William Gibson Long Fiction Analysis
William Gibson had little knowledge of or interest in science when he began writing science fiction, but he was keenly interested in the counterculture (including protests against the Vietnam War) that opposed dominant trends in American politics. Significantly, he also was interested in the potential impact of new communications technologies on its associated subcultures. He not only recognized the possibilities but also relished the thought that the rapid development of information networks facilitated by computer technology would become a metaphorical frontier. He believed that within this frontier’s shifting margins, nonconformists could flourish and then carry forward a subversive crusade against the would-be monopolists of the military-industrial complex and its political puppets.
In actual space—most of which has decayed into a postindustrial wasteland—such nonconformists are permanently on the run, and there is no hope for them to live a rewarding life, even if they were able to settle. In cyberspace, cyber outlaws are potential heroes, and they feel a sense of belonging, which they do not receive in the actual world.
This hypothetical way of life, formed by Neuromancer, exerted a magnetic romantic attraction on countless young science-fiction readers who knew that the world to which they were condemned would be irreparably changed by computer technology. Readers found that they could steal a march on their elders by...
(The entire section is 1324 words.)
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