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43 Wonderful William Gibson Quotes

William Gibson is an American-Canadian fictional novelist that focuses on the cyberpunk subgenre. With decades of producing novels, essays, and participating in screenplays and film adaptations, Gibson has participated in a rich culture of creative experiences. Here is a look at some of the best William Gibson quotes from his life.

“A book exists at the intersection of the author’s subconscious and the reader’s response.”

“A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.”

“All we really have when we pretend to write about the future is the moment in which we are writing. That’s why every imagined future obsoletes like an ice cream melting on the way back from the corner store.”

“And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.”

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”

“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts.”

“For years I have been mourning and not for my dead, it is for this boy for whatever corner in my heart died when his childhood slid out of my arms.”

“I can see television much more easily than I can see features, because the economy and politics of making big, big features seems to me to be narrowing even from what it was.”

“I can’t imagine writing a book without some strong female characters, unless that was a demand of the setting.”

“I don’t have to write about the future. For most people, the present is enough like the future to be pretty scary.”

“I don’t think about the real future very much.”

“I find it interesting to see people – mostly people who are younger than I am – going to considerable trouble to try to reproduce things from an era that was far more physical, from a less virtual day.”

“I had a list of things that science fiction, particularly American science fiction, to me seemed to do with tedious regularity. One was to not have strong female protagonists. One was to envision the future, whatever it was, as America.”

“I have this prejudice that trilogies are long, three-volume novels.”

“I like the idea of people who’ve had some success in one form secretly wanting to be something else; I have some of that myself. I look for it in other people who’ve established themselves in some particular art form, and then you find out that they really would like to design running shoes, or edit literary magazines or something.”

“I think that technologies are morally neutral until we apply them. It’s only when we use them for good or for evil that they become good or evil.”

“I wanted to make room for antiheroes.”

“If I meet someone and discover that they’re an absolute, very earnest nationalist, it’s unlikely that I’m going to get much closer to them. I don’t understand them. It doesn’t matter where they’re from, I just don’t get it. I’m a multi-national kind of guy.”

“I’m always interested in the spooky repurposing of everyday things.”

“I’m happiest with people who’ve gotten furthest from traditional ideas of nationalism.”

“I’m interested in how people all over the world array themselves and go forth in the morning to do whatever they have to do to make a living.”

“It’s impossible to move, to live, to operate at any level without leaving traces, bits, seemingly meaningless fragments of personal information.”

“Language is to the mind more than light is to the eye.”

“My dream scenario would be that you could go into a bookshop, examine copies of every book in print that they’re able to offer, then for a fee have them produce in a minute or two a beautiful finished copy in a dust jacket that you would pay for and take home.”

“Naps are essential to my process. Not dreams, but that state adjacent to sleep, the mind on waking.”

“Novels set in imaginary futures are necessarily about the moment in which they are written.”

“People who feel safer with a gun than with guaranteed medical insurance don’t yet have a fully adult concept of scary.”

“Secrets…are the very root of cool.”

“Sometimes, I feel like a time traveler, cause the only way that we can really travel in time is just to get older.”

“Stand high long enough and your lightning will come.”

“The box was a universe, a poem, frozen on the boundaries of human experience.”

“The future has already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

“The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.”

“The future is there… looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become.”

“The history of the past, a hundred years from now, won’t be the history of the past that we learned in school because much more will have been revealed, and adjectives we can’t even imagine will have been brought to bear on what we did learn in school.”

“The ‘Net is a waste of time, and that’s exactly what’s right about it.”

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead station.”

“The street finds its own uses for things.”

“Time moves in one direction, memory in another.”

“We see in order to move; we move in order to see.”

“We’re living in a future that’s weirder than anybody except possibly.”

“When you want to know how things really work, study them when they’re coming apart.”

“Why shouldn’t we give our teachers a license to obtain software, all software, any software, for nothing? Does anyone demand a licensing fee, each time a child is taught the alphabet?”

There is no better way to see William Gibson than in this uncut interview with io9’s ‘We Come From the Future.’ This legendary sci-fi author shares some of his greatest moments of inspiration and success with host Annalee.

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