scattered thoughts on william gibson

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 § 0

I read William Gibson's Idoru once in high school, and I couldn't get into it at all. I picked it up again a few months ago and this time I was totally immersed. I feel a little behind the times, considering everyone I know read his work way earlier than I did, and I'm just starting to mainline his books now. I have to wonder if it's just because I didn't understand the internet in high school, and now I ... understand it slightly more. But also, when I was age sixteen I consumed very little pop media/culture, and that is also a reason that the book didn't do anything for me -- at the time. Gibson builds his worlds on references. The reader has to have already done the homework. I hadn't at the time. I've done a bit more now, but for example, the Bigend Trilogy is pretty opaque to me, but my bandom friends are all over it.

I enjoyed Idoru but I think the strongest feeling the book instilled in me was a desire to get my hands on the computer models that Gibson describes, which just goes to show Gibson really understand products after all XD. Sandbenders are steampunked up laptops and okay I don't want those, but I love the name *g* I do want one of the "Korean models" that he describes, the ones that look like sacks of jelly with candy-colored cubes floating inside. 1) that DOES sound exactly like what half of east asia would crank out if they could just get silicon to behave that way, 2) I really really want one.

I have surprisingly little to say about Neuromancer. It feels way more mainstream ahead of time -- like it is less irreproducible than many of his other works, not because they aren't visionary/worth imitating/etc, but because not as many authors THINK like Gibson, and that's much more evident in certain books than in others. Neuromancer's flavor is something that many people can pull off, whereas Gibson's other stuff still feels unique to Gibson, even after all the other authors have had their time to get inspired and crank out their own stories. Neuromancer is (more) something that someone else could have written; his other works less so. This isn't a slam on Neuromancer at all, I loved it XD and it's not like "unique" is any kind of standard of awesome writing since you can also have Uniquely Horrible Writing, but I think being unique makes a "good" work ... stand out more, against all other works that could be equally "good". So in the end it's just why I think the others are more ... Gibson. Maybe.

In conclusion, I also finished Count Zero recently (on a Kindle, appropriately?) and really loved it. *g* It really gives the best of all of Gibson's worlds! Now to work my way through Virtual Light.

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