NYer on William Gibson

Did you see how sick that segue was?? I’m telling you. Anyway, one of my first more literary loves, Mr. Gibson, gets a pretty decent piece of press in the New Yorker. Neuromancer BLEW MY 14-YEAR-OLD MIND in 1985. I read everything up until Pattern Recognition when it started to feel a little toooooo…. now. Which is what this article is mostly praising. Maybe I should let old George have a new crack at those titles? Do I need to read them in a particular order?

“Neuromancer” was science fiction for the modern age. The novel’s influence has increased with time, establishing Gibson as an authority on the world to come.

The ten novels that Gibson has written since have slid steadily closer to the present. In the nineties, he wrote a trilogy set in the two-thousands. The novels he published in 2003, 2007, and 2010 were set in the year before their publication. (Only the inevitable delays of the publishing process prevented them from taking place in the years when they were written.) Many works of literary fiction claim to be set in the present day. In fact, they take place in the recent past, conjuring a world that feels real because it’s familiar, and therefore out of date. Gibson’s strategy of extreme presentness reflects his belief that the current moment is itself science-fictional. “The future is already here,” he has said. “It’s just not very evenly distributed.”

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