Friday, March 20, 2020

William Gibson

William Gibson is credited with having coined the term “cyberspace” and having envisioned both the Internet and virtual reality before either existed. He is the author of Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Burning Chrome, Virtual Light, Idoru, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, Zero History, Distrust That Particular Flavor, The Peripheral, and Agency.

From Gibson's Q&A with Mark Skinner for the Waterstones blog:

The novel’s title gestures towards the way it digs into how much control and individual agency any of us have, either in our own lives or in the world at large. To what extent is the novel’s preoccupation with large, shadowy global networks – not just the traditional world powers – playing games with live and futures influenced by the way the world is manipulated today?

It’s entirely influenced, indeed, is *about* that.

I found the concept of the ‘stubs’ – or alternative past realities – in the book particularly fascinating as a way to explore a sort of time-travel with multiple different possible endings. It made me think about the sense of unreality that seems to go hand-in-hand with living in a post-truth world. To what extent do you think that sense that we’re all living in a reality that doesn’t feel quite real has been heightened in the last decade?

I myself had never experienced any suspicion of that sort until Trump’s election, though the outcome of the Brexit referendum prefigured it, for...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue