William Gibson, my favourite living science fiction author, just retweeted me. Wheeeeee!
The guy who invented the word cyberspace just poked at my stuff in cyberspace. That’s quite something, I must say.
Do you ever have that feeling where suddenly, out of the blue, some passage of writing you read decades ago suddenly fall into your head, clear as day, right down to the wording? That happened to me this morning. I was looking at some rageful tweets from Donald Trump supporters and suddenly a passage William Gibson wrote in his 1996 novel Idoru was in my head. In the passage, a character is describing a media conglomerate called Slitscan, which is sort of Fox News and the National Enquirer spliced together.
“[Slitscan’s audience] is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It’s covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections.”
Those words are twenty years old. He always did have a quivering touch of prescience about him, Gibson.