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Author that popularised the term "CyberSpace," and the style "CyberPunk," at least the old school kind. Wrote such works as

The Sprawl Series

The Bridge Series

The series names come from where the books are set, or at least where the characters' backgrounds are. The first three books Gibson wrote form a trilogy that centres around The Sprawl. The three books starting with VirtualLight? form a trilogy centring around the former Golden Gate bridge.

(An earlier version had "coined" instead of "popularised", but another author (BruceBethke?) claims prior use.)

I enjoy his books, but Gibson is not a techie and I don't think he is of much practical use for techies. NealStephenson is much better. -- DaveHarris

I think the Sprawl series and Idoru were definitely worth reading. They have some interesting things to say about a possible future. The Sprawl series is a big dated, though, but I find that more interesting in a way. Reading novels about what the 'net is right now is really boring because the 'net is really boring. It's going to be awhile before it becomes truely important. Even as important as the phone is, which it will eventually replace. -- SunirShah

I think The Sprawl was always dated. It was never likely to look like that. I like people to project into the future, but to be useful it has to be plausible. -- DaveHarris

It was dated, yes, but then again he did not invent as much as he took what was going on right then: PunkRock? music and culture, personal computers and data (modem) connections and such. Then he took them to extremes. Took them as far as he could without becoming "proper" or "normal" SciFi. People could recognice the things happening in the "near-future" and relate to them. I think it was not even meant to be a prediction of the future, more like mirroring the present day things against different background, somewhat like with a microscope. Just my opinion -- JaakkoMantysaari

The last time I read The Sprawl series was when I was a youngen. I think it has more appeal to me because of that. Maybe I should just spend the time and read it again. --ss

A bit of editorial comment. I started reading Gibson in the late 80s, and through the early 90s I thought he was it. Well, him and BruceSterling (my line on his cyberpunk work was that he came up with generic cyberpunk character classes and wrote stories about them, which is fine because, except for very few circumstances, CyberPunk and ScienceFiction are not about character change, they are about ideas. ) I stopped reading CyberPunk because CloseExtrapolation became too close. Namely, CyberPunk imagined that someday, at some point, there would be something that would become the late 90s. Well, we've had the late 90s, and we've gone past that. -- DaveJacoby

This desire, not for character driven, but for technology/"idea" driven stories is what turns me cold on a lot of "science fiction". I want real characters. Unfortunately, the people who do real characters tend to do ScienceFantasy? or FantasyBooks?, which don't supply me with sufficient creative inspiration in a technological or social sense. OrsonScottCard seems to be an exception. StevenBrust may also. --ErikDeBill

Well, WilliamGibson is an author who writes character-driven stories (but not plots; his usual thing is to show characters caught up in the periphery of the central conflict. Important minor players, but minor players in the conspiratorial whole. AllenSteele? has done some nice, if somewhat pulpish, character-driven HardScienceFiction. --DaveJacoby

The problem with that is that is that the characters lack emotional depths and development. Furthermore, as I read more and more books by WilliamGibson and BruceSterling I find that many of the books do not even have an oldfashioned plot with a climax and an ending. Perhaps they do this on purpose? -- AlexSchroeder

Well, they call it CyberPunk for a reason. It depends on the story to me; _Neuromancer has an old-fashioned power-play story, but none of the POV characters are big players in the power play. In "Hinterlands", there's no standard plot because we've come to the end of history. Humanity has become a cargo-cult to a superior alien intelligence, so anything new coming into our culture comes from the aliens, and while we work on it, we'll always be 20 steps behind. So, of course there's no story arc. --DaveJacoby

See also "The pretextual paradigm of context in the works of Gibson" [1]. (Yes, I know it's a joke.) --CliffordAdams


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