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Essay about The Works of William Ford Gibson

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In 1984, Neuromancer, the debut novel of a largely unambitious American-Canadian named William Ford Gibson was published. Opening with the line, “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel,” Gibson unwittingly tapped into the emerging literary and artistic aesthetic known as cyberpunk, realized previously in the form of films such as Blade Runner and in the works of fellow science fiction writers such as Bruce Sterling.
In Neuromancer, a disgraced ex-hacker named Henry Dorsett Case, who has been literally drained of his talents after attempting to double-cross his last employer, is hired by a mysterious benefactor willing to restore his talents for the ultimate hacking job. Paired with a cybernetically enhanced street assassin named Molly, Case descends into the Byzantine world of black ops technology and must eventually confront a rogue artificial intelligence seeking to achieve digital transcendence.
Neuromancer depicted a more immediate future than those imagined by other science fiction authors by presenting a society transformed by various transhumanist technologies such as artificial intelligence, genetic engineering and virtual reality. It essentially represents one of the most consistent themes of Gibson’s work: the use of technology to extend the human condition in the form of mediated experiences and biomechanical augmentation. It is also famous for having coined the word “cyberspace,” which Gibson describes as “a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions,” and has since been used to refer to the Internet.
Gibson maintains that he got the inspiration for the term from watching stoned teenagers play videogames. In an interview with Dan Joseffson, Gibson contends that ‘cy...


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...hi Design Institution. June 1, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2008 from: http://vinay.howtolivewiki.com/blog/global/whats-going-to-happen-in-the-future-670

Joseffson, Dan. “I Don’t Even Have A Modem.” November 23, 1994. Retrieved August 1, 2008 from: http://josefsson.net/artikelarkiv/36-artiklar/93-qi-dont-even-have-a-modemq.html

Lillington, Karl. “Inventor of cyberspace steps back to the present.” Irish Times. April 25, 2003. Retrieved August 1, 2008 from: http://radio.weblogs.com/0103966/stories/2003/04/25/inventorOfCyberspaceStepsBackToThePresent.html

Newitz, Annalee. “William Gibson Talks to io9 About Canada, Draft Dodging, and Godzilla.” Io9. June 10, 2008.

Rapatzikou, Tatiani. Gothic motifs in the fiction of William Gibson. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004.
No Maps for These Territories. Dir. Mark Neale. Perf. William Gibson. 2000. DVD. New Video Group, 2003.


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