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William Gibson and Our Sci-Fi Present

September 7, 2021 at 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

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In this salon, Dave Crouch will host a conversation about the predictions and perspectives of famed sci-fi author William Gibson, called “The Father of Cyberspace”. 

As we move into a future that many writers would think too crazy to publish, we will talk about what kind of futures we may be headed for and how our favorite science fiction authors can help us understand the present through the lens of an imagined future.

“..for me, all of this is a way to get a handle on the present, the present having become extremely fantastic.” –  source

With the quote above, William Gibson presents science fiction not as just a whiz-bang assortment of rocket ships and laser guns, but as a way of better understanding the present by putting put aspects of it under a literary microscope.  By transporting facets of the present day into the future or other hypothetical realms, the author can make the abstract visible, and liberate concepts from our habitual associations for better examination and understanding.

“The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.”

In these crazy and unpredictable times, when even the word “unprecedented” has become worn out from overuse, can science fiction and other speculative literature help us to better understand the present, predict possible futures, and work toward bringing the best possibilities into being?

Gibson’s novels are a great blend of exciting narrative and thought-provoking concepts.  We’ll be diving into the reflections of reality offered by Gibson and other authors who combine speculative flights of imagination with literary excellence to bring relatable characters, resonant portrayals, and entertaining stories to life.

This salon is aimed at lifelong Gibson fans, interested readers who never heard of him before this salon announcement, and everyone in between!  If you’re closer to the second category (or even if not), check out the excerpts linked below.

Suggested Readings:

Excerpt from “Neuromancer”, an exciting novel in a dystopian future that popularized the term “cyberspace”

Excerpt from “Pattern Recognition”, a more contemporary work centered around fashion and how subcultures interact in a superconnected online world

Excerpt from “The Peripheral”, a story with an unusual approach to time travel

William Gibson interview in The Paris Review



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September 7, 2021
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
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