I spent some time this morning preparing a lecture on William Gibson‘s Burning Chrome, a collection of short stories that ushered in the science-fiction aesthetic we now think of as ‘cyberpunk’. Since Prime Minister May began the process of the UK leaving the European Union, I have reinvested in these sticky postmodern narratives of chance and possibility. I have also been distracting myself with rarely-seen photographs of filmmakers and literary figures. Among today’s treasures was an image of Leo Tolstoy emerging from a lake on his estate, and a candid photograph of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray on the set of Lost in Translation c. 2003. I read that Patti Smith has purchased the home of French poet Arthur Rimbaud, located in the “sleep French town of Roche”. And, finally, I enjoyed looking over George Monbiot‘s career advice for those seeking to pursue life as a journalist. Among his tips? Live as cheaply as possible: “This is a good discipline for any freelancer, however well you’re doing.”
“It had also been my belief since I started writing fiction that science fiction is never really about the future. When science fiction is old, you can only read it as being pretty much about the moment in which it was written. But it seemed to me that the toolkit that science fiction had given me when I started working had become the toolkit of a kind of literary naturalism that could be applied to an inherently incredible present. So those three books were experimental for me in that sense.”
More at Business Insider.
“A rich blowhard running for president. Tech-bro execs hoping to splinter off into their own anything-goes fiefdoms. So much screaming over gigabyte network pipes that’s getting faster, dumber, and scarier. The present feels like it’s running along the plotline of a William Gibson science-fiction novel. So let’s ask the man who wrote the future to try and make sense of today.”
Read the full Q&A over at io9.
“Following on from their horror classics series selected by Guillermo Del Toro, Penguin US is publishing six hardcover science fiction and fantasy classics this fall with introductions from Neil Gaiman, and (more importantly!) brilliant typographic covers by Brooklyn-based Spanish designer Alex Trochut. Available in October, the finished covers will be foil on uncoated paper over board.”
The term ‘cyberspace’ was coined by science fiction author William Gibson in his 1982 short story, ‘Burning Chrome’. [Source]