william gibson: a reader's guide

lance olsen
© 1992
, 2012

In 1984, the appropriately Orwellian year, William Gibson's novel, Neuromancer, burst upon the science fiction scene and became the first to win SF's triple crown: the Hugo, the Nebula, & the Philip K. Dick.

Neuromancer's stunning success also turned Gibson—sometimes much to his chagrin — into the so-called the godfather of cyberpunk, an aesthetic revolution against the lifeless neo-realism andpredictable SF of the late seventies and early eighties.

My book—the first full-length study of his work—explores the key notions associated with cyberpunk, Gibson's life, attitudes, literary antecedents, themes, first short-story collection, and what has come to be known as the matrix trilogy: Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive.

As a present to myself and other Gibson fans, I've made the full text of my book (as well as several other related essays) available here free of charge on the tenth anniversary of its publication by Starmont House in April 1992.

And a quick warning: one reader asked me to mention that I talk about the plots of Gibson's books near the beginning of each chapter, so if you're not familiar with a particular book, and don't want anything given away, you might want to skip those paragraphs.


1: revolution, revelation,
& rock'n'roll

who was that man?

cyberpunk & postmodernism

twenty minutes into the future

data rustlers, reptilian brains

the readerly crisis

2 : burning chrome

3 : neuromancer

4 : count zero

5 : mona lisa overdrive

6 : annotated bibliography


in addition:

virtual light review : 1994

cyberpunk apologia : 1994


order print version:


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