William Gibson (March 17, 1948 - ..)
Born: 17th March, 1948
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Writer
Region: South Carolina, "Neuromancer", "The X-Files", "Count Zero", "Mona Lisa Overdrive", "The Peripheral", "Spook Country", "All Tomorrow's Parties", "Zero History", "Pattern Recognition", "Burning Chrome"

William Gibson Facts

Biography

William Gibson, in full William Ford Gibson, (born March 17, 1948, Conway, South Carolina, U.S.), American-Canadian writer of science fiction who was the leader of the genre's cyberpunk movement.

Gibson grew up in southwestern Virginia. After dropping out of high school in 1967, he traveled to Canada and eventually settled there, earning a B.A. (1977) from the University of British Columbia. Many of Gibson's early stories, including Johnny Mnemonic (1981; film 1995) and Burning Chrome (1982), were published in Omni magazine. With the publication of his first novel, Neuromancer (1984), Gibson emerged as a leading exponent of cyberpunk, a new school of science-fiction writing. Cyberpunk combines a cynical, tough "punk" sensibility with futuristic cybernetic (i.e., having to do with communication and control theory) technology. Gibson's creation of "cyberspace," a computer-simulated reality that shows the nature of information, foreshadowed virtual reality technology and is considered the author's major contribution to the genre.

Neuromancer, which won three major science-fiction awards (Nebula, Hugo, and Philip K. Dick), established Gibson's reputation. Its protagonist is a 22nd-century data thief who fights against the domination of a corporate-controlled society by breaking through the global computer network's cyberspace matrix. Count Zero (1986) was set in the same world as Neuromancer but seven years later. The characters of Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) can "die" into computers, where they may support or sabotage outer reality. After collaborating with writer Bruce Sterling on The Difference Engine (1990), a story set in Victorian England, Gibson returned to the subject of cyberspace in Virtual Light (1993).

His Idoru (1996), set in 21st-century Tokyo, focuses on the media and virtual celebrities of the future. All Tomorrow's Parties (1999) concerns a clairvoyant cyberpunk who labours to keep a villain from dominating the world. Pattern Recognition (2003) follows a marketing consultant who is hired to track down the origins of a mysterious Internet video. In Spook Country (2007), characters navigate a world filled with spies, ghosts, and other nefarious unseen agents. Zero History (2010), which completed a trilogy that includes his previous two novels, reveals hidden governmental conspiracies through a search for a missing fashion designer. The Peripheral (2014) investigates the possiblity of communication with future societies by way of computer technology.

In 2012 Gibson published a collection of nonfiction, Distrust That Particular Flavor.

Top 83 William Gibson quotes

Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts.
Being
Billions
Children
Concepts
Cyberspace
Daily
Every
Every nation
Experienced
Hallucination
Legitimate
Mathematical
Nation
Taught
The 'Net is a waste of time, and that's exactly what's right about it.
About
Exactly
Net
Right
Time
Waste
Waste of time
A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.
Abstract
Banks
City
Clusters
Complexity
Computer
Constellations
Data
Every
Graphic
Human
Light
Lights
Like
Generation X is dead. It has come to mean anyone aged 13 to 55 years old.
Aged
Anyone
Come
Dead
Generation
Generation x
Mean
Old
Years
I think that technologies are morally neutral until we apply them. It's only when we use them for good or for evil that they become good or evil.
Apply
Become
Evil
Good
I think
Morally
Neutral
Only
Technologies
Them
Think
Until
Use
It's impossible to move, to live, to operate at any level without leaving traces, bits, seemingly meaningless fragments of personal information.
Any
Bits
Fragments
Impossible
Information
Leaving
Level
Live
Meaningless
Move
Operate
Personal
Personal information
Seemingly
Why shouldn't we give our teachers a license to obtain software, all software, any software, for nothing? Does anyone demand a licensing fee, each time a child is taught the alphabet?
Alphabet
Any
Anyone
Child
Demand
Does
Each
Each time
Fee
Give
License
Nothing
Obtain
Our
For years I have been mourning and not for my dead, it is for this boy for whatever corner in my heart died when his childhood slid out of my arms.
Arms
Been
Boy
Childhood
Corner
Dead
Died
Heart
His
Mourning
Out
Whatever
Years
Dreaming in public is an important part of our job description, as science writers, but there are bad dreams as well as good dreams. We're dreamers, you see, but we're also realists, of a sort.
Also
Bad
Description
Dreamers
Dreaming
Dreams
Good
Important
Important part
Job
Job description
Our
Part
Public
Time moves in one direction, memory in another.
Another
Direction
Memory
Moves
Time
The future has already arrived. It's just not evenly distributed yet.
Arrived
Distributed
Future
Just
And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.
Blue
Blue eyes
Certainty
Directly
Even
Exceedingly
Eyes
Human
Instant
Instinctive
Knew
Longer
Remotely
Rich
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead station.
Above
Color
Dead
Port
Sky
Station
Television
Tuned
The box was a universe, a poem, frozen on the boundaries of human experience.
Boundaries
Box
Experience
Frozen
Human
Human experience
Poem
Universe
I don't have to write about the future. For most people, the present is enough like the future to be pretty scary.
About
Enough
Future
Like
Most
People
Present
Pretty
Scary
Write
Language is to the mind more than light is to the eye.
Eye
Language
Light
Mind
More
Than
A snappy label and a manifesto would have been two of the very last things on my own career want list. That label enabled mainstream science fiction to safely assimilate our dissident influence, such as it was. Cyberpunk could then be embraced and given prizes and patted on the head, and genre science fiction could continue unchanged.
Assimilate
Been
Career
Continue
Could
Embraced
Fiction
Genre
Given
Head
Influence
Label
Last
List
I didn't have a manifesto. I had some discontent. It seemed to me that midcentury mainstream American science fiction had often been triumphalist and militaristic, a sort of folk propaganda for American exceptionalism.
American
Been
Discontent
Fiction
Folk
Had
Mainstream
Manifesto
Me
Often
Propaganda
Science
Science fiction
Seemed
I think with one exception I've never changed an opening sentence after a book was completed.
After
Book
Changed
Completed
Exception
I think
Never
Opening
Sentence
Think
I don't begin a novel with a shopping list - the novel becomes my shopping list as I write it.
Becomes
Begin
I write
List
Novel
Shopping
Write
Sometimes, I can myself be frustrated by books that seem to me to be insufficiently realistic about the world's potential for just being totally a randomly bad place.
About
Bad
Being
Books
Frustrated
I can
Just
Me
Myself
Place
Potential
Randomly
Realistic
Seem
I'm quite good friends with the putative director, Vincenzo Natali, and I'm a big fan of his work, but beyond that, I don't like to talk about other people's work work-in-progress.
About
Beyond
Big
Big fan
Director
Fan
Friends
Good
Good friends
His
Like
Other
People
Quite
I assume that - because you can get degrees in journalism from very reputable universities - I assume that people can be trained to be journalists. I've never been entirely certain that anyone can be trained to be a novelist in the same way.
Anyone
Assume
Because
Been
Certain
Degrees
Entirely
Get
Journalism
Journalists
Never
Novelist
People
Same
All my life I've encountered people who were obsessed with one particular class of object or experience, who were constantly pursuing that thing. Since I was a little kid, I hadn't afforded myself the opportunity, I guess, to have a hobby.
Afforded
All my life
Class
Constantly
Encountered
Experience
Guess
Hobby
Kid
Life
Little
Little kid
My life
Myself
That's one of my favorite things about Twitter: You can tweak your feed into a fabulous novelty engine. That's only one thing you can do with it, but it's one of the things I find most entertaining about it.
About
Engine
Entertaining
Fabulous
Favorite
Favorite things
Feed
Find
Most
Novelty
One of the things
One thing
Only
Only one thing
I don't think nostalgia is a healthy modality. But nostalgia and a sense of history are not the same thing. Nostalgia is a dysfunction of the historical impulse, or a corruption of the historical impulse.
Corruption
Dysfunction
Healthy
Historical
History
Impulse
Nostalgia
Same
Same thing
Sense
Thing
Think
I think the least important thing about science fiction for me is its predictive capacity.
About
Capacity
Fiction
I think
Important
Important thing
Least
Me
Science
Science fiction
Thing
Think
In a sense, if you're not getting it wrong really a lot when you're creating imaginary futures, then you're just not doing it enough. You're not creating enough imaginary futures.
Creating
Doing
Enough
Futures
Getting
Imaginary
Just
Lot
Really
Sense
Then
Wrong
You
In 1981, I was a futurist - or at least I was a guy who put on a futurist hat occasionally - and I wrote about the 21st century.
About
Century
Guy
Hat
Least
Occasionally
Put
Who
Wrote
If you make something, it's an artifact. It's something that somebody or some corporate entity has caused to come into being. A great many human beings have thought about each of the artifacts that surround us. Different degrees of intelligence and attention have been brought to bear on anything.
About
Anything
Attention
Bear
Been
Being
Beings
Brought
Caused
Come
Corporate
Degrees
Different
Each
I'm happiest with people who've gotten furthest from traditional ideas of nationalism.
Furthest
Gotten
Happiest
Ideas
Nationalism
People
Traditional
I've become convinced that nostalgia is a fundamentally unhealthy modality. When you see it, it's usually attached to something else that's really, seriously bad. I don't traffic in nostalgia. We're becoming a global culture.
Attached
Bad
Become
Becoming
Convinced
Culture
Else
Fundamentally
Global
Nostalgia
Really
See
Seriously
Something
All we really have when we pretend to write about the future is the moment in which we are writing. That's why every imagined future obsoletes like an ice cream melting on the way back from the corner store.
About
Back
Corner
Cream
Every
Future
Ice
Ice cream
Imagined
Like
Melting
Moment
Pretend
Really
The people I hang out with tend to use Macs, not that I think they're necessarily superior.
Hang
I think
Necessarily
Out
People
Superior
Tend
Think
Use
I'm always interested in the spooky repurposing of everyday things.
Always
Every Day
Interested
Spooky
Things
I guess Twitter is the first thing that has been attractive to me as social media. I never felt the least draw to Facebook or MySpace. I've been involved anonymously in some tiny listservs, mainly in my ceaseless quest for random novelty, and sometimes while doing something that more closely resembles research.
Attractive
Been
Ceaseless
Closely
Doing
Draw
Facebook
Felt
First
First thing
Guess
Has-been
Involved
Least
If I'm practicing making up what the characters will do, it's never good. In fact, when I catch myself doing that, I try to get rid of that section, and try and let them start making the decisions.
Catch
Characters
Decisions
Doing
Fact
Get
Good
In fact
Making
Making up
Myself
Never
Practicing
Rid
I don't generate a storyline and then fill it out in the course of writing. The story actually generates in the course of the writing. It's one of the reasons I've never been comfortable doing screenplays, because in order to get the contract for the screenplay, you have to sit down and tell them what's going to happen.
Actually
Because
Been
Comfortable
Contract
Course
Doing
Down
Fill
Generate
Get
Going
Happen
Never
I find it interesting to see people - mostly people who are younger than I am - going to considerable trouble to try to reproduce things from an era that was far more physical, from a less virtual day.
Am
Considerable
Day
Era
Far
Find
Going
I am
Interesting
Less
More
Mostly
People
Physical
I can't imagine writing a book without some strong female characters, unless that was a demand of the setting.
Book
Characters
Demand
Female
Female characters
Imagine
Setting
Some
Strong
Strong female
Unless
Without
Writing
Futurists get to a certain age and, as one does, they suddenly recognize their own mortality.
Age
Certain
Certain age
Does
Get
Mortality
Own
Recognize
Suddenly
I was afraid to watch 'Blade Runner' in the theater because I was afraid the movie would be better than what I myself had been able to imagine. In a way, I was right to be afraid, because even the first few minutes were better.
Able
Afraid
Because
Been
Better
Blade
Blade runner
Even
Few
First
Had
Imagine
Minutes
Movie
I try to be objective about technology. Agnostic, in a sense. Whatever personal opinions I form tend to have more to do with what we find to do with the new thing.
About
Agnostic
Find
Form
More
New
New thing
Objective
Opinions
Personal
Sense
Technology
Tend
Thing
I started with Apple, in a pre-Windows era when PCs seemed to involve more of a learning curve. But the fact that I'm yet to acquire so much as a single virus still seems a very good thing.
Acquire
Apple
Curve
Era
Fact
Good
Good thing
Involve
Learning
Learning curve
More
Much
Pcs
Seemed
I very seldom compose anything in my head which later finds its way into text, except character names sometimes - I'm often very much inspired by things that I misunderstand.
Anything
Character
Compose
Except
Finds
Head
Inspired
Later
Misunderstand
Much
Names
Often
Seldom
Sometimes
Occasionally if I look back at something I've written I'll find one of those that I don't understand, but that's a bad thing - the unconscious has dealt me a bad hand.
Back
Bad
Bad thing
Dealt
Find
Hand
Look
Me
Occasionally
Something
Thing
Those
Unconscious
Understand
I think that our future has lost that capital F we used to spell it with. The science fiction future of my childhood has had a capital F - it was assumed to be an American Future because America was the future. The Future was assumed to be inherently heroic, and a lot of other things, as well.
America
American
Assumed
Because
Capital
Childhood
Fiction
Future
Had
Heroic
I think
Inherently
Lost
Lot
When I wrote 'Neuromancer', I had a list in my head of all the things the future was assumed to be which it would not be in the book I was about to write. In a sense, I intended 'Neuromancer', among other things, to be a critique of all the aspects of science fiction that no longer satisfied me.
About
Among
Aspects
Assumed
Book
Critique
Fiction
Future
Had
Head
Intended
List
Longer
Me
I'm interested in how people all over the world array themselves and go forth in the morning to do whatever they have to do to make a living.
Array
Forth
Go
How
Interested
Living
Make
Morning
Over
People
Themselves
Whatever
World
Whenever I read a contemporary literary novel that describes the world we're living in, I wait for the science fiction tools to come out. Because they have to - the material demands it.
Because
Come
Contemporary
Demands
Fiction
Literary
Living
Material
Novel
Out
Read
Science
Science fiction
Tools

William Gibson essays

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