With a hard-edged, gloomy passion and intensely realized detail, these stories are a synthesis of pop culture, high tech and advanced literary technique. In them Gibson charts the unchecked rise of multinational corporations and the addictively transcendent potential of cyberspace. Since they were first published in the 1980s, Gibson's vision has become a universal touchstone. His lapidary prose seethes with buzz-phrases newly minted yet destined to be current well in to the future. Lowlife characters, ghosts and hallucinations mingle to their mutual peril in the malls and plazas of an intensely realized holographic name-brand society. Cloned Ninja bodyguards and retro fashions, voodoo and deadly cyber criminals: here is a heady mix of imagery delivered with exaggerated clarity against a constant subliminal hum of high tech.
William Gibson (born 1948) is an American-Canadian writer who has been called the ”noir prophet” of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. Gibson coined the term ”cyberspace” in his short story ”Burning Chrome” and later popularized the concept in his debut novel, Neuromancer (1984). In envisaging cyberspace, Gibson created an iconography for the information age before the ubiquity of the Internet in the 1990s.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Author: Frederic Poirot.