19 August 2007

It Won't Be Too Novel

This morning I woke up to a somewhat blah NPR interview of William Gibson, coming away slightly less groggy but no more energized.

However, at the end of the day I had the pleasure of reading Gibson's pithy Q&A with the New York Times Magazine, including these fine exchanges:

Do you feel that you’ve transcended the science-fiction genre in your work?

My roots are in a genre. That is the funny thing. Novels are called novels because, ideally, they provide a novel experience. But in genre, you’re sort of buying a guarantee that you are going to have essentially the same experience again and again. It’s a novel. It won’t be too novel. Don’t worry.
. . .
Although you’re known as the father of cyberpunk science fiction, your new novel, Spook Country, is set in the post-9/11 present and endows the whole culture with a noirish gloom. At what point did American life become stranger than science fiction?

If I had gone into a publisher in New York in 1981 and told them I wanted to write a novel that is set in a world where the climate is out of whack and Mideast terrorists have hijacked airplanes and in response the U.S. has invaded the wrong country--it’s too much. Contemporary reality is like an overlapping set of dire science-fictional scenarios.

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