The Paris Review has at long-last run its amazing interview with William Gibson on the Web.
At long last? I read that one some months ago and i could swear I found the link on BoingBoing too! Regardless, an excellent interview.
I was so impressed when I read it that I immediately sought out Zero History - which was a grave dissapointment. Maybe Gibson should be writing essays, not fiction?
How did the Paris Business Review miss out on this? I really have to get that site going again.
Did you read the other books in the trilogy first? I’m not sure reading “Zero History” by itself would make much sense, although I confess to liking his earlier series better, even though I understand why he left cyberpunk behind – it’s become a cliche by now.
He does write essays. I’m not sure that they’ve been collected in book form, but he’s written some pieces in Wired and other places. His “Disneyland with the Death Penalty”, about his impression of Singapore in the 1990s, is a classic.
Edit: I’ve just discovered “Distrust That Particular Flavor” – Gibson’s essays have been collected in book form.
I didn’t particularly like Zero History, but Pattern Recognition is up there with anything he’s written. Virtual Light remains my favourite, though. Love the Bridge Trilogy.
I love this headline.
To fire, like a pot.
Yes, past presents, like the one with no audio recording devices, are hard to imagine now. Even weirder are past futures. One of my favourite books, for a number of reasons, is the old 1929 Sax Rohmer novel “The Emperor of America”. In it one of the main gimmicks is that the Evil Empire minions all have cell phones. In 1929, where even the cops have to run down the street for blocks to find a police call box before they can communicate with anyone, that’s enough to let you make a serious bid for World Domination. If one of the Good Guys recognises one of your guys out on the street from a Wanted poster the Good Guy can only go after him by himself or with a sidekick or two. If it’s the other way around the minion can get reinforcements by the truck load in minutes.
Another great example is the old “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” novels of the 60s. In them the Evil Empire of T.H.R.U.S.H. (the Technical Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity) has the Internet but no one else does. Thankfully at least the Good Guys here have the monopoly on cell phones. In the franchise’s TV show watch the civilian characters jaws drop to the floor when they realise that that guy over there can talk to any one in his organisation anywhere on the planet! If that’s possible then that changes everything!
Or reading Arthur C. Clarke, and having that moment when he’s describing communication satellites, and realizing that his writing predates communication satellites…
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