William Gibson

burst onto the Sci-Fi scene in the 1980's with his first book "Neuromancer" - A revolutionary story portraying a bleak future in terms of the human condition - The alienation and depression of his heroes and anti-heroes brings a gothic element to the overall feel of the novel, which has been echoed throughout his career.

A future rent by technocracy (with the poverty and overcrowding it implies), prolific crime and humanitys endless obsession with it's own beauty, weave together to coldly echo the rapid spiraling of civilisation toward something much stranger.

Neuromancer lays the foundations of a much larger story, developed in detail through the rest of the series; "Count Zero" and "Mona Lisa Overdrive" which gives the trilogy an unusual distinction in that the original hero is completely left out of the second and third books and each story refers only tangentally to the others.

Gibsons second trilogy; "Virtual Light", "Idoru", and "All Tomorrow's Parties", is set after the first but not in the future Gibson originally envisaged when writing his short stories (See "Burning Chrome"). The harshness endures but many changes are in the wind as a result of the first storyline.

One story element that should be of great interest to us all here at E2 is the "Nodal Data Streams" that Laney surfs in "Idoru" and "All Tommorrows Parties". The theory is that as raw data accumulates, it naturally gravitates to certain topics and information 'nodes'. If one has the skill it is possible to sift valuable information from immense amounts of data once these nodal points are recognised! Sound familiar to any E-2 noders?

Overall, I think it is the combination of dark prospects, alienation and good solid "John Woo" action in literary form that has made Gibson one of the most respected modern Sci-Fi authors.

For more on Gibson check out: