What a man really wants is creative challenge with sufficient skills to bring him within the reach of success so that he may have the expanding joy of achievement.Fay B. Nash
- The NET is a waste of time, and that's exactly what's right about it.
- Name of an article he wrote for New York Times Magazine (14 July 1996)
- See also: more quotes about the Internet
- The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
- The past is past, the future unformed. There is only the moment, and that is where he prefers to be.
- They damaged his nervous system with a wartime Russian mycotoxin. Strapped to a bed in a Memphis hotel, his talent burning out micron by micron, he hallucinated for thirty hours.The damage was minute, subtle, and utterly effective. For Case, who'd lived for the bodiless exultation of cyberspace, it was the Fall.
- They'd left the place littered with the abstract white forms of the foam packing units, with crumpled plastic film and hundreds of tiny foam beads. The Ono-Sendai; next year's most expensive Hosaka computer; a Sony monitor; a dozen disks of corporate-grade ice; a Braun coffee maker.
- "Hey," he'd said, "it's me. Case." The old eyes regarding him out of their dark webs of wrinkled flesh. "Ah," Ratz had said, at last, "the artiste." The bartender shrugged. "I came back." The man shook his massive, stubbled head. "Night City is not a place one returns to, artiste," he said, swabbing the bar in front of Case with a filthy cloth, the pink manipulator whining.
- The cutting of Sense/Net's ice took a total of nine days. "I said a week," Armitage said, unable to conceal his satisfaction when Case showed him his plan for the run. "You took your own good time." "Balls," Case said, smiling at the screen. "That's good work, Armitage." "Yes," Armitage admitted, "but don't let it go to your head. Compared to what you'll eventually be up against, this is an arcade toy."
- A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he'd cut in Night City, and he'd still see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void.... The Sprawl was a long strange way home over the Pacific now, and he was no console man, no cyberspace cowboy. Just another hustler, trying to make it through. But the dreams came on in the Japanese night like livewire voodoo, and he'd cry for it, cry in his sleep, and wake alone in the dark, curled in his capsule in some coffin hotel, his hands clawed into the bedslab, temperfoam bunched between his fingers, trying to reach the console that wasn't there.
- Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...
- Don' 'stand you, mon, but we mus' move by Jah Love, each one
- "Hate," Case said. "Who do I hate? You tell me." "Who do you love?" the Finn's voice asked.
- The drug hit him like an express train, a white-hot column of light mounting his spine from the region of his prostate, illuminating the sutures of his skull with x-rays of short-circuited sexual energy. His teeth sang in their individual sockets like tuning forks, each one pitch-perfect and clear as ethanol. His bones, beneath the hazy envelope of flesh, were chromed and polished, the joints lubricated with a film of silicone. Sandstorms raged across the scoured floor of his skull, generating waves of high thin static that broke behind his eyes, spheres of purest crystal, expanding...The anger was expanding, relentless, exponential, riding out behind the betaphenethylamine rush like a carrier wave, a seismic fluid, rich and corrosive.
- He came in steep, fueled by self-loathing. When the Kuang program met the first of the defenders, scattering the leaves of light, he felt the shark thing lose a degree of substantiality, the fabric of information loosening. And then - old alchemy of the brain and its vast pharmacy - his hate flowed into his hands. In the instant before he drove Kuang's sting through the base of the first tower, he attained a level of proficiency exceeding anything he'd known or imagined. Beyond ego, beyond personality, beyond awareness, he moved, Kuang moving with him, evading his attackers with an ancient dance, Hideo's dance, grace of the mind-body interface granted him, in that second, by the clarity and singleness of his wish to die.
- CASE: 'I wanna have a look at an AI in Berne. Can you think of any reason not to?' DIXIE FLATLINE: `Not unless you got a morbid fear of death, no.'
Count Zero (1986)
- Because he [=Turner] had a good agent, he had a good contract. Because he had a good contract, he was in Singapore an hour after the explosion. Most of him, anyway.
- In Heathrow a vast chunk of memory detached itself from a blank bowl of airport sky and fell on him. He vomited into a blue plastic container without breaking stride. When he arrived at the counter at the end of corridor, he changed his ticket.
- Chapter 1, Turner begins to recall his past.
- And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.
- Chapter 2, Marly's sensory link conversation interview with Herr Virek.
- That truth-is-stranger-than-fiction factor keeps getting jacked up on us on a fairly regular, maybe even exponential, basis. I think that's something peculiar to our time. I don't think our grandparents had to live with that.
- I'd buy him a drink, but I don't know if I'd loan him any money.
- When asked what he would say about the man who wrote Neuromancer
- I think of Neuromancer as being, in a good sense, an adolescent book. It's a young man's book. It was written very young-man's-book. It was written by a man who was not very young, when he wrote it, but who was sufficiently immature.
- It's a world where there aren't families. It's the world of a young person going out into the wilderness, cities, and sort of in a way creating a family. You know, it's kind of like... it's not that it's a "goth book," but it's kind of rather the same stuff that makes kids be goths.
- About Neuromancer
- It had much more to do with my wanting to be with hippy girls and have lots of hashish than it did with my sympathy for the plight of the North Vietnamese people under US imperialism. Much more, much more to do with hippy girls and hashish.
- On dodging the draft and moving to Toronto
- Consequently, when I got to Toronto, much to my chagrin, I really, really couldn't handle hanging out with the American draft dodgers. There was too much clinical depression. Too much suicide. Too much hardcore substance abuse. They were a traumatized lot, those boys. And I just felt frivolous.
- The straight world didn't end. The straight world and the other world had bled into one another and produced the world that we live in today.
- Drugs were absolutely central to that experience, but they weren't essential. I only know that in retrospect. At the time I'm sure I would have said that they were.
- All any drug amounts to is tweaking the incoming data. You have to be incredibly self-centered or pathetic to be satisfied with simply tweaking the incoming data.
- When did you ever go to a drug dealer, and the drug dealer said, "you know, you should come back tomorrow, this is not very pure." It doesn't happen.
- Acceptance. Acceptance of the impermanence of being. And acceptance of the imperfect nature of being, or possibly the perfect nature of being, depending on how one looks at it. Acceptance that this is not a rehearsal. That this is it.
- When asked what will save humanity.
- I think of religions as franchise operations. Like chicken franchise operations. But that doesn't mean there's no chicken, right?
- Referring to his belief that it's possible for religions to help people.
- Seated each afternoon in the darkened screening room, Halliday came to recognise the targetted numerals of the Academy leader as sigils preceding the dream state of a film.
- A sentence that he worked on for years earlier in his career, which eventually went no where. Troubled by inexperience in "actually getting the characters to move," he spent so much time on it that he can still remember every word more than 20 years later.
- I became so frustrated with my inability to physically move the characters through the imaginary narrative space, that I actually developed an early form of imaginary VR technology that sort of covered my ass... all they had to do was switch tapes and be in a different place, and I was spared the embarrassment of demonstrating that I didn't know how to get them up and down the stairs.
- All I knew about the word "cyberspace" when I coined it, was that it seemed like an effective buzzword. It seemed evocative and essentially meaningless. It was suggestive of something, but had no real semantic meaning, even for me, as I saw it emerge on the page.
- It will bring about the extinction of the nation-state as we know it... I think it will be as big a deal as the creation of cities.
- Referring to the Internet
- I didn't imagine that art girls in the Midwest would be flashing their tits in cyberspace...but I'm glad that they're doing it.
- Asked whether the Internet is how he imagined it would be
- On the most basic level, computers in my books are simply a metaphor for human memory: I'm interested in the hows and whys of memory, the ways it defines who and what we are, in how easily memory is subject to revision. When I was writing Neuromancer, it was wonderful to be able to tie a lot of these interests into the computer metaphor. It wasn't until I could finally afford a computer of my own that I found out there's a drive mechanism inside- this little thing that spins around. I'd been expecting an exotic crystalline thing, a cyberspace deck or something, and what I got was a little piece of a Victorian engine that made noises like a scratchy old record player. That noise took away some of the mystique for me; it made computers less sexy. My ignorance had allowed me to romanticize them.
- Interview with Larry McCaffery in Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Science Fiction, Duke University Press, December 1991
- The future is not google-able.
- talk at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, San Francisco, CA, February 5, 2004
- There is always a point at which the terrorist ceases to manipulate the media gestalt. A point at which the violence may well escalate, but beyond which the terrorist has become symptomatic of the media gestalt itself. Terrorism as we ordinarily understand it is innately media-related.
- excerpt from his blog, October 31, 2004