As I continue to read Gibson’s ground-breaking novel, I am beginning to notice certain patterns and consistencies…and the discovery is startling, fascinating and perplexing all at the same time.
I noticed that starting in chapter 8, there are several mentions of “Babylon” and “Zion.” These are both locations in the Bible; Zion being a synonym for Jerusalem and Babylon an ancient city located in modern day Iraq. In one scene, the Rastafarian-like character Aerol hooks himself to trobes and gets a shock. Case asks him what he saw and Aerol responds, “Babylon” (pg. 105). There are also several mentions of “Zionites”, but they are not the kind of “Zionites” you would find in our real world. In fact, I’m not really sure who they are supposed to be. It seems that they are people who practice the Rastafarian-like beliefs and rituals (an inference made based on scenes in chapter 8). There are also Biblical references throughout this book, such as on pg 108; “If these are the Final Days…we must expect false prophets” and on pg 92; “He’s kind of a compulsive Judas”. Also, aspects of other religions are mentioned in the texts at different points. It’s hard to understand why Gibson would include so many elements of religion in a science fiction novel. Perhaps he wanted to make a distinct connection between science and religion. What that connection is, I have no idea. It’s also interesting how he blends new ideas (the Matrix, dub music, cyberspace) with old concepts (Christianity, religion, etc). It’s as if he’s saying that all things exist together and that we cannot have the new without the presence of the old.