Vancouver-based science fiction writer William Gibson, the man who popularized the term cyberspace, is taking his first trip to the online realm to promote his forthcoming novel.
On Aug. 2 Gibson will be appearing in Second Life, an Internet-based virtual world where users, or residents, can interact with each other, to read from Spook Country.
“It’s a first for me,” said the award-winning writer, whose 1984 novel Neuromancer dealt with virtual reality and cyberspace long before they became mainstream.
“I’m curious to see what it’s like,” he said. “I’ve gone there on my own but not as myself … It feels like visiting a video game after hours.”
“From 1981 on I tended to write fiction in which people engaged in more or less that sort of thing, although my version of it was kind of more street than Second Life, but virtual stuff has been a big part of what I’ve written.”
Gibson said one of the things that surprises him about Second Life is how “white bread” it is.
“I didn't really see that coming, although I supposed I should have. I saw a much more punk version of this.
“Cyberspace in my early fiction was considerably more high octane so it’s kind of funny. (Second Life) is mainstream and everybody does it. And I’m glad it is.”