William Gibson
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeWilliam Gibson - Credit: Frederic Poirot

It is 1948. William Gibson is born in Conway, on the coast of South Carolina. Six years later he moves to southwestern Virginia with his mother after his father dies. Gibson as a boy is an introverted reader of pulpy science fiction. He attends a private school in Arizona and continues his ceaseless reading, branching out into counterculture writers like Burroughs, Kerouac and Ginsberg. Gibson's mother dies when he is 18. Adrift, he leaves school and becomes one of the wandering youth in the 1967 summer of love. He ends up in Toronto, Canada, avoiding the draft. He meets a girl; they travel to Europe, marry, and in 1977 as he finds himself anticipating parenthood he turns the reading habit into a writing one.

 

Fragments of a Hologram Rose (1977) is his first published work. Then Gibson's personal alternative universe expands exponentially: Neuromancer is published in 1984 and Burning Chrome, a collection of short stories, in 1986.

 

          

 

Count Zero (1986), Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988), The Difference Engine (1990; with Bruce Sterling), Agrippa (1992), Virtual Light (1993), Idoru (1996), All Tomorrow's Parties (1999), Pattern Recognition (2003), Spook Country (2007), Zero History (2010).

 

The Time Machine
Public DomainThe Time Machine - Credit: DASHBot

Gibson is a writer of science fiction, history, anachronisms, the consensual nows and visions forward. He is most sensitive to the detail and specificity of technology, artifacts, dress codes, street cool, branding, anti-branding, commodification and its opposite, bohemia. His novels are like one extended photographic exposure of the last 3 decades in achingly precise detail. 

Gibson's novels can be arranged in three sets: The Sprawl, The Bridge and The Blue Ant trilogies. Yet, like a palimpsest, all the novels can be aggregated into one book, for they tell a similar story: troubled relationships with technology and the emotional lives of the people living those relationships. 

 

Agrippa
Public DomainAgrippa - Credit: Skomorokh

Twitter: @GreatDismal (Great Dismal Swamp is near his childhood home in Conway, South Carolina) 

William Gibson Official site

 

Agrippa (a book of the dead) by William Gibson

William Gibson Jack Move interview 2010

William Gibson Hates Futurists 2007

Logomancer by Rudy Rucker Wired 2003

William Gibson interview with Cory Doctorow 1999