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John R. R.

Christie - A Tragedy for Cyborgs - Configurations 1:1

Configurations 1.1 (1993) 171-196.

A Tragedy for Cyborgs


John R. R. Christie
University of Leeds

There is a text that considers women, science, technology, politics, and the future, and it contains certain characteristic
notions and qualities, set in particular relations one to another. It has learnt from Karl Marx 1 .It is poised before a
difficult and unknowable future, where the accelerated pace and "vertiginous violence" of science are recognized, and
where the social structural effects of science are insisted upon, as is the necessity for reconstruction. 2 It posits
"woman," "free," with "no illusions," in a new and intensely intimate relationship with machines, necessary because
she "could not go backward." 3 It embraces complex, partial, and split personal identities, life marked by multiplicity
and contradictions that resist unity and synthesis, life that "must merge in its supersensual multiverse, or succumb to
it." 4 Here, the questions of politics and science are not separate, but simultaneous and similar: "politics or science, the
lesson was the same." 5 Its analysis can invoke myth and goddess, while forswearing origin, "this Eden of their own
[End Page 171] invention." 6 A favored setting for the stimulation of inquiry is the Exhibition Hall or Museum. 7 The
favored trope is irony, which hedges the historically informed imagination, exhilarated and perplexed, troubled and
incited by science, as it confronts the barriers to an intelligible and convivial future.

For the reader of the 1980s and l990s whose field is the contemporary critique and historical analysis of the culture of
science and technology, the foregoing description of a text may evoke the work of Donna Haraway, preeminently her
"Manifesto for Cyborgs." 8 That essay, whose "inspirational spin" has seen it reprinted twice, its author interviewed,
and a "Postscript" added, thereby rapidly attained a status as near canonical as anything gets for the left/feminist
Academy. 9 However, as the very particular diction of the text citations above indicates, they are taken not from the
radical edge of eighties postmodernist feminism, but from the Brahmin heights of Bostonian culture in the first decade
of this century, from Henry Adams--for it is he, the self-described "conservative Christian anarchist," cybernaut avant
la lettre. Adams wrote of Diana not as beauty, but as "force"--"she was the animated dynamo" 10 --and he saw that
woman "could not go backward. She must, like the man, marry machinery.'' 11 He wrote ironically, too, "lying in the
Gallery of Machines at the Great Exposition of l900, with his historical neck broken by the sudden irruption of forces
totally new," 12 and in a state of acute consciousness concerning technological rupture, "the break of continuity
[which] amounted to abysmal fracture for a historian's objects"; 13 that fracture being [End Page 172] the objective
correlative, presumably, of the historian's subjectively broken neck.

If Adams's machine-woman marriage and virgin dynamo evoke, respectively, Haraway's "cyborgs signal disturbingly
and pleasurably tight coupling," 14 and her more generalized, feministcoded cyborg image, then it is tempting to pursue
in detail the further elisions of image, diction, rhetoric, and predicament that this essay's opening description of
Adams's writing indicates are both possible and plausible. It might be further supplemented by detour into twentieth-
century written fiction and film, which could detail the lineal descents and mutations of the virgin dynamo, through
(say) the robot Maria in Fritz Lang's Metropolis, down to Rachel in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, and Ripley in James
Cameron's Aliens, and Haraway's cyborg. 15 Though this is perfectly possible, I am not remotely enough of a film
historian, or an Americanist, to be equipped to undertake it across the requisite eighty years of history. By contrast,
there may be more to be gained from readings that place the "Manifesto" within a more immediate and contemporary
circuit of meanings than could be encountered by a strategy that fostered a patriarchal lineage for a feminist text.
Haraway wrote, now oft-quoted, that she "would rather be a cyborg than a goddess"; 16 and she would presumably
rather not be Henry Adams, however suggestive he may be with respect to the modernist historical and cultural roots

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of a feminized American cyborg scenario.

The comparison with Henry Adams makes only two relatively straightforward points. Firstly, it could invite an
exploration of the senses in which cyborg postmodernism, whatever its selfpostulated rupture with modernity, can also
in certain aesthetic and political registers recapitulate and rhetorically rehearse, as well as move beyond, that emergent
modernist moment which encountered woman, science, technology, and politics in the same frame. Secondly, it
emphasizes points concerning the historical and contemporary cultural relays of imagery in which cyborg
postmodernism [End Page 173] is sustained. If a certain past may be somewhat more present than is immediately and
textually apparent, and with destabilizing effect, then textual futures may hold comparable, and comparably interesting,
destabilizations, recuperations, and appropriations of cyborg imagery.

This essay therefore adopts strategies whose overall effect is to extend the relays of cyborg imagery well beyond those
postulated in the "Manifesto," in order to recognize the cultural and political complexity of cyborg semiosis, and to
grasp the aporias that such extension produces for Haraway's writing. The analysis is in the main confined within the
period 1979 to 1991, the publication dates respectively of John Crowley's Engine Summer, and Marge Piercy's He, She
and It. 17 It incorporates reference to the novels of William Gibson, and to some films, all of this being the generic
terrain of SF. It takes seriously, in other words, Haraway's placing of her own work, where the "boundary between
science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion"; 18 echoes her latter insistence that "Science fiction is
generically concerned with the interpenetration of boundaries between problematic selves and unexpected others"; 19
and attempts, by example, to endorse her call for "work . . . to be done in the cultural space hinted by the intersections
of science fiction, speculative futures, feminist and antiracist theory, and fictions of science." 20

As has been seen, a particular reading of Adams can conflate the Education with the "Manifesto." It is as necessary,
however, to mark the difference of the "Manifesto," especially at the levels of politics and ideology. Adams was still
preoccupied with mind, Haraway preeminently with body. Adams was caught in the abyss of the modern, a certain
willed nescience confining his apprehensions of science and the future, whereas Haraway is caught up in the positive
potentials of the postmodern. Adams hoped, vaguely, for reconstruction, whereas Haraway "constructs
deconstructively." Adams's woman remained "victim to a man, a church, or a machine,'' 21 whereas Haraway's
ungendered cyborg is precisely for moving beyond the historical cycles of victimhood. Possessed of a [End Page 174]
scrupulous infidelity to origins, dislocated from the organic, the reproductive, and hence the Oedipal, the cyborg is able
to escape the enclosures of modern narrative and ideological dilemmas, to serve instead as resource for an
emancipatory, postmodern narratology; or such is its questionable hope.

Haraway's text, with its energetic enthusiasms for the liminal, the transgression and confusion of primary taxonomic
boundaries, the political effectivity of writing difference for the agenda of class, race, and sex/gender, expressed a
recognizably eighties feminist political and aesthetic sensibility, whose compositional form was transgressive
oscillation across the reality/fiction line. It attempted to integrate empirical, scholarly attention to the impact upon
women of new "informatics of domination" technology, with the oppositional poetics of what could be appropriated,
and then metaphorically and politically transformed, from those material and ideological networks. Subtitled a "dream
of a common language," it is also latterly recalled by Haraway as a compositional dream-time. 22 Its stylistic register
was its ability to move with a kind of seamless rapidity from empirically grounded political recognition of the
profound and deadly military-industrial technologies to a cyborg empyrean.

That rapid oscillation also points to an unacknowledged source of the text's appeal, which relates it strongly to its time,
its cultural moment of production and reception.

Our best machines are made of sunshine;


they are all light and clean because
they are nothing but signals,
electromagnetic waves,
a section of a spectrum.

And these machines are eminently portable,

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mobile--a matter of immense human pain


in Detroit and Singapore.
People are nowhere so fluid, being both
material and opaque. Cyborgs are ether,
quintessence. 23

This citation versifies Haraway's discourse in a way that illustrates the metrical properties of its poetic mode. Printed
as prose in the [End Page 175] "Manifesto," it occurs in the midst of a consideration also of the deadly effectivity of
new machinery, to produce a doubled singing of the body microelectronic. This doubled singing, with its oscillation
from positive to negative, from light to death, precisely displays the aesthetic figure that produces the cyborg as
simultaneously a minatory danger and an exhilarating hope. In its evocation of the scale difference of the micro, its
psychic switching from euphoria to fear, its vibrating between sunshine and pain, between opaque materiality and
translucent ether, this cyborg classically expresses the aesthetic paradigm of the technological sublime.

It did this in common with much other SF writing and film of the last eight years. In strictly chronological terms,
perhaps the most instructive comparison for Haraway's cyborg within this ambit of the techno-sublime is William
Gibson's Neuromancer, rather than the SF texts of Joanna Russ, Vonda McIntyre, John Varley, Octavia Butler, and
Samuel Delaney that Haraway drew upon for a "truncated catalogue of promising monsters." 24 Neuromancer appeared
close in time to the "Manifesto," in its own SF sphere had an immediate and enormous impact, and is now probably
overanalyzed by academic critics. 25 It rapidly entered, that is, the academic relay of the cyborg circuits of the eighties;
and it could be only a matter of time before Haraway's cyborg met Gibson's cyberpunk in that relay. 26

The main point of contact for what are in several ways highly divergent texts is indeed in relation to the postmodernist
technosublime. Gibson's text too is entranced by purity and danger and difference, the abstract, colorful geometries and
potent new entities that populate his intensely visual imaging of the network behind the surface of the screen,
cyberspace. It too imaginatively pursues an edge of cyborg difference across gender--the creation, originally
programmed by a woman, of an autonomous AI, thus a freeborn native of cyberspace, echt cyborg, and embodying the
danger and freedom, the fear and exhilaration, of the techno-sublime. [End Page 176]

Gibson's work has at times been critically assessed as politically irresponsible, white masculinist techno-fantasy, using
a narrative "unable to accommodate the full range of socially critical perspectives present in, say, the feminist utopian
S.F. novel of the seventies," 27 such as Haraway draws upon; and as devoted to the eroticism of hard-boiled noir" for
voicing a "fictional male heroism that chose bad faith as a riposte to the official eighties spectacle of wrapping the
male body in Old Glory." 28 There is an obvious, if by now somewhat bureaucratized, point to such assessments, but
they also impose their own limits. For my purposes, they do not work effectively beyond the point where the rhetorical
ease of their making ignores some rather straightforwardly recognizable elements of the nature and development of
Gibson's texts. Nor do they work effectively when obvious points of fusion and contact for a cyborg intertext rest
unmade for the sake of contrasting a more with a less acceptable political-textual posture. That is, if an aesthetic
figure, in this case the techno-sublime, actually encompasses the divergent ideological valencies of different cyborg
texts, the historical and structural evaluation of the encompassing figure becomes more critically significant and
complex than the simple political valorization of more as against less "progressive" texts can allow.

Such treatments distract attention from key and characteristic features of Gibson's work. His novels often feature
deeply unsympathetic male protagonists, rather than "male heroism." For Neuromancer in particular, the characters are
generically autoreferential caricatures, signaled as such by the text. 29 Indeed, Case, the protagonist, is judged not even
worthy of caricature. Their cyberpunk techno-enhanced meat bodies are entirely secondary to the primary environment
of cyberspace, where body necessarily transmutes to the second-order construct of body image, a bodily subjectivity
whose being is defined by the virtuality of its habitation. This virtual body experiences above all the space-time
compressions only later picked out as key indices of postmodern experience by materialist analysts such as David
Harvey. 30 Its virtuality is its entire point for the narrative logic of the action. Lexical moralization tends throughout
toward a minimum, and nature itself infinitely recedes. [End Page 177]

The markers for Neuromancer are therefore its reflexivity, virtuality, and posthumanism. What most likely offends is

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less its combination of technophilia with political cynicism, than the cunning of its inflation of difference to an
apocalyptic level, the new-order-of-being AI, only to deflate it with a denial that this difference has made much
difference to anything at all. 31 The cynicism, in other words, is less to do with any specific political readouts than with
the second, reflexive order of semiosis itself. And if difference is the privileged term of theory and praxis for the
postmodern analysis of representation and the prosecution of a politics of representation, then Gibson's acute semiotic
cynicism creates a postmodern aporia at the heart of any such enterprise. It is not surprising therefore that Gibson
attracts one kind of negative assessment in the contemporary field of postmodern criticism; though it is surprising that
such criticism seems unwilling to identify the source of its problem.

It is equally surprising that it is unwilling to perceive other readily apparent and developmental features of Gibson's
fiction that do not easily fit any stereotypical characterization as "white masculinist," or as "hardboiled noir." Gibson at
the least attempts a kind of multiculturalism that depicts Caribbean-American and East Asian peoples and
environments in ways that are not simply gestural settings: that is, they can be referred to action, character, diction,
and image, often substantially. Even more markedly, his texts, in terms of character casts, become notably more
feminized through Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive. 32 Considerable portions of Count Zero's narrative are
carried by the female characters Marly and Angie, whilst in Mona Lisa Overdrive the male protagonist is offstage for
the bulk of the narrative, which concentrates on the survival of the three young women Kumiko, Mona, and Angie, in
the face of patriarchal, corporate, and criminal threat.

These features of Gibson's novels mean that their assimilation to any one description at all is problematic, for as they
develop, they leave behind both the "noir" voice and the posthumanist register of Neuromancer. Count Zero closes
with an intensely valorized evocation of personalized memory itself. Marly receives an epiphanic Cornell box,
produced by an AI's art of memory, which offers a metonymic reconfiguration of her life: "I know of no more
extraordinary [End Page 178] work than this. No more complex gesture...." 33 Turner, the corporate mercenary warrior
humanized by his care for Angie, returns to an organic nature that is the recurrent memory of boyhood, there to teach
his own son a lesson about memory. It is difficult, in other words, to envisage a more classically humanist closure: the
redemptive value of memory, figured by the complementarities of Art, Nature, and Family, a discursive world away
from Neuromancer's demoralized, posthumanist virtuality.

Further, in Count Zero there is an emergent family drama of sons and mothers, daughters and fathers (Bobby and his
mother, Angie and her father), which receives fuller and more complex exploration in Mona Lisa Overdrive. Its
narrative resolutions, which involve the abused prostitute Mona becoming a Star, finally culminate in a virtual
wedding. The glowing and powerful Cartesian geometries of Neuromancer's cyberspace, and the desolate virtual and
terminal beach inhabited there by the simulacra of Case and his girlfriend Linda, have been substituted by a virtual
environment of city parks and gray stone country mansions. The main AI character is a corporate scriptwriter minder
called Continuity. Thus, whatever kinds of ironic literary parody one might attribute to such names, environments, and
events, at the point of resolution there remains a truth narratologically acknowledged, that a virtual man (Bobby) in
possession of a virtual fortune (as Bobby is) must be in want of a virtual wife (Angie).

Readerly disappointment here might be less to do with white masculinist techno-fantasy than with Gibson's retreat
from the edge of posthumanist difference promised in Neuromancer. Technically, what has happened is that the lexical
resources deployed in Gibson's attempts to represent AI presence and action--most often vocabularies of the aesthetic
and of spirit--prove incapable of any sustained and coherent narrative extension. That incapacity is compensated by a
humanization and domestication of cyberspace that sharply differentiates his later work from Neuromancer's
defamiliarized techno-sublime, and whose narrative resource is charitably described as entirely traditional. Gone too in
Mona Lisa Overdrive is the morbid analytical interest in degenerative and pathological forms of capital, replaced by
the personal politics of media corporation and symbolic family. In the face of incipient soap, however ironic, Gibson's
recuperation of the vocabulary of [End Page 179] "other" and "difference" in the closing pages of Mona Lisa
Overdrive can only seem less than convincing. 34

Gibson's most typical early work had its imaginative origin in the "place" described by Haraway as the "scary
networks" of the "informatics of domination." 35 Both were seduced by the possibilities of extending the technological
sublime as the trope to figure out the political-aesthetic dimensions and possibilities of the infotech material formation.

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That trope gained its ideological power in the mid-eighties as the description and subjectivization of what both
perceived as potential systemic domination, a literary coding of what was seen as the code of all future codes, whose
cubed effectivity was ultimately the capacity to abolish the modern's epistemological barrier between representation
and the real. Neither looked for a way out of the environment limned by the technological sublime; instead, both
postulated subsistence within it in terms of intersections with and appropriations of the code of domination. Textually
at least, all this might be called a shared sensibility of an emergent cultural dominant.

The main point of ideological difference between Neuromancer and the "Manifesto" was attitudinal, rather than
structural: Gibson's "bad attitude" cynicism concerning the distinction introduced by AI autonomy, a distinction that
made no political or ontological difference--as against Haraway's poetically postulated, if less than concretely detailed,
grasp of the ungendered cyborg's hopes, a distinction that could make a political and ontological difference, if
realizable (and if realization were ever the point). Gibson's later narrative confinement to humanized memory and
redemptive organic nature exemplifies just the form of "salvationist" story that Haraway's cyborg must abandon, just as
his family drama contains the Oedipal conflicts and resolutions from which Haraway's cyborg will be freed. The
Manifesto" can therefore be quite justifiably read as an alert prognostication of what, from its particular standpoint,
constitutes the cultural imprisonment of cyborg narrative. This is also an imprisonment from which time-paradoxed
cyborg film such as Terminator and Terminator 2 similarly fails to break free, unable to transcend the urge to refound
mother, father, and child as the effective counterweight to systemic machine domination, right to the point where even
the Good Cyborg cannot survive its narrative. [End Page 180]

There is however a further question raised by this example of cyborg film. The reason that the Good Cyborg cannot
survive the narrative is that, in terms of that narrative, its survival would contain the potential of machine hegemony. It
functions, that is (be it good or bad), as a metonym of systemic domination. Its power of unremittingly purposeful,
singular commitment is just its programmed connection to the system, its cyborg fidelity, which, according to its
positioning in the time loops, either fulfills its goals, or generates their probability. In turn, it is just this power that is
also its sublimity. These imagined machineries, whether Cameron's or Gibson's, are metonymic figures, which embody
already produced systemic power, and which without that embodiment of power would lose that sublimity. Thus,
although one may argue, with Haraway, for a sublime cyborg's infidelity to its origins in patriarchal capitalism, to
disconnect it from such origin would also be to sacrifice precisely its sublimity. This of course would be to initiate a
deconstruction of the dependence of the "Manifesto" on the technological sublime, for to disconnect by infidelity is to
lose the very poetics that inspire and carry the project. It is a project, in other words, that aesthetically most requires
what it politically most needs to disown.

The other principal divergence between the "Manifesto" and Gibson's novels lies in their treatment of the connected
items of body and space. Haraway's are putatively real bodies in idealized space. She lists, for instance, the locations in
which "women in the integrated circuit" subsist. 36 Despite the denial of "placehood" to cyborg women's multiple and
partial habitation of these locations, they are all immediately and reassuringly recognizable, indeed classically so.
Aristotle would have no difficulty in recognizing household, market, workplace, State, school, Church--even though
their contemporary denizens might puzzle him. He would, however, be radically baffled by the virtuality of cyberspace
and its virtualized, second-order bodies. The "integrated circuit" of the "Manifesto" and its cyborged women's bodies
are an epoch apart from cyberspace, and the "Manifesto" never remotely hints at the "relaxed contempt for flesh and
bone flaunted by Neuromancer. 37 There are boundaries, in other words, to Haraway's consigning of the organic to
oblivion, despite her enthusiasm for boundary transgression, and [End Page 181] these boundaries were early overrun
by Gibson, to form indeed the major premise of his fiction.

Despite her accurate discerning of the C(3)I (command-control-communication-intelligence) derivation of cyborg


technoscience, Haraway did not in 1984 distinguish its VR (virtual reality), vector. From that time on VR migrated into
private and campus development, with potentials mooted for architectural design (walk through the building as you
design, with 3D visualization), remote-control access to hazardous work locations, and the exploration of difficult
surgical environments. Gibson was moved to comment that some entrepreneurs seemed to have missed a certain level
of irony in his writing 38 --but that of course is a possibility inherent in any strategy of irony. More alarming are the
possibilities mooted for virtual pornography and the onset, already fantasized, of virtual (read "safe") sex with
feedback programmed between virtual environment and body-sensor suit. Although the clunky, early phase

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development of such technology faces severe bottlenecks, particularly the high ratio of programming time to running
time, other affiliated technologies--notably of digital image production and manipulation--advance rapidly, such that
the form of fantasy and actual soft- and hardware development can readily interact. The scenario is extendable to an
interactive narratology itself: enter the story, and act within and upon it.

The importance of the absence of the virtual vector in Haraway's analysis is twofold. Her cyborg "women in the
integrated circuit" are equally in classically conceptualized spaces which are not virtually imagined. But the virtual is a
qualitatively different space inhabited by the second-order postmodern body, and whatever its beneficial applications,
it also promises an exploitation of the female body, however virtual the mode, which some feminists, most notably
Andrea Dworkin, recognize as a paramount danger. 39 Gibson's own depiction of technoporn occurs early in Count
Zero, a part of the degraded social environment from which the narrative will abstract the eponymous protagonist. The
whores of the holographic harem are immediately set in contrast to the virtual Angel, Angie ("Darkeyes, desertstar,
tanshirt, girlhair"), who rescues him from a cyberspace trap; again, these virtualized female figures have themselves
not evaded entrapment by a clichéd Victorian iconography [End Page 182] of whore and Angel. 40 This, as with much
else in Gibson, makes the point that there is nothing whatsoever inherently or essentially liberated about the cyborg in
and of itself. Rather, in Gibson's development, and at times in the "Manifesto," its capacity for absorbing and
reproducing classical and modern settings, figures, and narratives is precisely its most marked and problematic feature.

Additionally, however, Gibson's early conception of virtual space had other, newer and better potentials. It not only
produced creative autogeneric puns such as the terminal beach (computer/ terminal/virtual/beach--the reference is to J.
G. Ballard's wellknown work of that title), but it enabled him by analysis and implication to produce a radically
decentered and destabilizing notion of the space of capital in the age of information. It is clear, for instance, that
certain mundane but important questions are increasingly unanswerable in their old forms. Questions beginning
"where" and "when," with reference to the location, timing, and operation of the instruments especially of finance
capital, moved impressively out of mundane apprehension in the eighties, and Neuromancer's cyberspace was a by-no-
meansnegligible device for revisualizing such operations in networked electronic space, in terms that clarified the
bankruptcy of classical and modern conceptions. Such space became increasingly metaphoric in nature, for literally it is
no space, no place at all. All it requires is the actualization of information potential at points of access as indefinitely
extendable as the supraglobal electronic signaling network. The information is just where it appears and acts, which it
is capable of doing at speeds approaching the instantaneous. Cyberspace memorably caught that crucial moment, alert
to its spatially uncanny ontological properties, its drastic time compression, and above all to the sense in which its
virtualized instrumentality could supervene decisively upon mundane, unvirtual existence. For all the percipience of its
midsummer night's dreaming ("It was a summer about writing . . . [an] almost dream-state piece''), 41 Haraway's
"Manifesto" was not written on the money-bank become the memory-bank, where the wild time blows. [End Page
183]

In Haraway's interview "Cyborgs at Large," she said, "Nature in relation to us is neither 'he,' 'she,' 'it.' . . . So you're
involved in a kind of science fictional move, of imagining possible worlds." 42 Her "Postscript" advances the notion of
nature as trickster, imaged as the "Coyote" of Navajo myth. 43 A coyote makes a heavily symbolic appearance toward
the end of Marge Piercy's recent novel He, She, and It, whose title directly echoes Haraway's negative take on nature.
44 Further, Piercy's "Acknowledgements," as well as specifying the utility and enjoyability of Gibson's cyberpunk ("I
figure it's all one playground"), emphasizes its virtuality's material immediacy: "be aware that even now companies are
working on sensor nets that permit a person to 'walk into' data and experience it in imaginary space." Further still,
Piercy acknowledges the suggestive nature of Haraway's essay, brought to her attention by Constance Penley, who also
interviewed Haraway. 45

This cyborg relay has thereby completed a particular circuit, from fiction, through the postmodern feminist Academy,
and back to fiction, further integrating the Gibsonian cyberspace paradigm along the way. It is further tempting to see
Piercy's novel as drawing upon elements of eighties cyborg film, particularly Making Mr. Right, and Terminator 2
(Cameron, 1991), although the latter may not have been released in requisite time. This relay thus marks a significant
latest stage of the developmental track followed by this essay, and does so in a way that allows the posing of an
intriguing question: Does the fictional cyborg circuit's pass through Haraway's attempt at linguistic-political
emancipation allow a post-Haraway fiction to break with those confining narrative and aesthetic figures which this

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essay has so far emphasized as constitutive of the cyborg's political problematic? To put it more directly, if one
possible response to the "Manifesto" is to read it as conceiving an SF story yet to be born (or "replicated," if one
prefers), has Piercy written such a story?

The short answer is probably a qualified negative. But both the negative and its qualification will serve to differentiate
as well as align Piercy's novel with reference to the cyborg intertext established thus far. The novel's distinguishing
feature that marks its difference from all the preceding is its historicism, and this description [End Page 184] covers
the principal features of its structural and narrative form. Piercy's future is set on the far side of catastrophic ecological
rupture, where humanity clusters in environmentally protected groupings, socially and politically differentiated into
corporate arcologies, freetowns, Rural Zones, and the Glop--territory of the underclass, which lacks official access to
the electronic Net, but which provides service labor for the privileged corporate communities. The narrative concerns
Shira, a young corporate executive who at the outset is divorced from her corporate husband, and who thereby loses
her young child to that corporate world. This turns out to be an elaborate corporate manipulation to return Shira to her
home freetown where a project to create an autonomous, illegal cyborg is well advanced, and to which Shira's
corporation wants access. The cyborg is created by Avram, former lover of Shira's grandmother Malkah, and, secretly
and subversively, by Malkah herself. Shira joins the project, and educates the cyborg into human behavior. The cyborg
successfully defends the freetown from predatory corporate raids, becomes Shira's lover, helps Shira to retrieve her
son, and finally disposes of itself, its male creator, and the corporate enemy in one fell coup. Along the way, the
activities of Riva (Shira's mother, a renegade lesbian data pirate) are woven into the action, along with Riva's wired-
up, highly enhanced lover, Nili. Shira's growing love affair with Yod, the cyborg, is calibrated against her
disentanglement from the erotic and nostalgic attractions of her former childhood and teenage lover, Gadi, now an
entertainment Net media prince in temporary exile for bad sex.

The novel's most intense emotional focus within this action is upon female relationships and their development: mother
to child, mother to own mother and grandmother, and woman to husband/ lover are the privileged relationships in
terms of textual attention. To these relationships Piercy applies her primary artistic expertise, that of psychological
realism. The novel's most intense philosophical focus is cyborg identity itself, and the boundary confusions this creates
for humanism. And its most intense political focus is upon the preservation of participatory, liberated, communitarian
democracy, enshrined in the heterotopic space of Tikva, the freetown.

The novel might therefore be read as a bold subgeneric synthesis of seventies feminist utopian SF with both the
transgressive antihumanist identity concerns of Haraway and the virtuality of cyberspace. It is also certainly the case
that Piercy's women, in conversation about female life, talk of identity as changeable and mobile rather than fixed, and
that as characters they exemplify [End Page 185] sequences of liberated, if often fraught, options, with reference to
work, politics, love, sexuality, and family. It is less clear, however, that this is owing to any explicitly cyborg feminist
context, rather than to a more conventional libertarian, humanist feminism. Shira, the main character, has a child, not a
replicant. She inhabits several roles, rather than adopting partial identities. Her development is no more, if no less,
fractured than Dorothea's in Middlemarch. Definite placement within identifiable communities, work-spaces, and
homes is more important for Piercy's women than the "geometrics of difference and contradiction to be embraced" by
Haraway's cyborg identities. 46 Shira is no more and no less a partial and fractured identity, that is, than feminist
critique has taught us to perceive for woman in canonical Western lit. More genuine cyborg coding is reserved for her
data pirate mother, and the mother's enhanced lover Nili, who is finally seen as the pointer to the future, but who is
illustrative and accessory, rather than central, to the action.

Arguably, this is because it is the character Shira who bears the narrational burden of socially making, philosophically
pondering, and sexually interacting with the cyborg Yod. The social, philosophical, and sexual questions require, for
Piercy's purposes, to be asked and assessed from the humanist subjective standpoint, rather than from that of the
postmodern cyborg, and this makes a considerable and qualitative perspectival difference between Piercy's actual and
Haraway's potential narrative.

The technique used by Piercy to ask and assess the questions of the cyborg permits a remarkably detailed indulgence
in feminist heterosexual fantasy, for Yod, a programmed creation by female and male, and eminently educable by
Shira, increasingly figures as the Perfect Man. His aggressive traits are geared to the necessary defense of an embattled
community. He does helpful things without being asked; is a preternaturally sensitive and responsive lover; likes

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conversation rather than silence; does not need constant looking after; is not hung up on female appearance; is a good
dancer; does what Shira wants right away, no argument; is reliable, "a virtue without price"; is nonjudgmental, not
moody; is faithful; does not sweat; and offs your ex. And in one of Shira's meditations, he ascends to the perfect father
in language that irresistably recalls Sarah Connor's musing voice-over as she watches the Good Cyborg play with her
son in Terminator 2: "He would never abuse Ari. He has no temper. He has infinite patience. He would never confuse
[End Page 186] Ari with his own ego or become infuriated or disappointed because he felt Ari failed him." 47

Programmed to please, Yod pleases, but his self-programming capacity increasingly makes this his own option; thus
humanist moral pleasure is further increased, because Yod's pleasing is an individual's choice. Piercy philosophically
develops Yod well beyond the point of passing the Turing Test, indeed to the point where there is no real difference of
autonomy or determination between cyborg and human. The effect of this development, along with the fantasy of the
Perfect Man, is to tighten the moral and emotional tension up to a level sufficient for cathartic dénouement. Yod's self-
destructive coup resolves certain narrative lines, but not Shira's dilemma, for she could, if she chose, simply replicate
Mr. Right. Her reasons for refusing are straight out of Philosophy 101, the core curriculum of liberal humanist moral
philosophy: potential/actual autonomous self-aware beings programmed as tools are wrong, because this is to treat a
person as a means, not as an end. 48 The self-indulgent fantasy is virtuously renounced in the name of Kant's moral
imperative; even the Good Cyborg must again die ("terminate"), to be left finally as a memory of the Kantian abject,
which is also lost desire.

Piercy's stress on attachment, identity, and continuity can be cited from several recurrent points throughout the text of
He, She and It. 49 But its major occurrence is as structure, rather than as overt verbalization. The novel is a
programmatic rewriting of the old Jewish tale, "The Golem of Prague." 50 It occurs in the novel as told by Malkah,
Shira's grandmother and co-maker of Yod, to Yod himself, as part of his education and narrative ancestry. Each
section of the tale is interleaved with the appropriate developmental stage of the SF narrative. The continuities and
parallels of action and character are such that the historical tale acts as the narrative paradigm for the SF setting and
action. Thus Yod's template is the golem Joseph; Avram, Yod's creator, mirrors Judah Loew, the great Maharal of the
Prague ghetto; and Chava, his independent, intellectual daughter suggests both Shira and Malkah. The golem Joseph
[End Page 187] successfully defends the ghetto from violent Christian prejudice and persecution, as the cyborg Yod
defends the freetown from the violence of corporate power.

Although Piercy makes several departures from at least the short version of the tale I have read (Piercy's golem can
both talk and fall in love with Chava), these serve to regulate and extend the historical continuities and structural
mirroring. So strong is this patterning that it tends to lead to the conclusion that Piercy's concern is overweeningly one
that seeks to conserve and further historically constituted social, moral, and intellectual values in the face of hostile,
acutely imperiling forces. Each story is one of a sociability characterized by pacifism and progressive, liberal
intellectual enquiry, but which must turn intellect toward violent defensive action out of necessity. Just as the Prague
tale revalorized the golem for diaspora Jewish culture, in comparison to its negative monstrosity as seen in "The
Golem of Chelm," 51 so Piercy retreads the threatening cyborg for stable, modern liberal values; interrogating, but
finally validating those modern reflexes concerning personhood and moral identity; and solving the questionabilities of
political and moral expediency in part by, once again, deploying an Oedipal closure.

The Jewish cultural dimension allows, in the SF story, an intriguing perspective on the codes of the Net, seen as
comparable with the active, mystical numerology of the Kabbalah. In comparison, it is therefore equally intriguing that
Piercy does not somehow deploy from the tale the resonant final image of the clay body of the golem, in the attic of
the Altneushul in Prague, covered with the leaves of old prayer books. 52 This is an ending that emphasizes the
possibility of semiotically literal revival. That Yod's cyborg body cannot similarly just be powered down and wrapped
in code tape, but requires thorough destruction beyond possibility of return, argues that the cultural grip of the Oedipal,
combined with Kantian moral law's repression of fantastic desire, is extraordinarily difficult to break, and is also the
relevant ideological complex for analysis. Given that both of these are indeed picked out by Haraway as limitations to
be transgressed by cyborg feminism, and given also Piercy's contrasting stress on historical and cultural continuity,
place, and self-identity, it is finally difficult, if not impossible, to see the central narrative of He, She and It as fulfilling
the narratology posited by the "Manifesto." [End Page 188]

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Space is something of a category of priority for the postmodern, whether in novels such as Gibson's, or in theoretical
analyses such as those of Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, and Frederic Jameson. It seems perhaps that if modernity's
priority was of TIME:space, devoted to the deep time of history and memory, the postmodern has reversed that ratio,
constantly tending to displace the temporal toward the spatial. Modernity's temporally ungraspable "solid melts into
air" may be replaced by ungraspable virtual space in postmodernity. It is significant in this regard that Jameson's recent
distinguished work on postmodernism has a chapter devoted to space, but none to time. This is because he sees
postmodern time as "subject to the service of space,"a displacement of the temporal by space such that, "if temporality
still has its place, it would seem better to speak of writing of it than of any lived experience." 53 Piercy's cultural
historicism can nonetheless remind us that a certain modern, liberal reflex can still use historicized time as a
fundamental narrative resource in the midst of the postmodern displacement. It may in addition be worth considering
not only capital's recent dramatic spatial expansion, but equally its now enormously extended capacity for a structural
occupation of the future itself. The postmodern focus on the spatial should not, in other words, preclude attention to the
concrete sense in which capital's recent solution to its overaccumulation crisis displaced itself in time as well as space.
54 The new mechanisms of credit and debt financing that typified the 1970s and 1980s, and that now operate with
often novel and drastic effect at individual, regional, national, international, and multinational levels, have at their
widest effect colonized the futures of whole communities and polities, most notably those Third World and developing
debtor nations now subject to the politics of debt rescheduling. "The future" cannot therefore be conceived as some
empty time, to be moved into by abstractly human/cyborg potential, even for imaginative purposes--its latticework of
days, labor, organization, and management is now in place, for it has been bought. To put this in terms amenable to
Jameson's and Haraway's, if postmodern temporality is a matter of writing, then future-directed analysis and fiction
could well pay its first attention to the extent to which the future is already written. [End Page 189]

Gibson's latter fictional displacement, from the future in virtual space to an alternative Victorian (and sub-Dickensian)
past, from cyberpunk to "steam punk," hints strongly at the pertinence of Jameson's formulation. The Difference
Engine, coauthored with Bruce Sterling, is indeed a (re)writing of historical time. 55 It does not, however, allow
Gibson any departure from the overall narrative paradigm of his earlier novels. The Difference Engine envisages an
alternative England dominated by the technology of Babbage's early computing machinery. Yet its complex plot is
another rehearsal of the origin and telos first evolved in Neuromancer. Ada Lovelace, the queen of engines, stands in
for Marie France Tessier Ashpool as the genius creatrix of something which will, in the fullness of alternative
historical time, achieve the kind of transcendent selfconsciousness attained by the AI Wintermute/Neuromancer in
Neuromancer. Each section of The Difference Engine is a numbered "Iteration," and the novel indeed reiterates the
typical Gibsonian displacements from the creative female Other to the finally mystified Other-as-machine.

The move to alternative time, from space, and even in a coauthored work, is not sufficient to break the rule of this
obsessively explored pattern. That it is not simply individualistic in nature, but alternatively may share a deep taproot
with actual cyborg philosophy and practice, can be seen by placing a narrativized reading of a foundational AI text
alongside Gibson's work. Alan Turing's paper of 1950 advocated the "Imitation Game" as a decision procedure for the
judging of machine intelligence. 56 Instead of talk about mental interiors and the nature of mind, one should think of
the issue behaviorally and performatively. If a machine can formulate responses that cannot practically be
distinguished from a human's, then it has won the Imitation Game and is "intelligent." The significant point about this
game is that it was, according to Turing, at first a difference game, indeed the difference game, where the aim was for
a blind interlocutor to distinguish one sex from the other by acutely posed questions which may be deceptively and
artfully, but not untruthfully, answered by the male subject, whereas the female subject may be best advised to answer
directly. 57 For assessing machine intelligence, the male subject is replaced by the machine, and the female subject,
though not formally written out [End Page 190] of the game, effectively drops out, so that the game becomes one of a
human interrogator's ability to decide whether the responses to questions are produced by a machine or not.

Turing's exposition of possible objections to his test of "intelligence" encounters both Lady Lovelace and Babbage.
Lovelace's objection ran: "The Analytical Engine has no pretensions to originate anything. It can do whatever we know
how to order it to perform." 58 And yet another objection encountered by Turing, the self-consciousness argument, is
exemplified by literature itself: "Not until a machine can write a sonnet or compose a concerto because of thoughts or
emotions felt, and not by the chance fall of symbols, could we agree that machine equals brain--that is not only write it
59

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but know that it had written it." Turing's response is to imagine a viva voce of a machine Shakespeare: "In the first
line of your sonnet which reads 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day', would not 'a spring day' do as well or better?
" 60 The female, effectively out of the Imitation Game, returns in Turing's examples as question and history (Lady
Lovelace), the homoerotic occurs as question and poetic object. When these elements of Turing's analysis are
narratologically reassembled, they produce a web of difference/sex/ woman/ man/ machine/history/origin/order/poem,
each passing through assigned positions of performative utterance and response postulated by the difference game
itself.

In a striking way, this suggests that the singular macroplot of Gibson's novels, as well as elements of both Piercy's and
Haraway's action, are "already written" by Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing. That Turing was an enthusiastic and
transgressive crosser of taxonomic boundaries his paper solidly attests, cheerfully accepting not only the
nondifferentiation of human and machine by terms of mind, intelligence, and consciousness, but also biological
cloning, "replication," as well. He was surely an honorable adumbration of Haraway's cyborg, and a literal decoder of
real Fascist codes. 61 Moreover, his personal life was a sexual transgression under conditions considerably more
ideologically and legally repressive than today's. The facts of his life and death might let one suppose that any
heterosexual difference game had for Turing an additional, sometimes [End Page 191] amused, sometimes anguished
twist. And the suicidal conclusion of his life bodies forth a tragedy for cyborgs. 62

The point of this Turing example is not to counterpose a historically real tragedy to Haraway's hopeful fiction. Her
writing displays an alertness to the real threats and dangers of cyborg terrain that renders absolutely unnecessary any
such reminder. Rather, Turing's own writing provides this analysis with another relevant template for cyborg
narratology which would bear closer investigation than is provided here, while his life and death raise the suggestion
that concealed in history and in historically temporalized SF text there lies a cyborg encounter with a final major
narratological figure, namely that of tragedy itself.

The SF text that best broaches this concern with the integration of postmodern temporality and tragedy is John
Crowley's Engine Summer, a work whose narratological, conceptual sophistication quite overreaches that of any SF
text this essay has so far dealt with. Crowley indeed seems a writer of often exalted and outrageous ambition,
conducting an epic rescue in the eighties of faerie with Little, Big, and embarking on a tetralogy, initiated by Aegypt,
that promises a bizarre undoing and reconstitution of historical time. 63 Engine Summer itself indicates a verbally slight
but theoretically significant alteration of Jameson's view of postmodern temporality as "writing of it." The first text
analyzed here by Jameson is the Ballard story "Voices of Time," a tale of time. 64 By contrast, Crowley's can be
described instead as "time writing": the relational "of," which objectifies time, is eliminated. Crowley's deceptively
gentle means to this narratological end effectively conceals a conceptual ferocity whose unleashing translates reading
(and reader) into a radically temporalized subjective form. This is achieved through narrative whose chief properties
are structural rather than plot-based.

The story "begins" (all time words have to be scare quoted for this text) with a self-consciously narrational setting.
Somebody is to tell their life story to somebody else, and the setting seems to be a sort of airy heaven, containing
"angels." The story told is Rush that Speaks's tale, which has the form of a traditional quest-romance. Rush, a member
of the Truthful Speakers of Little Belaire, and incited by stories about the founding Saints of his community, [End
Page 192] sets out to recover a lost Glove and Ball, quasi-magical objects from that fabled story time. In his quest, he
meets a hermit, Blink, who informs him, among many other things, of the meaning of tragedy: "Tragedy, it's an
ancient word; it meant a description of a terrible thing that had happened to someone; something that, given
circumstances and some fault in you, could happen to you, or to anybody. It was like truthful speaking, because it
showed we share the same nature, a nature we can't change and so cease to suffer." 65 Rush proceeds, renews his
potentially romantic acquaintance with Once a Day, a girl formerly of his community but now with a group of
medicinalists, and eventually locates the Glove, which allows the Ball in turn to locate him. He is returning home,
perhaps to Sainthood, if not to the girl, when the quest narrative ceases.

Throughout the narrative, the reader learns gradually of the preceding, now fallen civilization of the Angels,
characterized by compulsive control and expansion, restless intellectual inquiry, and enormous scientific and
technological accomplishment. Despite its star probes and sky-floating cities, it had at last disintegrated in self-

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destructive conflict. Scattered remnants who survived did so through the agency of the Long League of Women, who
foresaw the coming catastrophe and acted to save whatever could be retrieved from destruction. The reader has both an
increasing sense of how Rush's quest for Glove and Ball is patterned by and concretely linked to the precatastrophe
history of the Angels, and also some puzzlement, if not unease, that the actual scene of narration is the sky-borne City
of the Angels (no prizes). And the title so far remains a quirky pun on Indian/Injun summer.

Much of this receives clarification by the book's close. Rush has also by this time both learnt of and experienced the
Angels' ultimate achievement, a consciousness and memory recording device. When he locates the Glove and puts it
on, this activates its companion Ball in the floating City, whereupon an Angelic emissary descends to claim the Glove,
and to record Rush's consciousness into the bargain. Rush that Speaks presumably returns to Little Belaire, while his
simulacral consciousness ascends to the City. The simulacrum has been there for six hundred years. The reader has
participated in the 299th replaying of Rush that Speaks, whose simulacral consciousness can be interpenetrated by the
Angels, who thereby live his story. [End Page 193]

This firstly clarifies the title: Engine Summer now equals machine time, which has also been that deceptive warmth of
the romance narrative, before the wintry onset of the meaning of the Angelic narrative. The reader has in effect been
reading a story in virtual time, the machine time of the engine, rather than the realtime of humanist life and its
narrative mimesis; a tale not of lifestory, but of the coming-to-be of an engineered consciousness, at last switched off.

Throughout the text Crowley appears to have targeted a particular postmodern reader, for it is replete with overt
references to story, truthful utterance, and meaning, which play into the meta-narrative and reflexive expectations of
the postmodern. But these expectations are finally perhaps as thwarted as those held by any haplessly unreconstructed
male teenage reader of the romance of quest, girl, rite of passage, and triumphal return. This is because the novel
closes tragically. Throughout, Crowley's reflexive focus on narrative and its meaning has tended to equate it with life
itself. The Saints, for instance, are not sainted because holy, but because they have a story. Their lives have a peculiar
density and memorability of meaning for their community. They lived a Life. The categorical closeness of life and
story purveyed by Crowley is as intense here as that argued for by Alasdair MacIntyre's chapter on "Unity of Human
Life" in After Virtue. 66 What creates the simulacral Rush's tragedy is that, once activated, it has self-consciousness,
language, and narrative consciousness, but no memory of its previous playings, and no prospect of narrative
conclusion. It will never know what became of itself, and is doomed to repeat its being as an unwitting and
uncompletable subject of narration. It does not return, but rewinds and replays. Understandably, it begs to be freed,
switched off to sleep, if it cannot die.

Now tragedy is not a regular postmodern expectation at all--what, after all, might a postmodern tragedy be? The
formal properties of anagnorisis and peripeteia that rule Crowley's closure hint at a self-consciously programmatic
attempt to regear the Poetics of Aristotle in postmodern setting, and it is worth pointing out that the classical unities are
also observed by Crowley to an extent beyond that commended even by Aristotle. There is only one, fixed spatial
setting, the place in the City. The number of chapters in the novel, [End Page 194] twenty-seven, is suspiciously close
to the unitary twenty-four hours, and there is only one, singular action, the act of narration itself. The answer to the
question of what constitutes a postmodern tragedy is therefore just that it is constituted in and by the very telling of the
tale, and finally in the lack of any catharsis. The reader is left suspended in abysmal time, looping with the
paradoxical, artefactual person that is the Rush cyborg.

The strongest cultural connotation to be placed upon Engine Summer is, then, that it exhibits a postmodern crisis of
narrative, and an audacious classical resolution, once its virtual time vector is recognized. It has added another icon to
the gallery of cyborg incarnation. This now summarily includes the Unfaithful Ungendered Postmodern Feminist
(Haraway), the Spiritual but Unknowable AI and Virtual Young Married Couple (Gibson), the Absolutely Nice Tuf
Man and Good Dad, Dead (Piercy, Cameron), William Shakespeare alias Universal Turing Machine (Turing), the
Golem of Prague (Piercy), and Kronos Tragicos (Crowley). History and text might add Ada the Countess Lovelace,
Charles Babbage, Alan Turing, and the Maharal of Prague as the sculptors of difference (Gibson, Turing, Piercy).
Holograms of ambivalent angels glimmer forth (Crowley, Gibson). A coyote laughs, and for some quite unintelligible
reason, it is often summertime and sunny (Haraway, Turing/ Shakespeare, Crowley). So many cyborgs want to self-
terminate (Gibson, Piercy, Turing, Crowley, Cameron).

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The cyborg's iconic status, for postmodern culture, according to this essay's analysis, is nonetheless characterized by
confinement. This confinement has a narrative enactment performed by the culturally dominant discursive figures of
the Oedipal, Kantian abjection, and the technological sublime, and finally by tragedy. Its move into virtual space-time
renders it still more positively complicit with the literal and figural codes of a rampantly successful postmodern
capitalism, which colonizes time future and scripts it as well. If it is to act culturally for conviviality, it will need not
only to be a present singing in the wires, appropriating the codes. It must also and somehow make a difference in time.

A Brief Postscript

The U.K.-style magazine The Face (June 1992) has a feature on The Memory Palace, a cyber spectacular at
Barcelona's Art Futura festival (which will now have transferred to the Seville Expo's Spanish Pavilion). Memory
Palace is scripted by Gibson, who describes it: "It's your basic postmodern dread and ecstasy, I guess." The feature
opens thus: [End Page 195]

Shaking his fist, spluttering incomprehensibly, the middle-aged man behind me has definitely lost it.
Perhaps it's not surprising. Around him five huge video screens hammer out a coordinated assault of
atrocity footage, fastforward surrealism.... Maybe he's annoyed because he can't quite figure what all this
has to do with what the programme describes as "the cyberspace experience," maybe it's because a minute
ago he was nearly run over by a 30-foot-high mutoid metal minotaur, but he looks about ready to chin
someone. (p. 88)

Although it is his chin rather than his neck that is now in contention, there can be little doubt as to the identity of this
unfortunate man.

John Christie works in the Division of History and Philosophy and the Centre for Cultural Studies at the University of
Leeds. His main historical interest is in Enlightenment Science; his main contemporary interest is in the relations of
science and the postmodern. He is co-editor of The Figural and the Literal (Manchester, 1987), Transfigurations:
Science and Literature, 1700-1900 (Manchester, 1989), and the Leeds Companion to the History of Modern Science
(Routledge, 1990). He is currently writing on Adam Smith's theories of technology, science, and aesthetics, and on the
apocalyptic dimensions of Joseph Priestley's science.

Endnotes
1. Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, ed. Ernest Samuels (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973), p. 379.

2. Ibid. pp. 495-498.

3. Ibid., pp. 446-447.

4. Ibid., pp. 443, 397, 401, 460-461.

5. Ibid., p. 397.

6. Ibid., pp. 383-385, 459.

7. Ibid., pp. 379-381.

8. Donna Haraway, "A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980's," Socialist
Review 80 (1985): 65-107.

9. The Manifesto" is reprinted in Feminism/Postmodernism, ed. Linda Nicolson (New York: Routledge, 1990); and in
Donna Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (London: Free Association Books, 1991).
"Cyborgs at Large: Interview with Donna Haraway" by Constance Penley and Andrew Ross, and Donna Haraway,
"The Actors are Cyborg, Nature is Coyote, and the Geography is Elsewhere: Postscript to 'Cyborgs at Large'," are in

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Technoculture, ed. Constance Penley and Andrew Ross (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991), pp. 1-26.

10. Adams, Education (above, n. 1), p. 384.

11. Ibid., p. 447.

12. Ibid., p. 382.

13. Ibid., p. 381.

14. Haraway, "Manifesto" (above, n. 8), p. 68.

15. For Metropolis, see Ludmilla Jordanova, "Fritz Lang's Metropolis: Science, Machines and Gender," in Issues in
Radical Science, ed. Radical Science Collective (London: Free Association Books, 1985), pp. 5-21. For Blade Runner,
see J. P. Telotte, "The Doubles of Fantasy and the Space of Desire," and Giuliana Bruno, "Ramble City:
Postmodernism and Blade Runner," both in Alien Zone, ed. Annette Kuhn (London: Verso, 1990), pp. 152-159, 183-
195.

16. Haraway, "Manifesto," p. 101.

17. The editions referred to are John Crowley, Engine Summer (London: Methuen, 1982); Marge Piercy, Body of Glass
(London: Michael Joseph, 1992) (the title was changed for the U.K. edition).

18. Haraway, "Manifesto," p. 66.

19. Haraway, "Postscript" (above, n. 9), p. 24.

20. Ibid.

21. Adams, Education, p. 447.

22. Haraway, "Interview" (above, n. 9), p. 14.

23. Haraway, "Manifesto," p. 70.

24. Ibid., p. 98.

25. See Mississippi Review 47-48 (1988): passim; John Christie, "Science Fiction and the Postmodern," and John
Huntington, "Newness, Neuromancer, and the End of Narrative," both in Fictional Space, ed. Tom Shippey (Oxford:
Blackwell, 1991), pp. 34-58, 59-75; and essays by divers hands in Fiction 2000: Cyberpunk and the Future of
Narrative, ed. George Slusser and Tom Shippey (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, forthcoming) .

26. E.g., in Andrew Ross, "Cyberpunk in Boystown," in Ross, Strange Weather: Culture, Science and Technology in
the Age of Limits(London: Verso, 1991), pp. 137-167.

27. Ibid., p. 153.

28. Ibid., p. 156.

29. See William Gibson, Neuromancer (New York: Ace Books, 1984), pp. 208-209.

30. David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (Oxford: Blackwell, 1984), pp. 284-307.

31. Gibson, Neuromancer, p. 270.

32. William Gibson, Count Zero (London, Grafton Books, 1987), and Mona Lisa Overdrive (London: Gollancz, 1988).

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33. Gibson, Count Zero, p. 312.

34. Gibson, Mona Lisa, p. 251.

35. Haraway, "Manifesto" (above, n. 8), pp. 79--35.

36. Haraway, "Manifesto." See the version in Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs and Women (above, n. 9), pp. 170-173. The
1985 version in Socialist Review does not have this typology of place.

37. Gibson, Neuromancer (above, n. 29), p. 6.

38. William Gibson, BBC TV, Horizon programme on Virtual Reality, October 1991.

39. Andrea Dworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women (London: Women's Press, 1981).

40. Gibson, Count Zero, pp. 47-48. See also the synthesis of the prostitute Mona and the angel Angie that Mona Lisa
performs.

41. Haraway, "Interview" (above, n. 9), p. 14.

42. Ibid., p. 3.

43. Haraway, "Postscript" (above, n. 9), p. 21.

44. Haraway may be echoing Piercy's title, rather than Piercy using Haraway's formulation for a title.

45. Piercy, Body of Glass [He, She and It] (above, n. 17), pp. vii-viii.

46. Haraway, "Manifesto," in Simians, Cyborgs and Women (above, n. 9), p. 170.

47. Piercy, Body of Glass, p. 307. This has the "he would never" formulation in common with the Connor voice-over.

48. Ibid., pp. 391, 404-406.

49. Ibid., esp. pp. 229, 405.

50. "The Golem of Prague," in A Treasury of Jewish Folklore, ed. Nathan Ausubel (New York: Crown Publishers,
1948), pp. 605-612.

51. Ibid., pp. 605-606.

52. Ibid., p. 612.

53. Frederic Jameson, Postmodernism; or, The Cultural Logic or Late Capitalism (London/ New York: Verso, 1991),
p. 155.

54. See Harvey, Condition of Postmodernity (above, n. 30), pp. 171-197.

55. William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine (London: Gollancz, 1991).

56. Alan Turing, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence," Mind, 59 (1950): 433-460.

57. Ibid., pp. 433-434.

58. Ibid., p. 450 (italics in original).

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John R. R. Christie - A Tragedy for Cyborgs - Configurations 1:1

59. Ibid., p. 445.

60. Ibid., p. 446.

61. Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma of Intelligence (London: Unwin Paperbacks, 1985), pp. 259-313.

62. Ibid., pp. 456-527.

63. John Crowley, Little, Big (London: Gollancz, 1981), and Aegypt (New York: Bantam Books, 1987).

64. Jameson, Postmodernism (above, n. 53), pp. 155-156.

65. Crowley, Engine Summer (above, n. 17), pp. 93-94.

66. Alasdair Maclntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (London: Duckworth, 1981), pp. 204-225. And for a
comparable piece by temporality/narration's most lucid analyst, see Paul Ricoeur, "Life: A Story in Search of a
Narrator" in A Ricoeur Reader: Reflection and Imagination, ed. Mario Valdes (Hemel Hempstead: Harvester
Wheatsheaf, 1991), pp. 423-437.

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