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William Gibson$
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Gary Westfahl

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037801

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037801.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 12 December 2017

A Dangerous Amateur

A Dangerous Amateur

Contributions to Science Fiction Fanzines

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 2 A Dangerous Amateur
Source:
William Gibson
Author(s):

Gary Westfahl

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037801.003.0003

This chapter discusses William Gibson's contributions to science fiction fanzines in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, with particular emphasis on his cartoons and articles. When he was fifteen, Gibson began publishing cartoons in Fanac and his own fanzines, which reflect an adolescent sense of humor. Two cartoons in Wormfarm indicate that Gibson, like many science fiction fans, detested John W. Campbell Jr.'s enthusiasms for dubious pseudoscience like psychic powers (“psionics”) and the Dean Drive, a purported engine that violated Newton's Third Law of Motion. Gibson's prose in early fanzines is generally unmemorable, suggesting that he channeled his creative energies into poetry at the time. During his stay in Arizona, Gibson devoted his time to doing normal things, but he never really stopped reading science fiction. This chapter also considers Gibson's published reviews and articles, including “Stoned,” which appeared in the 1976 issue of the BCSFA Newsletter.

Keywords:   science fiction, William Gibson, fanzines, cartoons, Fanac, Wormfarm, John W. Campbell Jr., pseudoscience, poetry

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