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Alexandra DuPont Interviews William 'Freakin' Gibson!!!!

Hey folks, Harry here. And wow. Cool, Alexandra DuPont managed to seduce ol William "FREAKING" Gibson himself into an interview that is far more interesting than just some run of the mill.... "So uh um, what's uh happening with um, you know that uh NEUROMANCER film movie thing, huh?" and actually gets... dare I say it.... DEEP. You see, while there seems to have been moments in the interview where Alexandra felt like an inanimate dweeb, as the interview continues you can see her loosening up and becoming, SUPER-INTERVIEWER!!! And ya know what? Cool. If MATRIX was nothing really new to you, and just the realization of a story several textured layers beneath the brilliant cyberpunk work of William Gibson... then this is for you. In fact, Gibson talks a bit about MATRIX... and you MATRIX haters that love Gibson might be surprised... But personally... My favorite parts of this interview are when we move past 'Film' stuff and get into the literate and theoretical mind of William "FREAKING" Gibson. Enjoy this treat from that black latex wearing Alexandra DuPont....

Alexandra DuPont interviews William... freaking... Gibson

Toujours, Harry. Alexandra DuPont here. I had the good fortune recently to chat with cyberpunk author William Gibson. Following are some highlights from our hour-long chat -- including brief comments on his "X-Files" episode and the long-in-development "Neuromancer" movie.

Mssr. Gibson is, of course, the granddaddy of cyberpunk -- that certain breed of computer-obsessed, reality-bending science fiction that influences film and television to this day. He invented the term "cyberspace," and is generally credited with many of the concepts behind virtual reality. "The Matrix," right down to its title, probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for his writing (and, to be fair, Philip K. Dick's). He also wrote that episode of "The X-Files" where the computer's performing semi-omnipotent acts out of a remote trailer and a virtual Scully kicks the crap out of evil nurses. (That's also the episode featuring the woman with the ridiculous eye makeup, which I actually asked him about.)

I'm probably insulting certain readers of this site by even bothering to mention that Gibson's written two trilogies of mostly brilliant, gritty, diamond-hard science fiction (in addition to a collection of short stories and "The Difference Engine," co-authored with Bruce Sterling). "Neuromancer," "Count Zero," and "Mona Lisa Overdrive" imagine the emergence of a mass digital consciousness in an unnamed future; "Virtual Light," "Idoru," and the just-released "All Tomorrow's Parties" imagine the emergence of a mass digital consciousness in a future nearer our own.

Gibson was out pimping "All Tomorrow's Parties" when I talked to him. Here's what he had to say.

Alexandra DuPont



A. DuPont: I wanted to get the "dumb" question out of the way right off. [affecting a moronic fanboy tone] So, uh, what'd you think of "The Matrix"?

William Gibson: Actually, I liked it very much. I was extremely reluctant to go and see it --

Q. I can imagine.

A. -- and finally, I was down in Santa Monica doing something, and a friend of mine came over on a rainy day and said, "Come ON, you've got to see this. I'm pretty sure you're not going to have the kind of experience that you're imagining that you're going to have." And I really liked it. I thought it was so well-done, and basically I thought it was, in its subtext, a very good-hearted movie -- in a way that is unusual at that budget level. It didn't have the kind of crypto-fascist subtext that one might expect with that kind of money. I took it to be a fable about the price of becoming more conscious. I thought that was most beautifully expressed by the Judas character's deal he cuts, saying, "Okay, I'll betray this guy, but you've got to guarantee that I'll be in complete, airtight denial about it. I won't know that you exist."

Q. "Ignorance is bliss."

A. Yeah, "ignorance is bliss." It's simple stuff, but I thought it was good stuff. It was a very generous movie -- it really gave the audience a lot of stuff, frame by frame. As far as having been an influence on it, I thought they had digested their Gibson very well -- and also obviously taken quite a lot of Philip K. Dick.

Q. Oh, definitely.

A. And you know, that's fair -- I mean, I do that myself all the time.



Q. It's been a while since your last book, "Idoru"....

A. Well, I took a vacation. I hadn't taken any time off since 1981, when I started writing short fiction, and I went straight from writing short fiction into writing "Neuromancer." But somehow, when I finished "Idoru," I just woke up one day and I thought, "Well, who am I? What am I doing here? What's my life like? I'll check that out today and see what's going on." And then I got to the next day and I thought, "That was fun."

Q. [laughs]

A. So I just kept doing that, and I did it for about a year and a half. But suddenly the little bells started ringing on my book contract. But I got connected back to my life as something other than the author of these books, which was long overdue.

Q. It also allowed you to hook up with Chris Carter and write an episode of "The X-Files," which sounds like it's been a good move for you.

A. Yeah, that was fun -- that was the only writing I did in that period. And I was very happy with the product. My partner and I are in the middle of trying to do another one of those with him. We're trying to do a final season of the "X-Files."

Q. Yeah, I really enjoyed your episode of "The X-Files." The only thing I will say, though, is: What was UP with that chick's eye makeup?

A. Yeah, that was really strange. Plus, she was this extraordinarily beautiful woman -- I know because she was friends with a neighbor of mine in Vancouver. I guess it was the makeup person's take on "cyberpunk." Actually, it might be my fault -- because I think when they asked me about the makeup, I think I suggested that thing that Darryl Hannah has in "Blade Runner," where they sort of silk-screened a dark band, sort of like spray-on sunglasses. But instead it was kind of weird. My daughter calls her "Racoony Babe."

Q. [laughs] Yeah, when you take the "Pris" character out of the "Blade Runner" setting and she's not surrounded by flying cars, it does have a slightly different effect. Now, about the "Neuromancer" movie. You've got a music-video director named Chris Cunningham attached.

A. Yeah.

Q. Is it proceeding the way you want it to?

A. Well, yeah, insofar as nothing's happened -- nobody's come along to disturb us. We're in such an early phase of the thing that there's just these two weird imaginations at work on the idea of what the project might be.

Q. Well, it will be nice to see the Molly character [a total she-badass character that Trinity from "The Matrix" is clearly modeled on, and who appears in the original "Johnny Mnemonic" and "Neuromancer" stories] actually show up.

A. Yeah. See, that was one of the things with "Johnny Mnemonic," was that I never WANTED the Molly character to show up, because if she HAD shown up she'd be part of the "Johnny Mnemonic" franchise. That's why Molly wasn't Molly.

Q. [sarcastically] Yes, that highly lucrative "Johnny Mnemonic" franchise....

A. Yeah. Well, you know, that was always a possibility, too -- so I'm very glad that we kept her.


[Note to our remaining readers: The rest of this interview is about Gibson's WRITING, not inevitably inferior filmic adaptations of same -- with spoilerific discussions of his latest tome, "All Tomorrow's Parties," plus some very large words. Still here? Let's continue.]



Q. If I may become a continuity geek for a second, your novels form two trilogies --

A. [anticipating a rather obvious question about whether his novels comprise one consistent "universe" or timeline, a la Asimov or a shoddy comic-book lineup] No, I'm not doing the Robert Heinlein "future history" thing. I don't think you could get from the world of "Virtual Light" to the world of "Neuromancer." In fact, with the latest three books I don't think I was doing a future so much as a kind of alternate tomorrow. Since I wrote "Virtual Light," I think enough things have changed that I don't think we could get to "Virtual Light" from here. When are we gonna get the black female president -- in time, right? But these books are ten years off.

Q. Yeah, I think "Virtual Light" was set in 2005....

A. You know, it really pissed me off. [The date 2005] is not in "Virtual Light." If you read very carefully and did a calculation based on the date that Rydell saw a particular film, you could have figured out that it was 2005. I think someone at the publisher in New York asked me the date, and I told them, and they put it in the flap copy of the book, so it got out. But I didn't want a date. Like with "Neuromancer," I was very careful -- you can't really date it. I always assumed it was about 2035, but I kept it vague.

Q. That way it doesn't date.

A. Well, that's kind of the poignant thing about science fiction is that it DOES date -- it all has kind of a "sell-by" date. But I was less concerned with that with these last three books, because I deliberately cranked the "futuristic" part in really, really close.



Q. Now, you reserve no small amount of scorn for billionaires and the media aristocracy in your books -- particularly in this last trilogy. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" in your books -- at least when we're talking about human beings. Do you really think someone like Bill Gates is susceptible to that kind of corruption?

A. Well, no -- not necessarily down to Bill personally. But the tendency is there. You know, there's some kind of literary tradition that I'm following here, where these are picaresque, in a way naturalistic, social adventures -- and they require a bent aristocracy. In "Neuromancer," I had to actually go to the original bent aristocracy and have the Tessier-Ashpools in their private space station. But it says somewhere in the text that they're an anachronism -- that they're kind of dinosaurs of global capitalism.

Q. Right. The corporations are like organisms --

A. Corporations are like organisms and the Tessier-Ashpools are the sort of Howard Hughes end of the evolutionary stick. But the shift in the new books is that the bad guys are tabloid television shows and global public-relations men.



Q. What do you see as the biggest challenge we're facing in the new millennium? [realizing colossal stupidity and obviousness and overly broad nature of query] I know that's kind of a huge....

A. Well, "the millennium" is like Christmas -- it's a Christian holiday. It's only happening because we kind of agreed that day is "Christmas." For me, where we're going is more of what [Gibson's trademark skinny-white-videodroning-obsessed-data-cowboy character] Laney in "All Tomorrow's Parties" calls a "nodal point".... History is a sort of consensual fiction which we perpetually revise -- but we've come far enough along that sometimes now we look back, and in retrospect we can see the emergence of changes that had enormous effects down the road, but which just weren't visible at all to anyone....

Q. In "All Tomorrow's Parties," you made Marie Curie's husband getting run over in 1911 a key "nodal point" in the past. Was that just an arbitrary thing you chose, or did you have a reasoning behind that?

A. In a way, it's a viewpoint joke: Laney and [another character in "All Tomorrow's Parties,"] Harwood are the only two people in the world who have this peculiar sort of pathological vision that allows them to see "OOP! that did it!" Somebody told me when I was in England that there was a Virginia Woolf essay in which she had seriously pinned the beginning of the modern era on a particular weekend in 1911.

Q. Really? I was wracking my head reading the book, thinking, "Well, Marie Curie did research on nuclear material and maybe her husband's death drove her into her research...."

A. Well, I knew that people would. But you can't get here from there.

Q. So there was some mischief in choosing that.



Q. In your books, you dwell on the data issues of the future -- issues of hardware and software -- but not genetics.

A. I haven't dealt with it. I don't know why. Biology doesn't grab me in the same way. But if you want great and thoughtful and scary treatments of that, then you could go to my colleague Bruce Sterling. He keeps right up on it.

Q. Sociologically, you get into it quite a bit, though -- you feature a pretty stunning gap between the rich and the poor, technologically and educationally. Is that sociological gap happening the WAY you predicted?

A. Well, the gap continues to widen. For me, the crucial question -- in terms of the real world and how comfortable I am in it -- is, "Is there a viable middle class?" And there still is in most of the industrial Western world, and you have emerging middle classes in other places. And then you have really nasty anomalies where suddenly there is no middle class -- you can't even BE middle class in Mexico City because of their situation with the devaluation. It's a situation where people literally cannot save money.

Q. I also love how your characters have very specific knowledge -- how they'll know nothing about history but a great deal about a particular technology. Is that an emergent trend you see?

A. Well, I don't think that's so much a trend as it is naturalism. You know, one of the things I count on to write these books is my sense of what the real world is like and how it actually works. You need to have that to start from before you start imagining changes and different versions of it. And I find that [increasing specialization of knowledge] everywhere. And I'm sure if you ask a high-school teacher that, they REALLY find it everywhere.



Q. One of the things in both trilogies is the emergence of a sort of mass Jungian collective consciousness out of data. Data in both your trilogies has a kind of shape, and when you insert artificial intelligence into that mix, you end up with a sort of deity.

A. Yeah.

Q. Is that just a nifty literary conceit, or is that something you actually see coming to pass?

A. Well, it sounds very Biblical when you put it that way. [laughs] "And he saw it, and it came to pass."

Q. I guess I'm getting carried away with the "prophet" thing...

A. Well, there's something we've been doing a long, long time as a species, and we're the only species on the planet that does it, as far as we know -- and that's that we find ways to extrude our interiority, that we're self-aware in a way that other mammals don't seem to be, and that we communicate that -- from cave paintings and standing stones to temples and cities, all these things we've been building. And somewhere in the last couple of hundred years, that activity started to produce things that in some ways are more than models of consciousness, that are more than models of the nervous system --

Q. Things that take on a life of their own.

A. We've got a situation where most human beings on the planet have their nervous systems augmented -- to the extent that I can sit in this hotel room and watch something happening in Tokyo as it happens, by virtue of these systems that my species has created. So in effect, it's like my sensorium has been augmented by my species to perceive things that previously would have been quite inconceivable to my ancestors. And I think we're doing that increasingly, and it's happening with exponential speed. I don't know what the end point would necessarily be. I mean, I've imagined it -- not so much in my fiction, but in some nonfiction writing that I've done, that the final result of this will be a final digital moment...

Q. Hmm.

A. ...where everything is happening -- that the speed of recall will be so great that all digitally recorded time will sort of exist simultaneously.

Q. You talk about it being inconceivable to our ancestors -- I wonder what will be inconceivable to us in a hundred years.

A. You may not have to wait a hundred years. For me, what happens at the end of "All Tomorrow's Parties" is that in the moment that the idoru emerges from every 7-Eleven in Christendom in a form of realized free nanotechnology, that's when the world as we know it ends -- because that's the emergence of an absolute technological singularity. It just doesn't take effect right away. On the other side of a technological singularity lies a literally unimaginable world. And it's called a technological "singularity" because what lies on the other side of it is as unknowable as what lies on the other side of a black hole.



Q. I thought your nanotechnology stuff in "All Tomorrow's Parties" was really interesting -- the idea of an old watch descending into a bed of nanobots and emerging brand-new. I was wondering: Are there "Neuromancer" fans who are working on nanotechnology and call you and say, "Check out what we're working on"? Do you get any "inside information"?

A. [laughs] In a way, I'd like to pretend I'm sort of like the Tom Clancy of cyberspace, and I hang out with these guys. And sometimes I DO hang out with them, but I'm more inclined to take note of what they're wearing.

Q. [laughs]

A. You know, I listen to them talk about their dating problems more closely that I listen to them talk about what they're actually doing. For me, I'm pretty sure the way I use nanotechnology in these novels actually BUGS the real nanotechnologist to no end. They'd probably be inclined to dismiss me as sort of willfully lightweight about the whole thing. But when you've got somebody promising you a technology that will make everyone immortal and abolish the very concept of wealth, I just kind of throw up my hands and say, "You win -- I can't imagine that." You know -- "There's no work for me here."



Q. So you see yourself using these technologies for more thematic, literary ends than as a technically accurate kind of device....

A. Well, I've never been TOO concerned about being technically accurate -- but having science fiction as my native literary culture, I've still got these sort of cultural prerogatives where I shouldn't be totally stupid about it. For me, when I look at the world, I see that social change is driven by emergent technologies. And emergent technologies are almost NEVER legislated into emerging -- they just emerge. Consequently, social change is out of control, and it doesn't actually seem to work very well unless we ALLOW it to be out of control. When we allow it to be out of control, we end up with something like the Internet. The Internet emerged accidentally from a U.S. government think-tank project. But if you had approached any government in the world with a proposal for the Internet and told them what it was going to do, they would NEVER have let you do it!

Q. Oh, yeah. Definitely.

A. Because you would have been setting out to do something that would eventually undermine the very reason for there being nations. It could only happen accidentally, and it's been this extraordinary leap into the unknown for us as a species. And we haven't landed yet -- we're in mid-leap. I don't know if we ever WILL land.

Q. Well, landing implies a destination. And there isn't really a destination here.

A. The only destination would be some kind of total global catastrophe.

Q. That's a common theme in your work -- whenever anyone like the billionaire in "All Tomorrow's Parties," or the billionaire in "Count Zero," or the Tessier-Ashpools try to hold on to the technology and make it their own, it blows up in their face.

A. Yeah. It blows up in their face for the sake of narrative drama in those books, but in real life it either blows up in their face or it just dies. It stops working if you try to control it.



Q. With each new trilogy, you sort of dial back the technology and bring things closer to our time. So I was wondering: What's next? Are you going to set a series in the present day? Are you going to go into the past?

A. Well, I'm playing with the idea of finding out whether the world today is sufficiently strange and disturbing that I could produce a book that would give a reader the experience the reader expects from me, yet when they emerge from the book they would say, "Wait a minute! That wasn't even science fiction!" or "Wait a minute! That WAS science fiction, but it was also completely contemporary reality with next to nothing made up!" It's very challenging, and I'm kind of edgy about setting myself up to do it. But something in that direction may be where I might be headed.

Q. Well, I certainly wouldn't want to jinx anything by having you tell me, but...

A. Well, I'm playing with it, but it hasn't yet completely entangled me. If I play with it sufficiently, it probably will.



Q. Here's something I've wanted to ask you about: Didn't you once, like 10 years ago, write a story that could only be read once off a diskette?

A. Well, I wrote a long, narrative free-verse poem to my father, which was going to be packaged in its initial form on a diskette that was encoded so it would erase itself. And that end of it was being handled by a bunch of New York art-world tricksters I'd hooked up with. And they were very successful in getting an enormous, disproportionately huge amount of publicity for this thing. But they were not successful at all in actually producing the artifact. So it's kind of an interesting question today as to whether or not any of these were ever really made. I don't have one -- I've seen a photograph of one which I suspect to be either a forgery or a kind of dummy prototype that these guys in New York produced, and I don't know which. I mean, these were very elaborately and expensively packaged things. You didn't just get a disk -- you got this kind of art prop that you could kind of carry your disk around in, and it was a large object. The outcome for me was actually kind of poetically correct and satisfactory, in that someone got a hold of a copy of the thing kind of early on, cracked the supposedly uncrackable code and posted the poem on the Internet ,where it remains to this day.

Q. Fabulous.

A. And the longer it stays there, the more for some reason it decays. So every year or so, I have a look at it, and I find that lines have changed and it's sort of mutating into something else.

Q. A digital version of Burroughs' cut-and-paste technique.

A. Yeah -- it's like it's being cut and pasted by cyberspace itself.



Q. You know, your prose is really lean, and I was wondering how much self-editing you do -- how many drafts you put a book through.

A. Well, I don't actually do drafts. I wish I did, because if I could do that I'd probably be a lot more productive. I sort of start out putting words in a row and continually revise the whole thing as I go along. And there is a point at which I somehow know when a piece of it is done. I look at it and say, "That's cooked." But otherwise, it's a matter of going through it and looking for words that just somehow aren't the right words and taking them out.

Q. How many hours do you write a day?

A. Well, it depends on what stage I'm in. For the bulk of this book, I wrote about three or four hours a day, in something that pretty much approximates a sort of nine-to-five situation -- I'd get up early, drive my daughter to school, have breakfast, go down, answer the mail, start writing, take a lunch, go back, do some more writing. And that's like an optimal day. When I'm closer to the end of the book, and the buffer gets overloaded and I'm trying to hold the whole structure in my head and figure out what it needs next, it sort of demands I spend more time doing it. And when I was younger, I could get into 12- to 14-hour writing days at the end. But I can't do that any more because, you know, quality control kind of becomes an issue. It takes more, shorter sessions to maintain the right polish on the thing.

Q. You say you try to keep it all in your head. Do you do a lot of prep, or do you just jump in there and start writing?

A. I just jump in. I usually have no more than a very, very vague apprehension of what the end of the thing is going to be. I don't think I could sustain my own interest in the process if I had it all plotted out. I remember being very, very impressed as an English major reading E.M. Forester's opinion that if you were a novelist, and you rather than your characters were in control of where the book was going, you definitely weren't doing your real job. And that stuck with me. It's hard to explain to people who haven't been there, but I believe that absolutely. When I meet another writer of fiction, one of the bonding (or non-bonding) issues for me is when I discover whether or not the human being I'm talking to who writes these books is WHO WRITES THE BOOK. If I'm talking to the guy who writes the book, we're probably not going to wind up being that close -- because NOBODY ever gets to talk to the guy who writes my books, not even me. [laughs]

Q. So there's a dichotomy there.

A. Yeah. My job is to sandpaper down the membrane between my conscious and my unconscious, and let my unconscious do the job. I mean, the hardest thing I ever have to do is just get out of the way and let whatever produces this material do its thing. I wish it were easy. [laughs]

Q. It really isn't, is it?

A. No.

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 3, 2000, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Please let Neuromancer grace celluloid

    by Domu

    Great interview - I just can't wait for the movie. Although after reading the book about 30 times I have some idea of how I feel the characters should look it will be very interesting to see how the author and one of the best directors in the world feel about the subject. I just hope that it won't take too long to edit.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 5:42 a.m. CST

    Great Interview!

    by Psyberia

    Once again, Alex makes reading her articles so much fun! Keep up the great work. I now know a little too much about Mr. Gibson than I cared for, but it looks like you knew everything about him before the interview! It makes it more exciting to get past the lame-o questions that people get asked all the time. You're an asset to this website, don't ever leave!

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 5:45 a.m. CST

    William Gibson Movies

    by Triumph

    Can someone please make a good William Gibson Movie. I have liked the books ever since they were first published when it was impossible special effect wise to really do these books. But now there is really no excuse as the technology in the books is slowly coming beginning to exist and Digital special effects are so realistic

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Gibson is lame compared to...

    by AnotherThief

    ...Neal Stephenson. Snow Crash is so much cooler than anything gibson ever wrote.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 7:32 a.m. CST

    Me, I prefer Jeff Noon but hey I'm a Limey

    by Meat Takeshi

    I want a Vurt movie now, so much better than Gibson, although the man has some fascinating stuff to say. Anyway give us a Vurt movie now, Chris Cunnigham should be doing this instead. I'm off for a curious yellow feather. Oh yeah reason for posting, cracking interview, good stuff.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Chris Cunningham

    by JUNKY

    Can't wait to see this film (if it happens) - CC is more twisted than a room full of twisted sister fans caught in a hurricane- his aphex twin stuff is totally mad. Didn't he create the ABC-looky-likey robot for the Judge Dredd movie....? If the Gibson link fails, Noon would be good, but how about Michael Marshall Smith? (I bet he could really have fun filming the Spares....) - if you see what I mean

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 8:39 a.m. CST

    The division between the classes - technology NOT money

    by DixieFlatline

    Gibson is really a remarkable author, and I am surprised to find an interview with him *here* out of all places. It is really amazing how you can extrapolate themes and ideas from his work and apply them to what is happening all around us. THINK ABOUT THIS: our world is becoming increasingly dependent on technology, and yet there are still a large number of people who (due to economic, social, and even in some countries political reasons) have no access to computers, the internet, etcetera. Of course, "the street finds its own uses for things" and you can assume that there is sort of a "trickle-down" theory for outdated computers and such - but like the school here in Columbus that just recieved something like 100 386x PCs donated from a local military base because they were upgrading - the teachers looked at them and said "what the hell do you want us to do with these?" Meaning: the tech is too old for us to use - what are we going to do, teach our students how to use something that is outdated and they will never encounter out there in the "real world?" But I digress. My point was that economics are no longer going to be a factor in the division between the classes, but the access to technology and the ability to keep abreast of all of the new tech that we use in everyday life. I no longer call my friends, we communicate over email. What about the people who don't have PCs? I have a hard time keeping in touch with them. This is only one example, but you can take it much further (which I won't do in the interests of space). The point is, eventually the poor won't be considered the "have-nots," it'll be the tech-deprived. Old money who refuses to learn how to use a PC will lose the edge that their waelth gave them in the previous century. Adapt or perish.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 9:08 a.m. CST


    by Pseudo

    ...Ms. DuPont. Excellent questions. If only you could have locked him down to a release date for "Neuromancer." Kel d' mage. Cheers, ??Pseudo??

  • I hate it when egotistical lightweights do interviews with respected people. Verbally duel?? More like simper and fawn!! The first two questions are the sort of crap Entertainment tonight would ask someone!. Note to DuPont, please don

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Don't want to sound like a nedok, but what does A. du Pont do?

    by Funny Ha Ha

    As self-proclaimed president of her fan club, I realized I have no idea how she would happen to run into William Gibson in the first place. You definitely have a broad sci-fi literary range- no doubt about it - Alex. As for the rest of you - learn how to spell! I have this compulsive desire to hack at your posts with a red pencil!

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 9:46 a.m. CST

    stephenson vs. gibson

    by Mean Ween

    keep in mind that I've only read snowcrash and neuromancer. in snowcrash, i was spoonfed the sci-fi. i followed the well-explained plot from beginning to end. it was a good read. neuromancer was a completely different experience. while I know i'll never read snowcrash again, i plan on coming back to neuromancer. it's a book you have to work with to enjoy. it doesn't give you a comfortable plot. its characters are very complex. the imagery in incredible. neuromancer was a much more sophisticated novel than snowcrash and I just can't see it being put to film successfully.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Nueromancer isn't coming anytime soon...

    by Palmer Eldritch

    From what I gather, CC is setting this project up with a Kubrickesque pre-production schedule, in fact he's making a whole other movie before he even starts (some low budget movie about sexual obsession or something) just to practice, so I don't see this adaption coming any time before 2004. As for Gibson never using a computer, I read that he wrote Neuromancer on an old Remmington, but then that was is 1983! I think he's moved with the times along with the rest of us since then. And Mr Ant, you can't judge Gibson by his second rate imitators ("Hackers" indeed). I have read his books and I can't recall anything about typing inch high letters at computers while wearing shades. I fact, hardly anyone types at keyboards or looks at screens in his books at all ; they usually interact with computers in virtual reality, you know, CYBERSPACE -- IT'S WHAT HE'S FAMOUS FOR!

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Gibson is great, but he's no Stephenson

    by krosshair

    I love William Gibson. However, Stephenson is definitely more coherent. Snow Crash was fab, but for the real Stephenson experience you need to read Diamond Age. It will blow your mind. This is a guy who can write about nanotechnology and make it come alive.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 11:22 a.m. CST

    AICN-you guys are phat

    by sabonis

    Great fukkin interview. Gibson is such a genius of fiction. His stuff just blows you away with its innovation and intelligence. Never thought I would read something like this here, but I guess that's why this site rocks.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Excellent Interview

    by smilin'jackruby

    My kudos to you, Ms. Dupont.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 12:11 p.m. CST

    On ------- passing -------- Memes

    by lickerish

    Ive been raped ...albeit by choice, physically...but when it has been mentally I was passing on these words im continuing the the future, girls like me may be utterly dissapointed(I dont think so..)but...Ive been called a whore, slut, tramp..simply because im not ugly yet I love to fool around with a variety of is a lie..we were tricked into doing it to survive, now its just for fun, eventually it wont be physically possible...discounting obligatory nostalgic flesh fetishists.. but to survive...(and WHO WANTS TO DIE?..well, id just love to be killed by Wolverine) biology is slowly becoming obsolete, and assuming immense circuitious electrical interaction coordinated with sensory input creates conciousness...the next step in evolution will involve battling viruses and predators of an interior sort.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 12:51 p.m. CST

    If A. DuPont ever stops writing for AICN...

    by poodle

    I will lose all faith in humanity. Alexandra's posts are consistently the best on the site (sorry, Harry, but...they are) A great interview with a fascinating subject. Hey, they get off the topic of movies, and you know what? That's pretty damn cool. Keep it up Lexy!

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 1:57 p.m. CST

    gibson-new rose hotel

    by deconX-1

    great in-depth interview....but disappointed there were no questions re:Ferarras haunting rendering of NEW ROSE HOTEL....replete with a juicy performance by walken...and jucier one by asia argento!!!!!!!a must see for gibson fans

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 2 p.m. CST


    by deconX-1

    i met gibson once and asked him how he wrote neuromancer and he replied..."on an underwood"!!!!!!!!!!

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Alexandra DuPont (the brainless prat) responds....

    by Alexandra DuPont

    Oh, you

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 2:40 p.m. CST

    kkrankk says: Very nice surprise this morning.

    by kkrankk

    Thank you so much, Alexandra.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Neuromancer was great... but Gibson's lost his touch

    by Tom Lee

    Although I certainly respect the guy's descriptive abilities and flair for making extraordinary technology seem like household appliances... well... All Tomorrow's Parties sucked pretty hard. Admittedly, I came into it without reading the other two books of the trilogy, so maybe the characters had been set up to just be so fascinating that the utter lack of plot or conflict could be overlooked... but c'mon! It may seem formulaic, but you can't just eschew all hallmarks of the novel. As it stands, ATP was just a collection of interesting characters (and actually, only the peripheral characters were particularly interesting) going about their business and occasionally flailing about toward some mysterious objectives. A villain was set up, but never used. And the final resolution (the technological singularity referred to in the interview) comes out of the blue, is EXTREMELY tenuous in its connection to ANY of the characters in the book, and isn't followed by any sort of denoument to put it in perspective. All in all, extremely unsatisfying.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 4:15 p.m. CST

    thank you so much

    by SteppinRazor

    I came to the site today expecting the same old news about the same old movies. Instead you have given me something else. I reread all of Gibson's, Sterling's (met him in person, got an autograph, but no interview), and Stephenson's books annually, and that was one of the best interviews of any of them I've ever come across. Incidentally, isn't a Gibson fan who doesn't like the Matrix an oxymoron? Any of you Talkbackers? Reasons why?

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 5:22 p.m. CST

    musings & stuff

    by geekie

    My my, what a little busy bee do we have here. She starts off with a reviews of movies nobody cared to review and now she manages to talk to Mr. Gibson (i have to say that gibson character from X-files is better looking than our Gibson here) I wonder what did your daddy do to get you to this position Alex, or better yet, how you managed to survive Harry's 400+ pounds on top of you...did it hurt, honey, did it? But i know how all this will end. You'll become a decent writer, marry a great guy and subtly show us 'little people' the finger. God, why aren't we living in communism? This 'who has money, talent and people skills will make it to the top' is killing me... crap... Ah well, there's nothing else to do than to tell Alex i'm single and await the wrath of fellow talkbackers (personal note alex- i was kidding here, pleeeeasse don't tell harry to kick me off talkback ;-)

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 5:44 p.m. CST


    by tzotz_choj

    I think "wild Palms" har really overlooked i think the miniseries was great and a mon

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 5:53 p.m. CST

    You know,

    by Alexandra DuPont

    I just love how when a female writer gets somewhere in the publishing world, it

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 6:34 p.m. CST

    General Inane Comments

    by Ben Dobyns

    1) I was introduced to the W. Gibson through All Tomorrow's Parties (a gift) and found it fascinating. Frankly, after years of reading sci-fi/fantasy, my interest in the genre(s) had begun to wane, but Gibson's writing was a delightful kick in the pants. While the book wasn't quite in the straightforward narrative style that other TalkBackers seem to desire, it's ideas and multilayered story felt a great deal more meaningful to me than, say, Snowcrash. 2) Speaking of Snowcrash, I had high expectations for that novel and was greatly disappointed, especially by its lack of structure, planning, and the series of contrivances that took the place of a logical plot. 3) Man, you guys really can't get off the sexist comment kick, can you? How much effort does it take to acknowledge and appreciate intelligence and talent in a woman? I wish I could be as manly as the rest of you... 3b) (Perhaps that's my problem; perhaps I'm too nice. However, as I've been slowly learning to say, "F*** it!") 4) In the group of writers whose works ought to be considered for film adaptation, please add Terry Pratchett to your fanboy dreams. Or better yet, stay away from his work so I'll have a chance to do it justice (after I've finished my Egytian film noir and my epic on Paganini). 5) This is my quarterly post in TalkBack. Until Spring, adieu. It's back to lurking for me. Toodles.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 6:37 p.m. CST


    by Ben Dobyns

    it's should be its... Egyptian is spelled with a "p"... and I always mess up the subjuctive for some strange reason...

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 6:55 p.m. CST

    Matrix Was The Movie Johnny Mneumonic Was Supposed To Be(Plus Th

    by Jake The Snake

    I'm one of the 7 people who saw Johnny Mneumonic. Johnny Mneumonic should be taught in film school as part of a lecture series on how not to adapt a novel for the screen. I put that piece of crap on my 10 worst of the 90's list and for good reason, it was a piece of crap. The Matrix and David Cronenberg's eXistenZ are head and shoulders above all other virtual reality movies precisely because they spend less time speculating on the technology of VR(which right now is in a very primitive stage) and more time concentrating on its possible effects on the human race. Matrix and eXistenZ, if anything, are highly critical of Virtual Reality and its consequences for humanity. I haven't read Neuromancer but have heard that that book would be very hard to adapt for one reason or another. But, then again, everyone said you couldn't adapt The English Patient and Anthony Minghella ended up doing a great job. Hopefully William Gibson had nothing to do with the making of Johnny Mneumonic or otherwise, Neuromancer is going to suck.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 7:23 p.m. CST

    A Sexist Comment

    by pharcyde

    Ms. Dupont, I, like yourself, could do without all the implications made by fanboys that whenever a female writer or director becomes succesful it happened because she gave someone oral favors. Any time a woman gets anywhere in an arena dominated by men, fanboys assume, it's because she spread her legs for the right people. That is not only insulting to all women but an unfair generalization of them. That being said, I'm about to say something that will piss you off as well as a lot of other people. While there are plenty of exceptions(Jane Campion, Katherine Bigalow, Anne Rice)most women just are not that creative, or funny for that matter. There is no scientific explanation for this. The closest thing you can come to an explanation is in the realm of psychology. Women are alot more sensitive to matters involving sex, gore and violence than men are. A man has no trouble telling a sexual joke or writing a story with alot of blood and guts in it while a woman(there are exceptions) would wince at the thought of doing so. Men are more uninhibited creatively than women are and, as a result, are more willing to probe topics that are generally considered much more risque. I am not saying women are not smarter or stronger than men, most women ARE smarter than men and certainly much more responsible. The problem they have when it comes to creative endeavors is that they're too afraid of things that are taboo. Once again, I will stress that while this is true in the case of most women, it is not true in the case of a large minority. Go ahead, rip me to shreds.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Funny isn't it?

    by Owatonna

    AdP's only been operating on the other side of the fence for five minutes and already we're in "bloated sell-out" territory. I mean, do you people have some problem with authority figures or what?

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Alexandra...close...pharcyde --I agree...Exquisite Corpse was..

    by lickerish

    am I a FUCK I care?.. of didn't happen by accident..On the average women are not as creative,as what? men? sure.. and that is due to an age old bit of evolutionary selection involving child rearing and food gathering(connect your own fucking dots)...ill be the first to admit that..which is why ive had such a fractalated past with men...and why I pay no not have a job...can spend as much time pursuing my own libidinous and scholarly desires as is biologically possible...

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Pharcyde = Bonehead

    by murph

    So a quick count of Canadian SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) members in the directory yields 23 women out of 54 or so. I'd count everyone, but you ain't worth getting cross-eyed over 1400 names. I doubt that everyone on the list is a creative genius, but I also know of a lot that don't belong, or are maybe members of HWA (Horror Writers of America), and a lot of them are bad-ass, disgusting and hugely talented writers. Who honestly don't give a fuck what you think, so I'll shut up now.

  • Feb. 3, 2000, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Well spoken, Artaud. I

    by Alexandra DuPont

    (1) While it may be oddly comforting to you boys to reassure yourselves that ladies aren

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 12:07 a.m. CST


    by KodaK

    Well. Here's my talkback. Goddamn unreadable. I couldn't get past the question marks as apostraphies I see on this damn site w/ Netscape under Linux and there was WAY too much bracket enclosed editoralizing. I realize that one must do *some* of that to personalize a story or interview, but that was WAY too much. Just print the damn interview and comment at the end. Or beginning. Whatever, just not in the middle of nearly EVERY sentance. I'm not a negative person normally, but trying to read this article made my head hurt. Clean it up next time. Please. --J(K)

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 12:23 a.m. CST

    One more thing:

    by KodaK

    This has GOT to be the best out-of-context quote I've ever seen: "Well, I'm playing with it, but it hasn't yet completely entangled me. If I play with it sufficiently, it probably will." *I* found it funny, and that's all that counts. --J(K)

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 12:35 a.m. CST

    To SithLord-999; RE: "New Rose Hotel" film.

    by Revelare

    You might want to try your local Hollywod Video store and/or Blockbuster. I've seen it on the shelves their, but have yet to rent it myself.

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 12:50 a.m. CST

    gibson material to check out

    by structureNmedium

    ahoy, just wanted to mention to all the other gibson fans who were let down by the johnny mnemonic movie (and "hadn't heard this one yet") that his original script is actually worth the read (and on sale through your local book seller). Why read? 1)a lot of the scenes had the interesting "makes ya think" details cut out/off. 2)it's more satisfying to visualize the script than watch the flic (though I loved the CG). In humble defense of the director, there was some mention at the time the movie released that the studios reedited the movie so it'd "make more sense" to us idiot americans. supposedly there's a japanese version with 15 min. extra footage and kanji subtitles on left screen side (the mcguffin of my life) also, some asked if gibson was involved in the JM movie. and well, he was. I have this old fluff mag article that posted some of his nifty concept sketchs, and gave report from the set. but i wouldn't hold his involvement against him. for some reason even his cool sketches were re-interpretted. (one that stands out was the pyramid of televisions in the final scene. a small detail, but he sketched a <b>stacked</b> tv <b>pyramid</b> that you or i could throw together. it looked real. then somebody thought "what if we hung these all tvs from cables and inverted the pyramid! lets spend money!" and IMO it was another example of too much style/aesthetic creativity for the lo-tek characters.) anyway. nuff said. (feel free to email me if you want an ISBN or more info on the article) -warren

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 2:16 a.m. CST

    Stephenson, Gibson on Dick (Philip K., silly)

    by Lazarus Long

    I love that whenever Gibson is mentioned the Snow Crash team comes charging in with their horseshit. You know what, having more technical knowledge doesn't make you a better writer. Gibson's vision came not through being a computer nerd/hardware head, but rather his acute sense of society and where it was headed. His imagination and amazing use of the language don't hurt either. And oddly enough, Snow Crash winds up being so much more plot-reliant than Gibson's amazing meditation of a novel. The reason a lot of geeks prefer Snow Crash to Neuromancer is because it probably would make a better movie. It is very cinematic. But I wouldn't go so far as to call it Literature on the same level as Neuromancer or many of the Burning Chrome stories. Some moron way up there called Gibson as mainstream as Grisham. I find that really amusing. Feel free go back and look at the reams and reams of hyperbole unleashed on Neuromancer in the form of reviews and awards. Even his more recent stuff is too thought provoking for the general public to digest. The guy's only the most original stylist in the last 20 years of Science Fiction; the ending of Neuromancer is one of the most haunting and poignant in the genre, which called to mind the best work of Philip K. Dick, which Gibson mentioned in the interview. It's about time someone of his stature points out how many are derivative of what Dick was doing. As much as I want to see Neuromancer, I long and fear for the day they attempt to adapt "Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said", "VALIS", or "A Scanner Darkly". Good luck. There are some things cinema can't wholly reflect.

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 3:06 a.m. CST

    the good the bad & the intellectual

    by willjco

    1. (the good) Ms. D - great interview, Gibson is one of my favorite authors and I, for one, think you handled it well. I appreciated your (as you put it) "front-loading" the movie stuff as anyone with 1/8 of a brain knows, Gibsons literary works are the meat and any movies would be just fluff at best. 2. (the bad) ssZero and Geekie - Honestly, who do you think you are. I (and presumably others) come to this site because I'm interested in movies, books, and related fandom stuff. What I'm not interested in is your immature, pathetic posturing. Save it for Jerry Springer - I understand he's having an episode entitled "My Woman Left Me Because I'd Rather Jerk Off To Star Terk Than Have Sex" - should be right up your alley. 3. A:(The intellectual)(women not beign creative as men, etc.) Frankly, I think most people are not very creative - not in a capitol A-"Art" way. (To paraphrase Theodore Sturgeon - 95% of SF is crap - 95% of everything is crap.) Perhaps the reason why we see fewer examples of women's creativity at large is not because they are less creative than men but because the sexist society in which we live limits their ability of expression and opportunities for exposure. Anyhow, it's good to see some intellectual debate around here. Hey, I don't think anyone has used the phrase "ass-kicking" as a serious statement of virtue yet! Keep it up. B: MacBest - sorry,pal, I love Neal Stephenson, but he is just not the writer Gibson is. Oh, I feel that big G's been slipping lately, but Snowcrash vs Neuromancer - no contest. Neuromancer is a literary, visionary work that operates on many different levels. It's brilliant. Snowcrash is fun, clever and charming. Plus, Stephenson doesn't know how to end a book. Look at Diamond Age - what was that?!?!?!?

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 4:17 a.m. CST

    The Neuromancer had a snow crash - p2

    by AnotherThief

    Comparing gibson to grisham is a crime. Agreed. But most people also seem to agree that Stephenson has the better and more original stories and that what counts for me. I don't bother if it would be a cool movie. I read the book, a movie could't be better. Never happened (to me). Gibson was a pioneer and is a great author. And yes, his charakters are much more complex than i.e. Hiro Protagonist or Y.T. - but what's the use of it if the story that surrounds them is rather weak and partly a cliche? Tell me the BEST Gibson book and the one(s) I have to read to really get it and I will do it. i ge en i e en nu ge en nu ge en us sa tur ra lu ra ze em

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 6:04 a.m. CST

    Black feathers

    by discobunny

    The holy trinity - Philip K. Dick, William Gibson and Jeff Noon. We are not worthy...but we are well overdue for a Vurt-based film. Please???? Good interview, btw...

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 8:21 a.m. CST


    by tuxick

    it's not really smart to publish this interview in borked html. or does nobody mind seeing questionmarks all over the place?

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 8:31 a.m. CST


    by Garr_

    William I am a hugely influenced fan in - and I noticed you mention here quite a bit - I know you have been downunder a couple of times. I just wanted to ask you how original this is....pasted for the unitiated (so it lost a lil format - damn browser.... --------- AGRIPPA (A Book of The Dead) Text by William Gibson Etchings by Dennis Ashbaugh (C)1992 Kevin Begos Publishing 1411 York Ave. New York, NY All Rights Reserved I hesitated before untying the bow that bound this book together. A black book: ALBUMS CA. AGRIPPA Order Extra Leaves By Letter and Name A Kodak album of time-burned black construction paper The string he tied Has been unravelled by years and the dry weather of trunks Like a lady's shoestring from the First World War Its metal ferrules eaten by oxygen Until they resemble cigarette-ash Inside the cover he inscribed something in soft graphite Now lost Then his name W.F. Gibson Jr. and something, comma, 1924 Then he glued his Kodak prints down And wrote under them In chalk-like white pencil: "Papa's saw mill, Aug. 1919." A flat-roofed shack Against a mountain ridge In the foreground are tumbled boards and offcuts He must have smelled the pitch, In August The sweet hot reek Of the electric saw Biting into decades Next the spaniel Moko "Moko 1919" Poses on small bench or table Before a backyard tree His coat is lustrous The grass needs cutting Beyond the tree, In eerie Kodak clarity, Are the summer backstairs of Wheeling, West Virginia Someone's left a wooden stepladder out "Aunt Fran and [obscured]" Although he isn't, this gent He has a "G" belt-buckle A lapel-device of Masonic origin A patent propelling-pencil A fountain-pen And the flowers they pose behind so solidly Are rooted in an upright length of whitewashed concrete sewer-pipe. Daddy had a horse named Dixie "Ford on Dixie 1917" A saddle-blanket marked with a single star Corduroy jodpurs A western saddle And a cloth cap Proud and happy As any boy could be "Arthur and Ford fishing 1919" Shot by an adult (Witness the steady hand that captures the wildflowers the shadows on their broad straw hats reflections of a split-rail fence) standing opposite them, on the far side of the pond, amid the snake-doctors and the mud, Kodak in hand, Ford Sr.? And "Moma July, 1919" strolls beside the pond, in white big city shoes, Purse tucked behind her, While either Ford or Arthur, still straw-hatted, approaches a canvas-topped touring car. "Moma and Mrs. Graham at fish hatchery 1919" Moma and Mrs. G. sit atop a graceful concrete arch. "Arthur on Dixie", likewise 1919, rather ill at ease. On the roof behind the barn, behind him, can be made out this cryptic mark: H.V.J.M.[?] "Papa's Mill 1919", my grandfather most regal amid a wrack of cut lumber, might as easily be the record of some later demolition, and His cotton sleeves are rolled to but not past the elbow, striped, with a white neckband for the attachment of a collar. Behind him stands a cone of sawdust some thirty feet in height. (How that feels to tumble down, or smells when it is wet) II. The mechanism: stamped black tin, Leatherette over cardboard, bits of boxwood, A lens The shutter falls Forever Dividing that from this. Now in high-ceiling bedrooms, unoccupied, unvisited, in the bottom drawers of veneered bureaus in cool chemical darkness curl commemorative montages of the country's World War dead, just as I myself discovered one other summer in an attic trunk, and beneath that every boy's best treasure of tarnished actual ammunition real little bits of war but also the mechanism itself. The blued finish of firearms is a process, controlled, derived from common rust, but there under so rare and uncommon a patina that many years untouched until I took it up and turning, entranced, down the unpainted stair, to the hallway where I swear I never heard the first shot. The copper-jacketed slug recovered from the bathroom's cardboard cylinder of Morton's Salt was undeformed save for the faint bright marks of lands and grooves so hot, stilled energy, it blistered my hand. The gun lay on the dusty carpet. Returning in utter awe I took it so carefully up That the second shot, equally unintended, notched the hardwood bannister and brought a strange bright smell of ancient sap to life in a beam of dusty sunlight. Absolutely alone in awareness of the mechanism. Like the first time you put your mouth on a woman. III. "Ice Gorge at Wheeling 1917" Iron bridge in the distance, Beyond it a city. Hotels where pimps went about their business on the sidewalks of a lost world. But the foreground is in focus, this corner of carpenter's Gothic, these backyards running down to the freeze. "Steamboat on Ohio River", its smoke foul and dark, its year unknown, beyond it the far bank overgrown with factories. "Our Wytheville House Sept. 1921" They have moved down from Wheeling and my father wears his city clothes. Main Street is unpaved and an electric streetlamp is slung high in the frame, centered above the tracked dust on a slack wire, suggesting the way it might pitch in a strong wind, the shadows that might throw. The house is heavy, unattractive, sheathed in stucco, not native to the region. My grandfather, who sold supplies to contractors, was prone to modern materials, which he used with wholesaler's enthusiasm. In 1921 he replaced the section of brick sidewalk in front of his house with the broad smooth slab of poured concrete, signing this improvement with a flourish, "W.F. Gibson 1921". He believed in concrete and plywood particularly. Seventy years later his signature remains, the slab floating perfectly level and charmless between mossy stretches of sweet uneven brick that knew the iron shoes of Yankee horses. "Mama Jan. 1922" has come out to sweep the concrete with a broom. Her boots are fastened with buttons requiring a special instrument. Ice gorge again, the Ohio, 1917. The mechanism closes. A torn clipping offers a 1957 DeSOTO FIREDOME, 4-door Sedan, torqueflite radio, heater and power steering and brakes, new w.s.w. premium tires. One owner. $1,595. IV He made it to the age of torqueflite radio but not much past that, and never in that town. That was mine to know, Main Street lined with Rocket Eighty-eights, the dimestore floored with wooden planks pies under plastic in the Soda Shop, and the mystery untold, the other thing, sensed in the creaking of a sign after midnight when nobody else was there. In the talc-fine dust beneath the platform of the Norfolk & Western lay indian-head pennies undisturbed since the dawn of man. In the banks and courthouse, a fossil time prevailed, limestone centuries. When I went up to Toronto in the draft, my Local Board was there on Main Street, above a store that bought and sold pistols. I'd once traded that man a derringer for a Walther P-38. The pistols were in the window behind an amber roller-blind like sunglasses. I was seventeen or so but basically I guess you just had to be a white boy. I'd hike out to a shale pit and run ten dollars worth of 9mm through it, so worn you hardly had to pull the trigger. Bored, tried shooting down into a distant stream but one of them came back at me off a round of river rock clipping walnut twigs from a branch two feet above my head. So that I remembered the mechanism. V. In the all night bus station they sold scrambled eggs to state troopers the long skinny clasp-knives called fruit knives which were pearl handled watermelon-slicers and hillbilly novelties in brown varnished wood which were made in Japan. First I'd be sent there at night only if Mom's carton of Camels ran out, but gradually I came to value the submarine light, the alien reek of the long human haul, the strangers straight down from Port Authority headed for Nashville, Memphis, Miami. Sometimes the Sheriff watched them get off making sure they got back on. When the colored restroom was no longer required they knocked open the cinderblock and extended the magazine rack to new dimensions, a cool fluorescent cave of dreams smelling faintly and forever of disinfectant, perhaps as well of the travelled fears of those dark uncounted others who, moving as though contours of hot iron, were made thus to dance or not to dance as the law saw fit. There it was that I was marked out as a writer, having discovered in that alcove copies of certain magazines esoteric and precious, and, yes, I knew then, knew utterly, the deal done in my heart forever, though how I knew not, nor ever have. Walking home through all the streets unmoving so quiet I could hear the timers of the traffic lights a block away: the mechanism. Nobody else, just the silence spreading out to where the long trucks groaned on the highway their vast brute souls in want. VI. There must have been a true last time I saw the station but I don't remember I remember the stiff black horsehide coat gift in Tucson of a kid named Natkin I remember the cold I remember the Army duffle that was lost and the black man in Buffalo trying to sell me a fine diamond ring, and in the coffee shop in Washington I'd eavesdropped on a man wearing a black tie embroidered with red roses that I have looked for ever since. They must have asked me something at the border I was admitted somehow and behind me swung the stamped tin shutter across the very sky and I went free to find myself mazed in Victorian brick amid sweet tea with milk and smoke from a cigarette called a Black Cat and every unknown brand of chocolate and girls with blunt-cut bangs not even Americans looking down from high narrow windows on the melting snow of the city undreamed and on the revealed grace of the mechanism, no round trip. They tore down the bus station there's chainlink there no buses stop at all and I'm walking through Chiyoda-ku in a typhoon the fine rain horizontal umbrella everted in the storm's Pacific breath tonight red lanterns are battered, laughing, in the mechanism.

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 1:51 p.m. CST

    -=Phriendly neighborhood phreak=-

    by Phr33k0uT

    Jesus fucking christ, write a fucking novel, why don'tcha? Fuck.

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 2:55 p.m. CST

    that's what SHE said

    by chaosgrrl

    First, I'd like to say that I quite enjoyed the interview.I think that Alexandra DuPont is pretty savvy and the interview is decent. I don't see any of you poseurs putting out anything better. I've read everything of Gibson's that I could get my hands on it's nice to read an interview that wasn't written by some clueless feeb. Speaking of clueless feebs, you guys have GOT to be trolling. Right? I mean, how could anyone who seriously reads sci-fi not know that Gibson invented "cyberpunk?" *twitch* You guys must hanging with the wrong females. I know quite a few that kick ass in coding, gaming, martial arts, art, writing and music. No petite flowers here. Bawls to the wall, y'all. -chaosgrrl

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 7:12 p.m. CST

    opinions on gibson.

    by emailme

    well that was an interesting interview. it was full of the usual gibson. its kind of hard for people to describe him except for being a very interesting guy. that man is full of ideas and stories. most people would probobly lose their minds trying to deal with everything he has in his head. i want to address a couple posts i saw on here. some stupid and some pretty good. first of all, dude, gibson wrote neuromancer when the matrix guys were in junior high. dont be so silly. if you had read the book you would know that. this man single-handedly coined the term cyberspace. he dreamed up the term jack in, cyberspace, as well as others. those are his. period. im sure if you read any interview the the matrix brothers you would know that they grew up thinking gibson is a literary god of sorts. why else would they make a movie like this? you should probobly lighten up and realize that what gibson writes is fiction. period, you may say you want your fiction true to life but think about how silly a statement that is. fiction by definition is something that isnt true in the first place. if you really dont like how something is done, do it yourself. write your own story. but dont talk bad about someone else work when you havent done any yourself. personally, i cant wait for the neuromancer movie, im a little afraid of who they are going to pick to play case but i wish them the best. its going to be kind of tough to pick someone who can play a hot rodding cyberguy thats a complete scumbag at the beginning of the film. henry rollins i think has the look if he would lose all the muscles but there is no way he could pull it off. let alone the kind of acting he would need to do. i wonder what you all think about that. who do you think should play case, molly, armitage, and ratz? anyway, thanks bill. ive enjoyed every story you read. i even somehow scored a copy of all tomorrow's parties first print signed by you. you came to albuquerque? i could almost shoot myself for missing that. but anyway, thanks for all the stories. you keep writing them, ill keep reading them.....

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 9:01 p.m. CST

    yeah, sounds like you've read him!(not)

    by newmz

    To ol' painfull - your comment about count zero says something about your intellect. It was disorienting to you because I bet you like spoonfeed style fiction and movies don't you? Where everything is *really* easy to understand and the jokes are all slapstick? The "sprawl" books as they are called are roughly chronologically ordered thusly; johnny nmemonic (short story) neuromancer, count zero, mona lisa overdrive. I think that there are some others in burning chrome, can't quite remember. Anyway, if you read C.Z. 1st, you would have no idea that the a sortof separated left/right hemisphere brain style AI had infiltrated the matrix. You know those voodoo god things? they were AI's in there!!! They used the scientists daughter as an interface to the "real" world. Understand it now? I guess not. You came off like an idiot, he just wrote Johnny mnemonic and the story is better than that lame movie you f-wit. Have you never been disapointed by a movie adaptation of a book before.... oh sorry, i forgot you had only read a bit of C.Z. until it gave your tiny brain some trouble.

  • Feb. 4, 2000, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Now, in all fairness to

    by Alexandra DuPont

    ...I can see how starting with

  • Feb. 5, 2000, 8:24 a.m. CST


    by GameCat

    A Vurt movie would rock. Of course, if Hollywood made it they'd move it to Los Angeles or Seattle or someplace and Americanise the whole thing. Now if it was made with British actors (preferably young unknowns, though having someone like Jonathan Rhys Meyers or Kelly McDonald in there somewhere may be good; perhaps you could even find space for Ewan McGregor if you looked hard enough), set in Manchester and done by someone with the sensibility of Chris Cunningham, it could be good. It would have to have LOTS of computer graphics.

  • Feb. 5, 2000, 2:17 p.m. CST

    A note from one of those women who is genetically incapable of c

    by Dawn O' the Dead

    As a fan of William Gibson, I've gotta say it was a terrific interview. As a fan of Alexandra DuPont, I've gotta say ... well, there's so MUCH to say. First, as a writer, I thank the Almighty Du Jour that my editor didn't preface *my* recent interview with a nationally-known author with the sort of "isn't this adorable - the little girl talked to the Great Big Writer" pat-on-the-head, condescending introduction that Harry gave Ms. DuPont's chat with Gibson. I somehow find it unlikely that the same tone would have been taken if one of Da Boyz had offered it up. And I'd also like to add that I consistantly admire her aplomb at dealing with the adolescent mewlings of young men so obviously threatened by a Woman What Gots Smarts that they feel it necessary to sexualize her in the most hostile and repulsive of ways. But hey - that's why parents should keep an eye on what Junior's doing with the WebTV account after school, aint it? I'm looking forward to more missives from Alexandra.

  • Feb. 7, 2000, 1:53 p.m. CST

    who the hell is alexandra du something??

    by lexy1

    I'm new to this site and completely unfamiliar with this chick. Who is she? Where did she come from? What are her credentials? Dammit, enquiring minds want to know. I have no comment on the interview

  • March 19, 2000, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Neuromancer in 2000 Research

    by bmf247

    I've been looking for specific information on the Neuromancer release date all day. I want to announce what I've heard, that it's coming out in 2000, but I cannot confirm it anywhere. It's been nagging at me because I first heard about the script years ago, then that it was not being made. Then, several months ago, the official site for the film went up, and I actually read the Gibson screenplay. Since the site was never updated in any way like their intro would lead one to hope, I wondered if it was again just a false start. Then today I read an interview with Chris Cunningham where he said that it definately was his current project. I looked further and found that Seven Arts Pictures had said the film would be out in 2000. This has been enough for most sites I've been to to announce with confidence that it will be coming. I need more, though, before I say it's a sure thing. I've seen nothing about possible cast or locations. Not even speculation, and there's always a lot of that. Maybe the hardcore rumour journalists like our friend who runs this site are just burned out on this after the film being so long in Development Hell. This article here, though, with Gibson actually saying no progress has been made yet, and it's being posted in 2-00--has just absolutely swung me over to the cynical "it won't happen for at least another year" side of the pendelum. I've seen so many movies come out one or two years after their original release date after already being in post-production that with nothing in the can yet there is just no way it could be coming out by December of this year. I'm still fired up for when it eventually does, as from what I've heard from Gibson and Cunningham themselves it will not be like other Gibson films. It promises to be a "tripped-out action-thriller" and not just a "cyberpunk-vehicle."

  • March 7, 2009, 6:16 a.m. CST

    Still no Neuromancer flick?

    by Dingbatty