February 18, 2003
Cayce not Case

In this salon interview, William Gibson claims no connection between the Case of Neuromancer and the Cayce of Pattern Recognition as I previously discussed there might be.

I can only repeat that the characters share more than their name. Both are gifted, i.e. supernaturally in sync with the futuristic environment the action takes place in, both are fragile and protected by a strong guardian, and as previously remarked the flow of the action and the parts played by secondary characters are remarkably analogous, so Gibsons claim is not quite believeable, or if it's true Gibson has been finding the very same story that he found in a distant future in Neuromancer once again.

I'll just repeat and rephrase the story analogues:In both stories the action is spun around a prodigy, a protector and a contractor.
The contractor is almost omnipotent - but lacks of course the powers of the prodigy.
In both stories the contractor is - in the end - met by an opposing equally potent power, and the action is moved physically to the territory of this contrary power.

Whether these analogies are merely broad storytelling conventions (the idea of physically contracting the space the action takes place in to heighten the suspense is used in many places like e.g. every James Bond movie in existence, and the prodigy at work between duelling omnipotent forces we of course recognise in the story of Jesus), or very specifically made identical is anyones guess, but the spin given to the character of the prodigy is remarkable identical.
While gifted, the prodigy ends up as some kind of side character in the final resolution of the action (in which the omnipotent powers step onto the scene on their own instead of just through other side characters). The combination of fragility with a mental gift.

Posted by Claus at February 18, 2003 12:53 AM
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