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William Gibson Thinks The Future Will View Us As A Joke, Here’s Why

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William GibsonNeuromancer author William Gibson is a writer known for having a very keen eye for the future, envisioning, among many other things, the rise of things like the Internet and reality television, and predicting mass human behavior. His visions of corporate dystopias where we’re all constantly distracted by technology and have an endless hunger for information, are eerily prescient considering the current state of the world. Given his track record, you can bet that Gibson has ideas on what the future will look like, particularly how they will look back on the here and now, and it’s not all that rosy. Imagine that.

Talking to Mother Jones, Gibson delved into a great many topics, but time travel came up. When asked the ubiquitous “if you could travel anywhere in time” question, Gibson proved to be more interested in seeing how future generations will think of us when they look back through the lens of history than with seeing what fun new toys they develop. He says:

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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: William Gibson Releases His First New Book Since 2010

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As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

Peripheral“The Peripheral” by William Gibson

William Gibson returns with his first novel since 2010’s New York Times–bestselling Zero History.

Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.

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Wear Your Favorite Science Fiction, Because Reading Is So 20th Century

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sensory fictionI’m one of those people who feels what I’m reading if I’m really into it. I wince, I avert my gaze, my breathing speeds up, I laugh, I cry. But for people who want more of a visceral experience when they read, students in an MIT Media Lab class have produced a final project called “Sensory Fiction,” a wearable vest that allows readers to experience what the protagonist of a story is feeling.

I’ve never been more impressed by or jealous of another professor’s syllabus. How awesome would it be to take MIT’s Science Fiction to Science Fabrication class? The class focuses on some sci-fi classics such as William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, works by Ray Bradbury, Arthur Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and more, and combines them with nonfiction reading about cyborgs, transhumanism, nanotechnology, and more. It’s not hard to imagine such a class inspiring such an incredible final project.

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William Gibson Reads From His New Novel, The Peripheral

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William Gibson is now, and probably always will be, most associated with penning the classic 1984 cyberpunk tome Neuromancer. But at the age of 65, Gibson is still ticking and still writing, with a new novel, The Peripheral, currently in the works. He recently put in an appearance at the New York Public Library, where he answered questions and read the first few pages from The Peripheral. You can watch the full video of his appearance above, clocking in at a little over an hour and a half.

Gibson’s most famous work may finally reach the big screen in the not-too-distant future, with a movie adaptation in the works from Splice co-writer/director Vince Natali. It was also recently announced that we may get a Johnny Mnemonic TV series (sans Keanu, presumably).