Topic “Neuromancer”

A Evening with William Gibson

William Gibson at UBC

Last Saturday a bunch of us heard William Gibson speak at the Vancouver Institute's Spring 2008 Series lecture: A Evening with William Gibson. Gibson is credited with coining the phrase "cyberspace" and bringing the cyberpunk genre to mainstream attention with his book Neuromancer.

Gibson read three different works he'd written for various reasons. Sadly, he doesn't have the reading voice of a Jack Whyte. Though there were some interesting anecdotes here and there, I found myself drifting off during the reading. Fortunately the question and answer session was considerably more interesting.

Gibson has a droll sense of humour and a depth of perspective. I enjoyed his answers and insights. Unfortunately, there was this weird dynamic where people seemed to expect him to be this profound futurist guru. Though he answered the questions of this bent graciously I got the impression this was a pedestal he didn't want to be on - like he's a story teller looking for an appreciative audience, not a sage looking for a following.

The funniest moment of the evening for me was Gibson commenting on what a contemporary teenager would think when reading Neuromancer: Why don't any of the characters have cell phones?

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