William Gibson and the World of Tomorrow: Digital Dystopias in Futurist Fiction

By Yvonne Owens.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: February 28, 2017 $US5.00

For more than thirty years, through three series of futurist works, the “Sprawl,” “Bridge,” and “Blue Ant” trilogies, Gibson has substantively contributed to a collective, popular revisioning of ourselves as social, cultural, political, and technological beings. Whether by prognostication or invention, this writer anticipated both the internet and the World Wide Web through his “cyperpunk” figures of “cyberspace.” The intrigues of data smuggling, information piracy, information liberation, and the world of hackers that we now see expressed through Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and other digital Robin Hood figures formed the plots of Gibson’s early “Sprawl” and “Bridge” series of novels, while speculations on the morphology of personal and collective, cognitive cultures informed the plotlines of his post 9-11, “Blue Ant” series.

Keywords: Forms and Genres, Conceptual Frameworks, Identity and Difference, Cyber-punk, Cyberspace, Science Fiction, Narrative, Speculative Fiction, Digital Realities, Post-Humanism, Trans-Humanism

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 15, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: February 28, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 494.662KB)).

Yvonne Owens

Professor of Art History, Philosophy of Art, and Critical Studies, Victoria College of Art, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada