From William Gibson's Q & A with Barbara Chai for the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog:
So much of science fiction observes humanity through a pessimistic prism or depicts the decay of civilization. Would you put yourself in this category?Learn what Gibson is scared of.
No, I wouldn’t. I don’t think of myself as being a Dystopian writer. I certainly don’t think of myself as being a utopian writer, but I’ve been surprised over the course of my career at the number of people who automatically assume I’m some kind of Dystopian. I think the reason for that is I write in English, and I’m a North American person, and I’m a First Worlder. My audience consists fairly – at least the part of my audience I most often hear from — consists of First Worlders who read English. We’re a very privileged lot in terms of what we think is Dystopian. So, some of us read Neuromancer, my first novel, and look at the state of North America in that and go, that’s Dystopian, that’s a terrible situation. There’s no middle class, there’s just a lot of incredibly rich people and even more utterly poor people willing to do all to survive. That’s Mexico. Mexico’s a very, very wealthy country but it has no middle class. It has virtually no distribution of wealth. That was my model for North America in Neuromancer. But there are millions of people all over the world living in situations, and they’ll probably been in those situations for the rest of their lives, that are...[read on]
Gibson's Neuromancer made PopCrunch's list of the sixteen best dystopian books of all time and Annalee Newitz lists of ten great American dystopias and Thirteen Books That Will Change The Way You Look At Robots.