changes her name and appearance so as not to be recongnised. I don't understand why she doesn't use her claws anymore either.
    • The novel heavily implies that Molly's trying to hide her true identity from someone, and using her claws too openly, as she used to, would likely be a dead giveaway, especially in combination with her still-present lens implants (presumably common enough not to be a reliable identifier on their own).
      • I'm pretty sure that its supposed to feel more ambiguous about if it is really Molly or not.
    • Possibly she's making a statement: it's not her claws that are the shears, it's that she's metaphorically "sheared" herself of her previous identity as Molly Millions, or possibly of everything in her life that'd been tying her down.

  • "Count Zero." (The first of "Neuromancer's" sequels.) Fantastic book. But, what was it about? Sure, all three books are confusing. But in this one, the very plot was almost impossible to pin down. "Neuromancer" was about a hacker and a mercenary helping an A.I. become more powerful; "Mona Lisa Overdirve" was about said mercenary trying to rescue all of the people who her employers were trying to trick her into helping to kidnap or kill; what on Earth was the story in between those two about? Marley collecting art, Turner saving Angie, Bobby becoming a hacker, what was the end these people were working towards?
    • All of them were integral, if unwitting, participants in the plans of Wintermute/Neuromancer and it's AI offspring to prevent Josef Virek from becoming a cybernetic immortal via Dr. Mitchell's biochip technology.

  • Just how old is 3Jane? We know she's at least 12, because we see the brief essay she wrote when she was that age. She acts more like an Man Child Creepy Child, though.
    • It's implied that the essay in question was written a number of years ago, and she's (biologically, anyway) somewhere between her mid-20's/early 30's. Chronologically, though, considering she's the third clone of the original Jane, and her father is over two-hundred counting freezer time, who knows?
      • Actually, considering that the story takes place in the 2030s according to Word of God, and cryogenics has only existed as a science since the 1960s, Ashpool's claim of being over two hundred years old is probably more an indication of his deteriorating mental state than an accurate measure of his age.
      • The 2030's date seems like Gibson forgetting some of his own prose- some other things in the novel indicate that it takes place much further in the future, like a relatively modern shotgun being described as "ancient", mechanical locks being almost unheard of, and characters having hazy knowledge of history which shouldn't be that old if the book is set in 203X.

  • What was Peter Riviera's motive for betraying the group and helping 3Jane? His hatred for Molly could be attributed for his hatred against women...but then why would he want to help 3Jane, another powerful woman?
    • He gets off on betraying people, remember? And he probably would've ended up betraying 3Jane later on.

  • The book never did explain why Wintermute wanted Case specifically as opposed to paying some better, world-class cowboys. Maybe because he was more easily manipulable? Or because Case studied under the Flatline, and the Flatline had some experience against an AI's black ICE?
    • Just guessing here, but Wintermute seemed to have a 'thing' for broken people it could rebuild to serve its purposes. It specifically rebuilt Corto as Armitage to have a serviceable middleman for the Run to let it merge with Neuromancer
    • Case has a death wish which makes him surprisingly able to turn down Neuromancer's seductive pseudo-immortality.

  • So ICE is capable of killing or severely harming cowboys who get attacked by it. We know this because of the Dixie Flatline, who wound up braindead three times during his life; at one point, reminiscing about the first time he flatlined out, he mentions that his assistant "smelled the skin frying and pulled the 'trodes off me". My question is this: Why isn't it a simple matter to install security measures in your own deck to keep the ICE from killing you or bricking your computer? I don't know what kind of computer program could possibly fry another computer's motherboard, or cause a malfunction that electrocutes the other computer's user — and even so, you'd think there ought to be something one could install to prevent that from happening.
    • Probably they do, but one constant is attacking ability is always going to outdo defensive ability, and that applies to software as well.
    • The deck is hooked up directly to a cowboy's brain, and it's some kind of a neural feedback loop that stops the cowboy's heart, not simple electrocution.
      • While in the novel at least some commands are input on the deck, the feedback from the matrix is directed to the brain. What gets flatlined is EEG (brain electric activity), not EKG/ECG (heard electic activity). Assumably the things the console jockeys do require the reaction speeds achievable only by the direct neural interface.
The Naughtiest GirlHeadscratchers/LiteratureNeverwhere

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