IO9's got a great interview up with William Gibson -- not the same questions everyone else asks him, either. I like what he has to say about dystopias:
I don't think a writer can hit the dystopic key without being misanthropic. I'm actually not misanthropic. I think people are capable of wonderful things. I'm quite fond of them and enjoy their company. I can't do Jonathan Swift. I don't have it in me to do that. I also don't have it in me to say to reader, “This is all real.” I'm enough of a postmodernist that I go in and out of believing in my own narrative. The happy endings, such as they, are are actually a function of that. They're the "that's all folks” at the end, waving the big three-fingered glove. I want to remind people that they're reading a novel about an imaginary future. If I had my way, I'd even be reminding people about the whole culture of reminding people.
Alan Turing and the codebreakers of Bletchley Park invented modern crypto and computers in the course of breaking Enigma ciphers, the codes that Axis powers created with repurposed Enigma Machines — sophisticated (for the day) encryption tools invented for the banking industry — to keep the Allies from listening in on their communications.
In 1948, the Institute of Applied Science commissioned an unknown illustrator to depict a fistful of squirming, terrified criminals caught in an authoritative fist, under the headline “CAUGHT BY THEIR FINGERTIPS” — they were advertising a home Criminal Investigation and Identification course.
Larkin Jones is a hardcore Pokemon fan who loses money every year on his annual Pokemon PAX party; he makes up the shortfall from his wages managing a cafe. This year, Pokémon Company International sued him and told him that even though he’d cancelled this year’s party, they’d take everything he had unless he paid […]
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