William Gibson: "The Digital Is Now Real Enough to Kill You"

When William Gibson published his first novel, Neuromancer, thirty years ago, he triggered a seismic shift in the landscape of science fiction. With its vision of a gritty near-future populated by cowboy computer hackers and cybernetically-enhanced mercenaries, the book singlehandedly established cyberpunk as a genre, in the process foreshadowing the growth of the Internet and inventing the concept of the "the matrix" that the Wachowskis would later draw from to make their film of the same name. It also won Gibson the Nebula, Hugo and Philip K. Dick awards, and saddled him with a reputation as a kind of prescient prophet of what's to come.

Gibson's latest effort, The Peripheral, is a mystery that spans two very different futures, an economically depressed corner of rural America where high-tech drug manufacturing and professional gaming are some of the only jobs around, and a far-off London where drone technology lets people interact across space and even time. Westword spoke to Gibson, who comes to Tattered Cover Colfax on November 3, about the disappearing lines between the web and the "real world" and technology's scary side; read on for an edited version of our conversation.

See also: Travis Heerman Aims to Put the Fun Back in Speculative Fiction

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Adam Roy is a contributor of Westword, a former editor at Outside and Matador Network, his writing has also appeared in Paste, High Country News and other online and print publications nationally and abroad.
Contact: Adam Roy