William Gibson might be a postmodern renaissance man. First of all, he is known as the father of cyberpunk, and he is even credited with inventing the term cyberspace in 1982. Gibson wrote the wildly successful sci-fi book Neuromancer in 1984; it was the first novel to win the three most prestigious science fiction awards: The Nebula, The Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo. In addition to sci-fi books, Gibson has also collaborated on an alternate history novel, cowritten two episodes of the X-Files, guest starred in the miniseries Wild Palms, written lyrics for Yellow Magic Orchestra and Deborah Harry, and contributed to several magazines (Wired in particular). Gibson’s work has also been brought to life on the big screen in the films Johnny Mnemonic and New Rose Hotel.
- Gibson ran away to Canada in the late 1960s to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War, but he was never actually drafted. He has remained in Canada since then, despite keeping his United States citizenship.
- Gibson has written several works that have been used as performance art pieces across the globe.
- The films Hackers and The Matrix were both inspired by Gibson’s work. In fact, the computer that gets broken into in Hackers is called “the Gibson.”
- The band U2 is featured on the audiobook of Neuromancer, and members of U2 also appear in the biographical documentary about Gibson called No Maps for These Territories.
- Despite writing futuristic cyber sci-fi, Gibson composed Neuromancer on a manual typewriter.