In William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Gibson’s stylistic writing over-saturates the text with meaning due to technical details. He intermingles scientific/computer jargon with a colloquial tone that leads a reader to assume obvious connections to a highly technological world. However, Gibson relies on this integration to create the majority of meanings within his work. For example, he skirts writing about complex technological ideas by using tech words that distracts a reader from the fact that he merely gestures towards ideas rather than solidifying them completely. Gibson’s writing usually leaves a reader with the quality of a sense of the technology he talks about rather than fully understanding the whole concept. For example, Case and the matrix are introduced when Gibson reflects on Case’s past and writes, “he’d operated on an almost permanent adrenaline high, a byproduct of youth and proficiency, jacked into a custom cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination that was the matrix” (5). The words “byproduct,” “proficiency,” “jacked,” “cyberspace deck” and “matrix” are focused on Case and the virtual reality of the novel. Yet though they are focused on these specific things and are directly describing them, it is all done in a roundabout way. Only a sense of how Case acted and how the matrix works is ascertained from the passage, and though technically insubstantial in understanding to a reader, it makes the meaning of the passage all encompassing as one cannot firmly negate the sense of something—especially when using words that are intentionally meant to be read as highly technical and complex. Gibson does this in various times throughout the novel, giving the work an impression of import and paranoia—yet the lack of anything concrete emphasizes the missing substance that readers seek, leaving a reader nothing to hold on to and nothing to be certain about as well—foundational characteristics of cyberpunk writing.
The text falls inward into itself, pointing towards technology and nothing at the same time, merely latching onto flimsy connections. The reader is frequently left freewheeling in the text and consequently allows the technological element of the work to take precedence over everything else. This importance of technology over more concrete elements is reinforced by Gibson’s repetition of phrases. The action of Case entering the matrix is a striking example of this. Gibson merely writes that “Case flipped” or “Case jacked out” multiple times throughout the novel. Even when initially introduced to Linda Lee one’s initial impression of her is initially done via her eyes as Gibson writes about her “gray eyes rimmed with smudged black paintstick” on page 8 and her “gray eyes ringed with paintstick” on page 9. The repetition of phrases within the novel reduces the work as a whole. The repetitions do not really add up to a greater implication or meaning—rather they simply add length to the text and pile up upon themselves. They become expected and routine, allowing a reader to be less active in the work. Altogether, Gibson’s affinity for incorporating technological details and repetition of phrases adds up to a flashy whole with less depth than one originally realizes.