Classic SciFi 5: William Gibson’s Art of Prophecy


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ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  10 June 2016


Classic SciFi 5: William Gibson’s Art of Prophecy

Introduction

The articles Classic Scifi 4: William Gibson Neuromancer 1984 and The Art of Prophesy & William Gibson provide a necessary background. The articles to follow on Count Zero 1986 and Mona Lisa Overdrive 1988 will complete the series.

I introduced the Guardian article by Ed Cumming published in 2014 on Neuromancer’s 30th birthday and discussed it a little in the Further information section of Classic Scifi 4: William Gibson Neuromancer.

Cumming’s begins with the truism:

Prescience can be tedious for science-fiction writers. Being proven right about a piece of technology or a trend distracts from the main aim of the work: to show us how we live now.  William Gibson knows this as well as anyone. Since the late 70s, the American-born novelist has been pulling at the loose threads of our culture to imagine what will come out. He has been right about a great deal, but mainly about the shape of the internet and how it filters down to the lowest strata of society.

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The art of prophecy

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ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  Friday 13 May 2016

The art of prophecy & William Gibson


 Introduction

I hadn’t intended to write this article about prophecy at all. Following Classic Scifi 4: William Gibson Neuromancer the next step was to analyse William Gibson’s prescience and his ability to prophesy elements of the future. More accurately the article was to analyse Gibson’s ability through his fiction to hold a mirror up to our real future. We could then use that understanding to analyse what it all means, through concrete examples of prophecy presented in the Neuromancer trilogy. More of that later.

Yet, I wanted to present this in the context of what it does take to prophesy future trends. As I began, I realised that it was crucially important to understand the nature of prophesying the near future and how others had gone about it, before we could understand what a rare talent Gibson has.

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