William Gibson

(1948- )


"I really don't see myself as a futurist. I think the world we live in is so hopelessly weird and complex that in order to come to terms with it, you need the tools that science fiction develops."


South Carolina, US


University of British Columbia (English literature)

Did you know?

Gibson left the USA for Canada in 1972 to avoid the draft. He never returned.

Critical verdict

The founding father of cyberpunk, extrapolating contemporary technology into a future of urban decay and the social mores of the post-punk generation, Gibson blazed on to the sci-fi scene with the critically lauded Neuromancer, in which he established the concept of 'cyberspace' as a medium in which computers store data (the author has, however, long professed his technological illiteracy). He was the most influential SF visionary of the 1990s; 2003's Pattern Recognition saw him abandon future shocks for a present day thriller about branding, terrorism, internet mores and the nature of art.

Recommended works

Neuromancer (1984), Count Zero (1985), Pattern Recognition (2003)


Philip K Dick

Now read on

Paul J McAuley, Ian McDonald, Bruce Sterling, Jack Womack, Jeff Noon


Johnny Mnemonic (from the short story of the same name, directed by Robert Longo, 1995); New Rose Hotel (from the short story of the same name, Abel Ferrera, 1998).

Useful links and work online

Work online
· Excerpt: Neuromancer

· Official site
· 1996 Salon interview
· 1994 interview, with sound files of Gibson explaining his take on cyberspace
· The Difference Dictionary, a supplement to The Difference Engine

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
William Gibson: beyond cyberspace

Technology, commodification, vacuous marketing-speak, tweeting – William Gibson, the doyen of science fiction writers, marvellously exposes the nature of our late capitalist world, writes Thomas Jones

Thomas Jones

22, Sep, 2011 @8:00 AM

Article image
Talk time: William Gibson
William Gibson's new book Pattern Recognition is out now from Penguin

Hamish Mackintosh

01, May, 2003 @10:29 AM

Article image
William Gibson: tomorrow's man
The worldwide web did not exist when William Gibson started to write his technologically visionary brand of science fiction but he created the notion - and the term - cyberspace

Steven Poole

03, May, 2003 @10:40 PM

Article image
Spook Country by William Gibson

Viking, £18.99

John Crace

14, Aug, 2007 @9:16 AM

Zero History by William Gibson | Book review
Steven Poole on William Gibson's latest riffs on fashion and espionage

Steven Poole

03, Sep, 2010 @11:06 PM

Article image
Zero History by William Gibson | Book review

The third book in William Gibson's high-tech trilogy is satsifying but the present he imagines needs sharper invention, writes James Purdon

James Purdon

11, Sep, 2010 @11:03 PM

William Gibson online: the transcript

jj1: Do you think the internet will be entirely consumed by dot com commercialism, or will there still be a place for information sharing and community?
William Gibson: Always room for interstitial activity.

24, Mar, 2000 @4:29 PM

Article image
William Gibson: how I wrote Neuromancer
William Gibson ‘had so very little idea of how to write a novel’ when he was commissioned to come up with a manuscript

William Gibson

26, Nov, 2014 @4:00 PM

Article image
William Gibson webchat – as it happened
The author of Neuromancer and new novel The Peripheral answered readers’ questions – from AI to the influence of Blade Runner in our belief in the future to why he didn’t predict cellphones

24, Nov, 2014 @12:39 PM

Article image
William Gibson and Neuromancer: the man who saw tomorrow

William Gibson's science-fiction novel, 30 years old this month, leapt into cyberspace almost before it existed, writes Ed Cumming

Ed Cumming

28, Jul, 2014 @7:00 AM