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Sat, 26 January 2002

"My favorite piece of technology is the Walkman. It changed forever the way we perceive music. The Walkman has given us the opportunity to listen to whatever kind of music we wanted wherever we wanted."

---William Gibson, 1994.

William Gibson is called "the father of Cyberpunk" by some, and is trashed as a poser by others. But one thing is clear. His book Neuromancer (1984), which won the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards that year, was the Christ-child of cyberpunk, whose road to superstardom was paved by the John the Baptist figures of Samuel Delaney, Roger Zelanzy, Philip K. Dick, and James Triptree, Jr. The books that followed in the "Sprawl" trilogy; Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive, created the seminal canon of cyberpunk that has inspired both a new generation of cyberpunk authors as well as cheap, stale cyberpunk knock-offs. So whether you are of the opinon that Gibson is a genius or a poser, there is no denying that he changed the direction of Science Fiction in the last decade.

And not only is Gibson a trendsetter in fiction, he has also spoken out on many technological issues that face society today, including the use of the Internet for educational purposes. But on the flip side, he is adamant about abstaining from use of the Internet himself. He has said "I'm not a techie. I don't know how these things work. But I like what they do, and the new human processes that they generate." And in a sense, we are living Gibson's cyberpunk here and now, and it is not hard to imagine that is what our future will be like. He has denied that, however, saying, "People shouldn't look at science fiction like they look at "real" fiction. They shouldn't expect that this is what the future is going to look like. [Science fiction authors] are sort of charlatans; we come up with a few ideas and we make a living off of that."

Recently, Gibson also wrote a brilliant article for Wired magazine, about Singapore in which he proved that he can be as brilliant in non-fiction writing as he is in fiction.

Another book by Gibson is Agrippa - A book of the dead which is actually a poem. But more interesting than the book itself, is how it was made.

The views expressed within this site pretty much represent those of the author.
Copyright 1997-2003© Yariv Zur.