It’s available here, via the Paris Review. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, he’s one of the most influential science fiction authors of his era. He coined the word ‘Cyberspace,’ helped popularize steampunk, and had a hand in bringing a particular vision of our near-ish future probably best exemplified in the film Blade Runner (which, he reveals in the interview, emerged independently, in parallel, and with an amazing level of similarity, from his imagination and Ridley Scott‘s – a fact they discovered years later). He’s also broken into the mainstream with his more recent novels.
I discovered a great parallel in our lives in this interview as well – like me, Gibson abandoned science fiction in his later teens, only to rediscover it some years later. Our reasons were very different. In my case, I began to conceive of myself as a ‘serious thinker,’ and spent a decade or so focused on history and the classics, despite the fact that I often struggled to take much pleasure from reading the classics. The beauty is that it was Gibson who brought me back to sci fi in the mid 90’s, when I somehow stumbled across Neuromancer, (via Wired magazine, at a guess), which blew my mind and sent me off on a multi-year scifi reading binge that included all his published works to that time. I’m still very fond of them, and have reread Neuromancer and the Sprawl trilogy it began multiple times since then.
Anyway, go read the interview, it’s fantastic. Then consider reading some Gibson – he’s everything he reveals in the interview and more. Or, if like me you’ve already read him, you might consider a re-read – I’m headed off to Lake George for vacation this week and tucked Neuromancer into my bag 😉