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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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Finding his Own Uses for Things

Finding his Own Uses for Things

The Short Fiction

(p.33) Chapter 3 Finding his Own Uses for Things
William Gibson

Gary Westfahl

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses William Gibson's short fiction. Among Gibson's early short stories are “Fragments of a Hologram Rose” (1977), which introduces the theme of virtual reality; “The Gernsback Continuum” (1981), his first metafictional consideration of science fiction and its effects; “Johnny Mnemonic” (1981), which first involves the underworld of the Sprawl, the vast megalopolis stretching down America's East Coast; and “Burning Chrome” (1982), which adds the ingredient of cyberspace. “The Gernsback Continuum” pays fond tribute to the prophecies of science fiction writers and futurists of the 1920s and 1930s, and ponders how their visions still influence residents of a future they failed to predict. This chapter examines other Gibson stories, including “The Belonging Kind” (1981, with John Shirley), “Hinterlands” (1981), “The Winter Market” (1985), “Doing Television” (1990), and “Thirteen Views of a Cardboard City” (1997).

Keywords:   short fiction, William Gibson, short stories, virtual reality, science fiction, cyberspace, futurists

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