Tag Archives: William-Gibson

William Gibson (and others) on the future of science fiction

The reluctant but charming crown prince of cyberpunk William Gibson got asked to write a piece for New Scientist on the future of science fiction.

The Future of Science Fiction? We’re living in it. Those “Future History” charts in the back of every Robert A Heinlein paperback, when I was about 14, had the early 21st century tagged as the “Crazy Years”. He had an American theocratic dictatorship happening about then. I hope we miss that one.

Amen. Go read the whole thing; it looks to be part of a “Sci-Fi Special” at New Scientist, including pieces from Stephen Baxter, Ursula K Le Guin, Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood and Nick Sagan.

Interestingly enough, Ms Atwood mentions that she knew a young man whose opinion she asked “was sci-fi fan because he said he liked Oryx & Crake“. Y’know, that novel she swore blind wasn’t science fiction. 😉

William Gibson interviewed at io9

William GibsonJust in case you hadn’t noticed, the good folks at io9 have an interview with the nigh-legendary William Gibson, who I’m sure needs no introduction to Futurismic readers. Here he is explaining why he thinks people describe his work as dystopian:

“None of us ever live in dystopia. That’s an imaginary extreme. They just live in shitty cultures. And these societies [in my books] seem dystopian to middle class white people in North America. They don’t seem dystopian if you live in Rio or anywhere in Africa. Most people in Africa would happily immigrate to the Sprawl.

Click on over; plenty of brain food in exchange for five minutes of your time. [image by fugin]

Neuromancer to be butchered for cinema?

Neuromancer promo image I have a bad relationship with the movie industry – they have a terrible habit of taking books I love and murdering them on screen. I had a rant about it when I first heard someone had optioned William Gibson’s Neuromancer, but Jason Ellis has just pointed out the fact that they’re actually casting it already.

Being somewhat detached from the cinema world, I have no idea who Hayden Christensen is, or whether he’d be any good as Case (or indeed as anyone). But there’s a microcosm example of why good books die when they leap to celluloid, in the commentary at this film fan site where Ellis found the news:

“I’ll be honest and admit I’ve never read NEUROMANCER and my rudimentary attempts to try and understand the plot have only confused me. But it seems very much a precursor to the Matrix with the book even referring to “the matrix.”” [my emphasis]

Face, meet palm. I’m guessing there’ll be a lot of explosions and bullet time to keep the slow readers happy. [Image lifted from linked article at JoBlo.com]

Anyone care to suggest a book-to-film conversion that really worked, with the obvious (and in my opinion unique) exception of Blade Runner?

[tags]Neuromancer, William Gibson, movie, film[/tags]

Interviews with Gibson and Vinge

Poor Bill Gibson – the publicity wagon for his current novel Spook Country is still rolling, and he’s probably sick to death of public appearances and interviews, itching to get back to researching his next book. Still, lucky for us – here’s another interview with Gibson by Rick ‘Agony Column’ Kleffel, in audio form for your mobile media player pleasure.

Meanwhile, Vernor Vinge has been chatting to French science fiction site ActuSF (don’t worry, text in English) about his recent (and highly recommended) novel Rainbows End. [Both links via BoingBoing]