Bruce Sterling calls Joel Garreau's Washington Post interview with William Gibson, "One of the best William Gibson interviews ever." Garreau interview Gibson about Spook Country, his new novel that is so futuristic, it could only have been set in the recent past, and digs into the meaning and purpose of sf and literature in general, and how it ties into a world of technological change and splintering subculture. Garreau pinged Bruce for good, meaty Gibson questions, something I did for my 1999 interview with him for the Globe and Mail (Bruce said, "Ask him about the shoes"). It's good advice -- the Sterling questions evoke some of the most interesting material in this piece.
"Every hair is being numbered -- eBay has every grain of sand. EBay is serving this very, very powerful function which nobody ever intended for it. EBay in the hands of humanity is sorting every last Dick Tracy wrist radio cereal premium sticker that ever existed. It's like some sort of vast unconscious curatorial movement.
"Every toy I had as a child that haunted me, I've been able to see on eBay. The soft squeezy rubber frog with red shorts that made 'eek eek' noise until that part fell out. I found Froggy after some effort on eBay, and I found out that Froggy was made in 1948 and where he was made and what he was made of. I saw his box, which I'd long forgotten. I didn't have to buy Froggy, but I saved the jpegs. So I've got Froggy in my computer.
"This is new. People in really small towns can become world-class connoisseurs of something via eBay and Google. This didn't used to be possible. If you are sufficiently obsessive and diligent, you can be a little kid in some town in the backwoods of Tennessee and the world's premier info-monster about some tiny obscure area of stuff. That used to require a city. It no longer does."
(via Beyond the Beyond)
(Photo credit: cropped, downsized thumbnail ganked from a larger image credited to Pouya Dianat -- The Washington Post.)
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