Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
William Gibson (novelist)
Gibson was born in Conway, South Carolina, USA. In 1968, he fled to Canada to avoid the Vietnam era draft in the United States, and in 1972, he settled in Vancouver, B.C., where he began to write science fiction and has spent his adult life. His early works are generally futuristic stories about the influences of cybernetic and cyberspace (computer simulated reality) technology on the human race living in the imminent future. His '80s fiction, especially, has a noir, bleak feel. His first novel, Neuromancer, won three major science-fiction awards (Nebula, Hugo, and Philip K. Dick Memorial Award).
Gibson also wrote a second trilogy centered on the San Francisco of the near future. They remain exciting even today with the huge strides in technology and include specific focus on nanotechnology. They are titled Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow's Parties.
More recently, Gibson has begun to move away from the fictional dystopias that made him famous, toward a more realist style of writing, eschewing his trademark jump-cuts in favour of continuity and narrative flow. The novel Pattern Recognition even saw him enter the mainstream bestseller lists for the first time. There is, however, still focus on technological change, especially its darker, less predictable social consequences.
In addition to his conventionally-published works, he wrote "Agrippa (A Book of the Dead) ", an electronic poem published in 1992. It was about the ethereal nature of memories (the title refers to a photo album), and was originally designed to delete itself from a floppy disk after being read, but has since found its way onto the Internet. He commenced writing a weblog in early 2003, which remains active, with one major hiatus, into 2005. Gibson also wrote a highly anticipated treatment of Alien 3, few elements of which ever found their way into the film.
Two of his short stories have been turned into movies: 1995's "Johnny Mnemonic", starring Keanu Reeves, and 1998's "New Rose Hotel", starring Christopher Walken, Willem Dafoe, and Asia Argento. Gibson, together with his friend Tom Maddox , wrote the X-Files episodes "Kill Switch" and "First Person Shooter" and made a cameo appearance in the latter. Gibson also made a cameo appearance in the miniseries Wild Palms, which was heavily influenced by the work of Gibson and other cyberpunk writers. Gibson's article on fellow cyberpunk and occasional collaborator John Shirley can be read here.
Despite all this, Gibson never had a special relationship with computers.
- Neuromancer (1984) (part 1 of the Sprawl Trilogy)
- Count Zero (1986) (part 2 of the Sprawl Trilogy)
- Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) (part 3 of the Sprawl Trilogy)
- The Difference Engine (1990) (with Bruce Sterling)
- Virtual Light (1993) (part 1 of the Bridge Trilogy)
- Idoru (1996) (part 2 of the Bridge Trilogy)
- All Tomorrow's Parties (1999) (part 3 of the Bridge Trilogy)
- Pattern Recognition (2003)
- Burning Chrome (1986), which includes:
Uncollected short fiction
- Doing Television (1990)
- Skinner's Room (1990)
- Cyber-Claus (1991)
- Thirteen Views of a Cardboard City (1997)
Miscellaneous other work
- The Art of the X-Files, Introduction (1998)
- William Gibson's website
- Archive of William Gibson's weblog
- An extensive fan site
- William Gibson on the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- William Gibson on the Internet Movie Database
- Patternhunter blog inspired by Gibson's concept of "nodal points"
- Video interview with Gibson from 1967
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