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William Gibson, photo by Michael O'Shea
William Gibson


NYS Writers Institute, November 9, 2014
7:00 p.m. Reading | EMPAC Concert Hall, Renesslaer (RPI), Troy


William Gibson, science fiction writer, father of the “Cyberpunk” genre, and author of Neuromancer (1984), which helped to define the popular culture of the Computer Age, will read from his new sci-fi novel, The Peripheral (2014), at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 9, 2014 in the EMPAC Concert Hall, on the Rensselaer (RPI) campus, 8th and Congress Steet, Troy, NY. Free and open to the public, the event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and Rensselaer’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Union Speakers Forum, and Department of Communications and Media.


William Gibson
is a visionary author of speculative fiction whose work explores the future implications of contemporary human technologies. His revolutionary 1984 novel, Neuromancer, helped to define the nature of “cyberspace” and computer-generated realities in the popular imagination. The first novel to win all three major awards in science fiction (the Nebula, Hugo, and Philip K. Dick awards), it exerted a tremendous impact on the zeitgeist of the Computer Age. At the time of its publication, the Washington Post called it, “kaleidoscopic, picaresque, flashy and decadent…. an amazing virtuoso performance,” and the New York Times called it, “freshly imagined, compellingly detailed, and chilling in its implications.” In a 30th anniversary review of Neuromancer that appearedin The Guardian (UK) in July 2014, critic Ed Cumming dubbed Gibson, “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow,” and said of Neuromancer, “The book is more than a decade old but, re-read today, it feels more astute than 99% of the novels written since.”

The PeripheralGibson’s newest novel, The Peripheral (October 28, 2014), is set in two futures— an impoverished near-future of high-tech trailer parks, and a “post-human” future of pleasure-seeking glitterati and material super-abundance. Characters who exist in the earlier future have been recruited to work as mercenaries in the later future. Featuring Gibson’s trademark combination of thrilling action, prescient speculation, and poetic language, The Peripheral explores a variety of familiar and unfamiliar technologies— from drones, 3-D printers and virtual reality games, on the one hand, to time travel and mutant life forms, on the other. Writing in advance praise, science fiction author Cory Doctorow called it, “Spectacular, a piece of trenchant, far-future speculation….”

Other works by Gibson, nearly all of them New York Times bestsellers, include Zero History (2010), Spook Country (2007), Pattern Recognition (2003), All Tomorrow's Parties (1999), Idoru (1996), Virtual Light (1993), The Difference Engine (1990, with Bruce Sterling), Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988), and Count Zero (1986).

In the 30 years since the publication of Neuromancer, Gibson’s reputation as a novelist has continued to grow. In a 1999 overview of Gibson’s work, Steven Poole of The Guardian (UK) said, “In terms of concrete influence, William Gibson is probably the most important novelist of the past two decades.” In 2003, Jane Vendenburgh of the Boston Globe called him, “One of the most visionary, original, and quietly influential writers currently working.” Of his 2010 novel Zero History, which explores the implications of present day consumer-tracking technologies,the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reviewer said, “Gibson’s ability to hit the sweet spot of cutting-edge culture is uncanny,” and the reviewer for the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle said, “Gibson can craft sentences of uncanny beauty, and is our great poet of crowds.”

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.