Squarepusher is the principal pseudonym adopted by Tom Jenkinson, an English electronic musician. His compositions draw on a number of influences including drum and bass, acid house and electroacoustic music, his recordings are typified by a combination of electronic sound sources, live instrumental playing and digital signal processing. He is the brother of Ceephax Acid Crew. Tom Jenkinson grew up in Essex; the first school he attended was affiliated with Chelmsford Cathedral giving him exposure to organ music, which he has subsequently acknowledged as an influence on his work. He took an interest in music early in life, became interested in music reproduction equipment. Much of his early experience of music was from scanning through various radio stations for anything that caught his ear irrespective of style or genre, he was fascinated by radio static and amplitude modulation artefacts on the Short Wave band. At the age of 11, Tom bought a guitar, a 3/4 size nylon-strung classical, he attended several guitar lessons with a local tutor but soon decided that it would be better to teach himself, as he found that his tutor's answers to his questions about musical instruments and music in general were unsatisfactory.
In 1986 Tom went to the King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford. One of his formative musical experiences came from seeing guitarist Guthrie Govan playing in the school's inter-house music competition. Tom went on to develop a friendship with Govan. Tom joined his first band at 12, a Metallica influenced thrash metal group consisting of several other pupils from the school. Over subsequent years Tom played bass guitar in various local bands playing numerous gigs around East Anglia and London, took part in some studio recordings. In 1991 Tom became interested in house music, acid house and techno, through which he became friends with Hardy Finn who went on to co-found record label Spymania. In August 1993, Tom recorded a particular piece named "O'Brien"; the cassette containing this recording is visible on the front cover of the Buzz Caner album and is dated 8/8/93 > 11/8/93. This piece was liked by Tom's friend Hardy Finn and between them they raised sufficient funds to release this piece, along with additional material, on a vinyl 12".
The name of the record label was "Nothing's Clear", taken from the title of a song by Tricky of which Tom and Hardy were fans, released in 1991 on a compilation album called The Hard Sell. This record exhibits a strong influence of Aphex Twin, Tom states that the Xylem Tube EP was of particular importance to him at that time. "Falling" was written after Tom listened to'Galaxy' by Carl Craig, was completed the following day after an all-night recording session, which set the precedent of how he would work in the future. Tom and his friends took the copies of the record to various local record shops but found reactions disappointing. However, it was played by Colin Faver on Kiss FM, elicited a complimentary phone call from Grant Wilson Claridge of Rephlex Records; these tracks featured in the live sets which Tom was playing during this period, which included a performance at Eurobeat 2000 at Turnmills in 1995, where he shared the bill with one of his influences, Carl Craig. In autumn 1994, Tom began to pursue his fascination for integrating breakbeats into electronic music.
This was inspired by early 1990s recordings on record labels such as Shut Up And Dance, Chill, D-Zone and Kickin', but Aphex Twin's usage of breaks in tracks such as "Polynomial C" and "Dodeccaheedron" as well as Renegade Soundwave's "Black Eye Boy" and Mantronix's "King of the Beats", a favourite of Tom's from the days of DJ'ing at parties in Chelmsford. The first recordings using Tom's new set up were released on the Spymania label; this was an offshoot of Zoom Records, based in Camden Town and was set up by Tom's school friends Hardy Finn and Paul Fowler who worked at Zoom. The first e.p. was called "Conumber". "Conumber" exhibits the influence of mid-1990s jungle, which at that point had eclipsed his interest in other forms of dance music. Tom cites "Babylon" by DJ Splash, "Dub Plate Style" by Marvellous Kane and "R. I. P." by Remarc as being influential on him. But a specific influence came from Luke Vibert's recordings as Plug the track "Military Jazz" from the "Plug 2" e.p. of which he says: "I recall hearing that on the radio in the summer of 1995.
I was dumbfounded, I thought I was listening to some funk group and this massive Amen breakbeat kicked in. It sounded like the future." This influence came to fuel many of Tom's ideas over the next two years, in particular the album Hard Normal Daddy and becomes more apparent on the second Spymania EP Alroy Road Tracks. Another influence at this time came from frequenting the club "Speed", put on by DJ's Fabio and LTJ Bukem and was held in central London; the e.p. received an excellent reaction from Rocket at Ambient Soho on Berwick Street, sufficiently enthused to invite Tom to play a live set at his monthly club night held in the back room of The Sir George Robey in Finsbury Park. Tom had attended several nights at this particular club, known for playing experimental electronic music. Sharing the bill with Jenkinson were Wishmountain aka Matthew Herbert and Cylob; the sleeve notes of Feed Me Weird Things written by Aphex Twin recall to humorous effect some of the real or imagined occurrences of that evening which marked the beginning of a friendship between him and Tom.
The second release on Spymania was under the pseudonym of "Alroy Road Tracks" and was entitled "Featuring The Duke
Animatronics is the use of cable-pulled devices or motors to emulate a human or an animal, or bring lifelike characteristics to an otherwise inanimate object. Animatronics were first introduced by Disney in 1962 for the film Mary Poppins which featured an animatronic bird; this was controlled by bicycle cables. Modern animatronics tend to use robotics and have found widespread applications in movie special effects and theme parks and have, since their inception, been used as a spectacle of amusement. A robot designed to be a convincing imitation of a human is more labeled as an android. Animatronics is a multi-disciplinary field which integrates anatomy, robots and puppetry resulting in lifelike animation. Animatronic figures are powered by pneumatics, and/or by electrical means, can be implemented using both computer control and human control, including teleoperation. Motion actuators are used to imitate muscle movements and create realistic motions in limbs. Figures are covered with body shells and flexible skins made of hard and soft plastic materials and finished with details like colors and feathers and other components to make the figure more lifelike.
Animatronics is portmanteau of animate and electronics The term Audio-Animatronics was coined by Walt Disney in 1961 when he started developing animatronics for entertainment and film. Audio-Animatronics does not differentiate between androids. Autonomatronics was defined by Walt Disney Imagineers, to describe a more advanced audio-animatronic technology featuring cameras and complex sensors to process information around the character's environment and respond to that stimulus. 1220 – 1240: The Portfolio of Villard de Honnecourt depicts an early escapement mechanism in a drawing titled How to make an angel keep pointing his finger toward the Sun and an automaton of a bird, with jointed wings. 1515: Leonardo da Vinci designed and built the Automata Lion. 1738: The construction of automata begins in Grenoble, France by Jacques de Vaucanson. First, a flute player that could play twelve songs - The Flute Player, followed by a character playing a flute and drum or tambourine - The Tambourine Player, concluding with a moving / quacking / flapping / eating duck - The Digesting Duck.
1770: Pierre Jaquet-Droz and his son Henri-Louis Jaquet-Droz, both Swiss watchmakers, start making automata for European royalty. Once completed, they had created three dolls. One doll was able to write, the other play music and the third doll could draw pictures. 1801: Joseph Jacquard builds a loom, controlled autonomously with punched cards. 1939: Sparko, The Robot Dog, pet of Elektro, performs in front of the public but Sparko, unlike many depictions of robots in that time, represented a living animal, thus becoming the first modern day animatronic character, along with an unnamed horse, reported to gallop realistically. The animatronic galloping horse was on display at the 1939 World's Fair, in a different exhibit than Sparko's. 1939 New York World's Fair 1961: Heinrich Ernst develops the MH-1, a computer-operated mechanical hand. 1961: Walt Disney coins the term "Audio-Animatronics" and his WED Enterprises team begins developing modern animatronic technology. 1963: The first Audio-Animatronics created by Disney, the Enchanted Tiki Birds of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, debut at Disneyland.
Disneyland 1964: In the film Mary Poppins, animatronic birds are the first animatronics to be featured in a motion picture. The first animatronic figure of a person is created by Disney and is Abraham Lincoln, featured at the Illinois State Pavilion of the 1964 New York World's Fair. 1968: The first animatronic character at a restaurant is created. Goes by the name Golden Mario and was built by Team Built in 1968. 1977: Chuck E. Cheese's opens its doors, as the first restaurant with animatronics as an attraction. 1980: ShowBiz Pizza Place opens with the Rock-afire Explosion 1982: Ben Franklin is the first animatronic figure to walk up a set of stairs. 1989: The first A-100 animatronic is developed for The Great Movie Ride attraction at the Disney-MGM Studios' to represent The Wicked Witch of the West. 1993: The largest animatronic figure built is the T. rex for the movie, Jurassic Park. 1998: Tiger Electronics begins selling Furby, an animatronic pet with over 800 English phrases or Furbish and the ability to react to its environment.
Vernon Hills, Illinois May 11, 1999: Sony releases the AIBO animatronics pet. Tokyo, Japan 2008: Mr. Potato Head at the Toy Story exhibit features lips with superior range of movement to any other animatronic figure previously. Disney's Hollywood Studios October 31, 2008 – July 1, 2009: The Abraham Lincoln animatronic character is upgraded to incorporate autonomatronic technology; the Hall of Presidents September 28, 2009: Disney develops Otto, the first interactive figure that can hear and sense actions in the room. D23 Expo The 3rd-century BC text of the Liezi describes an encounter between King Mu of Zhou and an'artificer' known as Yan Shi, who presented the king with a life-size automaton. The'figure' was described as able to walk and sing, when dismantled was observed to consist of anatomically accurate organs; the 5th-century BC Mohist philosopher Mozi and his contemporary Lu Ban are attributed with the invention of artificial wooden birds that could fly in the Han Fei Zi and in 1066, the Chinese inventor Su Song built a water clock in the form of a tower which featured mechanical figurines which chimed the hours
A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest; the Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually. It shares recognition of the music industry as that of the other performance awards such as the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Game Awards; the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor and respect the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Following the 2011 ceremony, the Academy overhauled many Grammy Award categories for 2012; the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, honoring the best achievements from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018, were held on February 10, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Grammys had their origin in the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the 1950s; as the recording executives chosen for the Walk of Fame committee worked at compiling a list of important recording industry people who might qualify for a Walk of Fame star, they realized there were many more people who were leaders in their business who would never earn a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
The music executives decided to rectify this by creating an award given by their industry similar to the Oscars and the Emmys. This was the beginning of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. After it was decided to create such an award, there was still a question of, they settled on using the name of the invention of Emile Berliner, the gramophone, for the awards, which were first given for the year 1958. The first award ceremony was held in two locations on May 4, 1959 - Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills California, Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City, 28 Grammys were awarded; the number of awards given grew and fluctuated over the years with categories added and removed, at one time reaching over 100. The second Grammy Awards held in 1959, was the first ceremony to be televised, but the ceremony was not aired live until the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971; the gold-plated trophies, each depicting a gilded gramophone, are made and assembled by hand by Billings Artworks in Ridgway, Colorado.
In 1990 the original Grammy design was revamped, changing the traditional soft lead for a stronger alloy less prone to damage, making the trophy bigger and grander. Billings developed a zinc alloy named grammium, trademarked; the trophies with the recipient's name engraved on them are not available until after the award announcements, so "stunt" trophies are re-used each year for the broadcast. By February 2009, a total of 7,578 Grammy trophies had been awarded; the "General Field" are four awards. Record of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a single song if other than the performer. Album of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a full album if other than the performer. Song of the Year is awarded to the writer/composer of a single song. Best New Artist is awarded to a promising breakthrough performer who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording that establishes the public identity of that artist; the only two artists to win all four of these awards are Christopher Cross, who won all four in 1980, Adele, who won the Best New Artist award in 2009 and the other three in 2012 and 2017.
Other awards are given for performance and production in specific genres, as well as for other contributions such as artwork and video. Special awards are given for longer-lasting contributions to the music industry; because of the large number of award categories, the desire to feature several performances by various artists, only the ones with the most popular interest - about 10 to 12, including the four General Field categories and one or two categories in the most popular music genres - are presented directly at the televised award ceremony. The many other Grammy trophies are presented in a pre-telecast'Premiere Ceremony' earlier in the afternoon before the Grammy Awards telecast. On April 6, 2011, The Recording Academy announced a drastic overhaul of many Grammy Award categories for 2012; the number of categories was cut from 109 to 78. The most important change was the elimination of the distinction between male and female soloists and between collaborations and duo/groups in various genre fields.
Several categories for instrumental soloists were discontinued. Recordings in these categories now fall under the general categories for best solo performances. In the rock field, the separate categories for hard rock and metal albums were combined and the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category was eliminated due to a waning number of entries. In R&B, the distinction between best contemporary R&B album and other R&B albums has been eliminated, they now feature in general Best R&B Album category. In rap, the categories for best rap soloist and best rap duo or group have been merged into the new Best Rap Performance category; the most eliminations occurred in the roots category. Up to and including 2011, there were separate categories for various regional American music forms, such as Hawaiian music, Native American music and Zydeco/Cajun music. Due to the low number
Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly in London. It has a unique position as an independent funded institution led by eminent artists and architects, its purpose is to promote the creation and appreciation of the visual arts through exhibitions and debate. The Royal Academy of Arts was founded through a personal act of King George III on 10 December 1768 with a mission to promote the arts of design in Britain through education and exhibition; the motive in founding the Academy was twofold: to raise the professional status of the artist by establishing a sound system of training and expert judgement in the arts, to arrange the exhibition of contemporary works of art attaining an appropriate standard of excellence. Supporters wanted to foster a national school of art and to encourage appreciation and interest among the public based on recognised canons of good taste. Fashionable taste in 18th-century Britain was based on continental and traditional art forms, providing contemporary British artists little opportunity to sell their works.
From 1746 the Foundling Hospital, through the efforts of William Hogarth, provided an early venue for contemporary artists in Britain. The success of this venture led to the formation of the Society of Artists of Great Britain and the Free Society of Artists. Both these groups were exhibiting societies; the combined vision of education and exhibition to establish a national school of art set the Royal Academy apart from the other exhibiting societies. It provided the foundation upon which the Royal Academy came to dominate the art scene of the 18th and 19th centuries, supplanting the earlier art societies; the origin of the Royal Academy of Arts lies in an attempt in 1755 by members of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Commerce, principally the sculptor Henry Cheere, to found an autonomous academy of arts. Prior to this a number of artists were members of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Commerce, including Cheere and William Hogarth, or were involved in small-scale private art academies, such as the St Martin's Lane Academy.
Although Cheere's attempt failed, the eventual charter, called an'Instrument', used to establish the Royal Academy of Arts over a decade was identical to that drawn up by Cheere in 1755. It was Sir William Chambers, a prominent architect and head of the British government's architects' department, the Office of Works, who used his connections with George III to gain royal patronage and financial support for the Academy in 1768; the painter Joshua Reynolds was made its first president, Francis Milner Newton was elected the first secretary, a post he held for two decades until his resignation in 1788. The instrument of foundation, signed by George III on 10 December 1768, named 34 founder members and allowed for a total membership of 40; the founder members were Reynolds, John Baker, George Barret, Francesco Bartolozzi, Giovanni Battista Cipriani, Augustino Carlini, Charles Catton, Mason Chamberlin, William Chambers, Francis Cotes, George Dance, Nathaniel Dance, Thomas Gainsborough, John Gwynn, Francis Hayman, Nathaniel Hone the Elder, Angelica Kauffman, Jeremiah Meyer, George Michael Moser, Mary Moser, Francis Milner Newton, Edward Penny, John Inigo Richards, Paul Sandby, Thomas Sandby, Dominic Serres, Peter Toms, William Tyler, Samuel Wale, Benjamin West, Richard Wilson, Joseph Wilton, Richard Yeo, Francesco Zuccarelli.
William Hoare and Johann Zoffany were added to this list by the King and are known as nominated members. Among the founder members were two women, a father and daughter, two sets of brothers; the Royal Academy was housed in cramped quarters in Pall Mall, although in 1771 it was given temporary accommodation for its library and schools in Old Somerset House a royal palace. In 1780 it was installed in purpose-built apartments in the first completed wing of New Somerset House, designed by Chambers, located in the Strand and designed by Chambers, the Academy's first treasurer; the Academy moved in 1837 to Trafalgar Square, where it occupied the east wing of the completed National Gallery. These premises soon proved too small to house both institutions. In 1868, 100 years after the Academy's foundation, it moved to Burlington House, where it remains. Burlington House is owned by the British Government, used rent-free by the Royal Academy; the first Royal Academy exhibition of contemporary art, open to all artists, opened on 25 April 1769 and ran until 27 May 1769.
136 works of art were shown and this exhibition, now known as the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, has been staged annually without interruption to the present day. In 1870 the Academy expanded its exhibition programme to include a temporary annual loan exhibition of Old Masters, following the cessation of a similar annual exhibition at the British Institution; the range and frequency of these loan exhibitions have grown enormously since that time, making the Royal Academy a leading art exhibition institution of international importance. Britain's first public lectures on art were staged by the Royal Academy, as another way to fulfil its mission. Led by Reynolds, the first president, a program included lectures by Dr. William Hunter, John Flaxman, James Barry, Sir John Soane, J. M. W. Turner; the last three were all graduates of the RA School, which for a long time was the only established art school in the Royal Academy. In 2018, the Academy's 250th anniversary, the results of a major refurbishment were unveiled.
The project began on 1 January 2008 with the appointment of David Chipperfield Architects. Heritage Lottery
Dust Devil (film)
Dust Devil is a 1992 horror film written and directed by Richard Stanley. Joe Niemand, a Sangoma near Spitzkoppe in Namibia, begins a tale that states "back in the first times, in the time of the red light, Desert Wind was a man like us; until by mischance, he flew like a bird. He became a hunter, like a hawk, he flew to seek his prey. Taking refuge in those far corners of the world where magic still lingers, but having once been a man, so does he still suffer the passions of a man, flying in the rages sometimes, throwing himself down like a child, to vent his wrath upon the earth. The people of the great Namib have another name for those violent winds, they call them Dust Devils." A middle-aged man walks on a road in the desert, pulls over a car with a woman named Saarke driving in it, who takes him back to her house. While the two are making love, the man snaps Saarke's neck, killing her. Meanwhile, in the town of Bethanie, Sgt. Ben Mukurob receives a phone call with strange voices speaking, as does Wendy Robinson in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In the morning, the man burns down Saarke's house, inside which he has drawn many strange symbols and pictographs. He gets into Saarke's car and drives away. In Johannesburg, Wendy's husband Mark accuses her of cheating on him, causing her to leave him and drive to Namibia. Meanwhile, Mukurob receives a call about Saarke's house and drives to investigate with his superior, Capt. Beyman. Mukurob visits Dr. Leidzinger, who tells him that the incident may be a part of a strange witchcraft ritual. Wendy runs her car off the road and finds an abandoned camper with a strange man, who she asks to help her push her car out of the sand, she sees Dust Devil on the side of the road, stops for him. Cpl. Dutoit and Cpl. Bates find the abandoned camper with dismembered body parts inside. Mukurob drives to Joe's home, the former Bethanie cinema, asks him about the symbols that were in the house, he responds. Wendy and Dust Devil continue driving and pass another hitch-hiker, but Dust Devil tells Wendy not to stop.
As they pass the hitch-hiker, Dust Devil disappears from the car. Beyman tells Mukurob that he has to take him off the case and hand it over to the U. N. but says. Wendy stops at a small motel for the night and tries to cut her wrists, as Dust Devil waits with a razor outside the bathroom door, but Wendy does not commit suicide, she goes to her car the next morning and finds Dust Devil inside, who tells her that she was asleep the day before. Meanwhile, Beyman gives Mukurob a pile of documented murders similar to the one he is following dating back as far as 1908. Wendy and Dust Devil reach. Mukurob is visited by Joe, who tells him to go with him. Mark asks about Wendy, but is beaten up by some of the people at the bar. Joe takes Mukurob to a small mountain cave and tells him that the murders are the work of the "naghtloper", a shape-shifting demon who gains power over the material world through ritual murder. Joe explains that the naghtloper must keep moving to work the ritual, but if he is tricked to step over a kierie stick, he will be bound to one spot and his power can be taken.
Joe gives Mukurob a kierie and a sacred root to burn to prevent the naghtloper from possessing him after it is killed. Wendy discovers human fingers among Dust Devil's belongings and he tries to kill her, but Wendy knocks him out and escapes. Dust Devil chases her and causes her car to crash, forcing Wendy to run across the desert. Meanwhile, Mukurob releases Mark from prison and together they search for Wendy; as they try to drive through a dust storm, Dust Devil attacks them. Mukurob handcuffs Mark to the car and heads into the storm, telling him that he has a chance since the naghtloper only takes those who have nothing to live for. Wendy reaches the abandoned town of Kolmanskop where Mukurob searches for Dust Devil, he runs into Dust Devil. Wendy finds Dust Devil and tries to shoot him but the gun jams; as Dust Devil walks toward her, Mukurob takes the kierie and puts it in front of Dust Devil as he steps forward. Wendy picks up Mukurob's shotgun and kills Dust Devil as he says, "I love you, Wendy".
Wendy walks into the desert past Mark and the car, lies on the road and pulls over a fleet of army Casspirs. The film ends with Joe saying, "The desert knows her name now, he has stolen both her eyes; when she looks into a mirror, she will see his spirit like a shawl blowing tatters around her shoulders in a haze. And beyond the dim horizon, a tapestry unfolding of the avenues of evil, all of history set ablaze." John Matshikiza as Joe Niemand Robert John Burke as Dust Devil Terri Norton as Saarke Haarhoff Chelsea Field as Wendy Robinson Rufus Swart as Mark Robinson William Hootkins as Capt. Cornelius Beyman Zakes Mokae as Sgt. Ben Mukurob Russell Copley as Cpl. Dutoit Andre Odendaal as Cpl. Botes Luke Cornell as Soldier 1 Philip Henn as Soldier 2 Robert Stevenson as Rifle Boy Peter Hallr as Marist Monk Stephen Earnhart as Camper Driver Marianne Sägebrecht as Dr. Leidzinger Richard Stanley's previous film Hardware was made for £1 million, grossed over $70 million world-wide. Stanley stated that Hardware was made to prove to producers that he could make a commercial film after finding that he was rejected by producers from his first scripts.
Dust Devil w
Neuromancer is a 1984 science fiction novel by American-Canadian writer William Gibson. It is one of the best-known works in the cyberpunk genre and the first novel to win the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the Hugo Award, it was the beginning of the Sprawl trilogy. Set in the future, the novel follows Henry Case, a washed-up computer hacker, hired by the mysterious master criminal Armitage and the mysterious mercenary cyborg Molly Millions for one last job: to help a powerful artificial intelligence merge with its twin into a super consciousness and take control of a virtual reality global network known as "The Matrix". Before Neuromancer, Gibson had written several short stories for US science fiction periodicals—mostly noir countercultural narratives concerning low-life protagonists in near-future encounters with cyberspace; the themes he developed in this early short fiction, the Sprawl setting of "Burning Chrome", the character of Molly Millions from "Johnny Mnemonic" laid the foundations for the novel.
John Carpenter's Escape from New York influenced the novel. It turns out to be just a throwaway line, but for a moment it worked like the best SF, where a casual reference can imply a lot." The novel's street and computer slang dialogue derives from the vocabulary of subcultures "1969 Toronto dope dealer's slang, or biker talk". Gibson heard the term "flatlining" in a bar around twenty years before writing Neuromancer and it stuck with him. Author Robert Stone, a "master of a certain kind of paranoid fiction", was a primary influence on the novel; the term "Screaming Fist" was taken from the song of the same name by Toronto punk rock band The Viletones. Neuromancer was commissioned by Terry Carr for the second series of Ace Science Fiction Specials, intended to feature debut novels exclusively. Given a year to complete the work, Gibson undertook the actual writing out of "blind animal panic" at the obligation to write an entire novel—a feat which he felt he was "four or five years away from".
After viewing the first 20 minutes of landmark cyberpunk film Blade Runner, released when Gibson had written a third of the novel, he "figured was sunk, done for. Everyone would assume I’d copied my visual texture from this astonishingly fine-looking film." He re-wrote the first two-thirds of the book 12 times, feared losing the reader's attention and was convinced that he would be "permanently shamed" following its publication. He added the final sentence of the novel at the last minute in a deliberate attempt to prevent himself from writing a sequel, but ended up doing that with Count Zero, a character-focused work set in the Sprawl alluded to in its predecessor. Henry Dorsett Case is a low-level hustler in the dystopian underworld of Japan. Once a talented computer hacker, Case was caught stealing from his employer; as punishment for his theft, Case's central nervous system was damaged with a mycotoxin, leaving him unable to access the global computer network in cyberspace, a virtual reality dataspace called the "matrix".
Case is unemployable, at the top of the hit list of a drug lord named Wage. Case is saved by Molly Millions, an augmented "street samurai" and mercenary for a shadowy US ex-military officer named Armitage, who offers to cure Case in exchange for his services as a hacker. Case jumps at the chance to regain his life as a "console cowboy," but neither Case nor Molly knows what Armitage is planning. Case's nervous system is repaired using new technology that Armitage offers the clinic as payment, but he soon learns from Armitage that sacs of the poison that first crippled him have been placed in his blood vessels as well. Armitage promises Case, he has Case's pancreas replaced and new tissue grafted into his liver, leaving Case incapable of metabolizing cocaine or amphetamines and ending his drug addiction. Case develops a close personal relationship with Molly, who suggests that he begin looking into Armitage's background. Meanwhile, Armitage assigns them their first job: they must steal a ROM module that contains the saved consciousness of one of Case's mentors, legendary cyber-cowboy McCoy Pauley, nicknamed "Dixie Flatline."
Armitage needs Pauley's hacking expertise, the ROM construct is stored in the corporate headquarters of media conglomerate Sense/Net. A street gang named the "Panther Moderns" is hired to create a simulated terrorist attack on Sense/Net; the diversion allows Molly to penetrate the building and steal Dixie's ROM with Case unlocking the computer safeguards on the way in and out from within the matrix. Case and Molly continue to investigate Armitage, discovering his former identity of Colonel Willis Corto. Corto was a member of "Operation Screaming Fist," which planned on infiltrating and disrupting Soviet computer systems from ultralight aircraft dropped over Russia; the Russian military had learned of the idea and installed defenses to render the attack impossible, but the military went ahead with Screaming Fist, with a new secret purpose of testing these Russian defenses. As his team attacked a Soviet computer center, EMP weapons shut down their computers and flight systems, Corto and his men were targeted by Soviet laser defenses.
He and a few survivors commandeered a Soviet military helicopter and escaped over the guarded Finnish border. The helicopter was shot down by Fin