Friday, November 23, 2007

Only the Lucky Ones Get a Mug, William

William Gibson in Rolling Stone, on his career as a sf writer (via kottke):

If one had gone to talk to a publisher in 1977 with a scenario for a science-fiction novel that was in effect the scenario for the year 2007, nobody would buy anything like it. It's too complex, with too many huge sci-fi tropes: global warming; the lethal, sexually transmitted immune-system disease; the United States, attacked by crazy terrorists, invading the wrong country. Any one of these would have been more than adequate for a science-fiction novel. But if you suggested doing them all and presenting that as an imaginary future, they'd not only show you the door, they'd probably call security.
It could all go to gray goo. But it just isn't in my nature to buy a lot of canned food and move to Alaska and try to escape the gray goo.
on a good day, my career seems so utterly unlikely that I wonder if I'm not about to snap out of a DMT blackout and discover that I'm not actually a famous writer of William Gibson novels but that I'm working at a used-book shop that smells of cat pee and drinking beer out of a cracked coffee mug.

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