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William Gibson (William Ford Gibson) Biography

(1948– ), (William Ford Gibson), Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive, The Difference Engine, Virtual Light

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Richard Furness Biography to Robert Murray Gilchrist Biography

American novelist and screenwriter, born in Conway, British Columbia, educated at the University of British Columbia. He became renowned as the main inventor of Cyberpunk on the publication of his first novel, Neuromancer (1984), which is recognized as the seminal text of that movement. With this novel and its sequels Count Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988), Gibson has created a sense of the near future where Japanese corporations dominate a cybernetic universe in which its protagonists scramble for survival in an information network called ‘cyberspace’. Clearly not himself computer literate, Gibson has succeeded in creating an environment existentially shaped by the information revolution. Beneath a polished exterior these works are highly romantic and show the influence of R. Chandler's Philip Marlowe. The Difference Engine (1990), written with Bruce Sterling, is an ‘Alternate World’ analysis of a nineteenth-century Britain transformed by the success of Charles Babbage's computer; Virtual Light (1993) is set in Near Future San Francisco. Gibson's short fiction has been collected in Burning Chrome (1986).

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