oa Alternation - William Gibson: From Prescience to Pastiche

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



William Gibson is probably best known in the public consciousness as the man who coined the word 'cyberspace' and as the source of a movie, Johnny Mnemonic, so critically and commercially slated that it was improbable that its star, Keanu Reeves, was likely ever again to be cast in another big budget science fiction film. He was, and The Matrix borrowed liberally from Gibson's cyberpunk fiction. In academic circles Gibson was regarded by some as the way forward for what seemed to be a stagnant postmodern literary field. Larry McCaffery referred to Gibson as 'the light at the end of the tunnel'. Frederic Jameson has called Gibson's cyberpunk science fiction 'the supreme literary expression of postmodernism or late capitalism' (Selden & Widdowson 1993:181).

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