Wednesday, June 7

Loss of the unknown

I have a conference abstract due today which of course means I needed a distraction (to help me think) so I went back to my old faithful, William Gibson's blog, and got nicely distracted by the discussion forums. I'm interested because there's a new book due soon, and he seems to be wandering further from science fiction each time. These was a discussion of an interview transcript with Gibson where he says science fiction is dying.

Interviewer: "Does science fiction now seem an inadequate tool, no longer the right bag of tricks to deal with the rate of change, the ratcheting up of the truth-is-stranger than fiction factor? Is it no longer a viable way to grapple with the present?"

Gibson: "Yes, I agree with that. Science Fiction was a part of the 'modern' project. There is no longer a long enough 'now' for us to extrapolate anything out of it."

He says he doesn't write the future... "the world of Virtual Light and Idoru is not imaginary, not really the future, it is the present with all the knobs turned up to the highest setting" and now it seems that turning the knobs doesn't make things stranger than they already are.

He also says "In the future, every inch of the world will be densely annotated, it will take a religious effort to ignore it." And I'm contributing to that, busily attempting to annotate the human genome and all its complex interactions.

So what does this mean for the new book??

There's also talk of Pattern Recognition being turned into a film with Peter Weir as the director.

Well, that was a distraction that got me absolutely no-where. But at least my abstract is done ^_^


BigA said...

Wooh. I didn't realise we have to >think< in this blog. Sci-fi has certainly come a long way since it was all Dan Dare, rockets and wierd aliens. That's an interesting idea: that the present is changing so fast we can't find the future.

PS Watch out for that greengrocer's apostrophe! (there are pedants reading it)

JacWabbit said...

What apostrophe? *sheepishly hiding pre-edited version under the rug*

There's a lovely power in being able to edit my posts!

Non-smart humanities type girl had to get google to define pedant! (For thems like me - "The term is typically used in a negative connotation, indicating someone overly concerned with minutiae and detail"). If only I'd extrapolated to pedantic! Speaking of which, I've just finished responding to my examiner's comments! Not too bad in general, but one that involved moving a comma! But how do you say, I don't want to and it doesn't make sense your way?