Disenchanting Japan: Japanese futurity in “Neuromancer” and the science fiction of Masaki Gorō
I apply enchantment theory to William Gibson's Neuromancer and several works by the Japanese SF author Masaki Gorō to reveal shared assumptions about Japan as the locus of an emergent techno-social hybridity. Both Gibson and Masaki register signs of widespread disenchantment stemming from an increasingly technologically advanced society with a ruthlessly efficient take on capitalism. However, they mobilize their portrayals to different ends. I demonstrate that the authors diverge in their assessments of a technologically-mediated reenchantment. I also argue that the authors' use of conventions from hard-boiled fiction performs several functions. First, it ironically highlights the impossibility of nostalgia in such a future world, where the concept of home is divested of stability. Second, it evinces an anxiety over the transition from individualistic subjectivity to decentered posthumanity. Third, it reinforces the theme of the supplantation of the traditional nation-state by hyper-capitalist forms.
0342: Asian Studies
0591: American literature