William Gibson explains why cyberpunk was made to be co-opted

There's a must-read interview with William Gibson over at the Paris Review, in which he explains what was wrong with cyberpunk: "A snappy label and a manifesto would have been two of the very last things on my own career want list. That label enabled mainstream science fiction to safely assimilate our dissident influence, such as it was. Cyberpunk could then be embraced and given prizes and patted on the head, and genre science fiction could continue unchanged." He goes on to explain that science fiction, in the twentieth century, was too triumphalist and focused on a white American future, and lacked real details to go with its shiny ideas. "I wanted to see dirt in the corners," says Gibson.

Top image: Burning Chrome cover art by Chris Moore.

The whole interview is terrific, including the part where he explains that the opening sentence is the thing that shapes his novels, and "I don't begin a novel with a shopping list." [Paris Review]


Share This Story