William Gibson on futurism, terrorism and other isms

Bill Gibson gave this interview to Tyee Magazine at the end of his long and hard book-tour for Spook Country, his latest (and, I think, best) novel -- a book about spies, cold war artifacts, art, and the future's failures. The interview has many grace notes -- especially the material about terrorism and futurism.
"The slot in culture that I'm most closely associated with is one in which charlatans declare that they know the future. My job is to sit near that slot and when people approach me I say: 'Only charlatans say they really know the future.' I sit near the tent where they give out bullshit and offer people a different sort of dialogue. My role is to raise questions."
Link (Thanks, Lisa!)

See also:
William Gibson's Spook Country
BoingBoingBoing #15: William Gibson
William Gibson WashPo interview "one of the best ever"
William Gibson on writing in the age of Google


  1. I’m reading it now and am enjoying it a great deal, but I don’t think it is quite as good as Pattern Recognition.

    I’m only halfway through it, however – perhaps something amazing will happen to change my mind!

  2. I’ve liked Gibson since ‘Burning Chrome’, but he seems ignorant of the coming of Baha’u’llah, and the impact that has had on our world since May 23, 1844.

    He takes a rational position in acknowledging that only charlatans know the future, then doesn’t factor in the coming of The Glory of God at the very beginning of the electronic communication age (the telegraph was publicly exhibited May 22/23, 1844) and His effect on humans, Muslims, women, rational thinkers, free-thinkers and science-fiction writers!

  3. Speaking as someone socially acquainted with Gibson, I suspect that you’re right, he does not factor in the COMING OF THE GLORY OF GOD! Perceptive of you to notice.

  4. What does it say about the quality of a book when the author’s name on the cover is larger than the book’s title?

  5. In the cited comment, at least, he seems to comes out of Vinge’s singularity closet.
    There are more questions than answers, there might be none of the latter. And the sky above the port is now filled with digital artifacts.

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