William Gibson was born in South Carolina in 1948. He coined the term "cyberspace" in the early 1980s and was one of the founding authors of the cyberpunk movement in science-fiction writing with his ground-breaking first novel Neuromancer, which in 1984 predicted the birth of the internet. The film "Johnny Mneumonic" was based on his short story, and he also wrote the screenplay. He's since written several more critically-acclaimed novels most recently Zero History, and The Peripheral (2014) and more than 20 short stories.
Gibson also contributes an occasional op-ed and long-form piece to the New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone and other outlets.
He moved to Canada in the late 1960s and lives today in Vancouver, B.C with his wife.
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Q&A with William Gibson
You are famous for having coined the term "cyberspace" in 1982,
how did you hit on it and did you think it would stick like it has?
It didn't seem momentous at the time. I wrote out a list. The only two I remember were "dataspace" and "infospace" and neither of those was going anywhere. Then I hit on "cyberspace", and I thought, "Ooooh, cyberspace. That sounds like something people might actually say."
You seem to have stopped using the word in your two latest novels, Idoru and Virtual Light, why is that?
There's something funny going on with the prefix "cyber-". It's become not fashionable. Somebody told me recently that the proprietors of the Cybercafe have taken cybercoffee off the menu and I can understand exactly why.
While we're discussing that particular prefix, what about "cyberpunk? You've been hailed as the king of cyberpunk since your first novel, Neuromancer. Where did that term come from and what does it mean to you?
I can never remember who coined the term "cyberpunk", but it was the title of a short story which wasn't itself cyberpunk and had nothing to do with what was subsequently called cyberpunk. It's something to do with bohemia and computers ...
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