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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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(p.162) Conclusion
William Gibson

Gary Westfahl

University of Illinois Press

This conclusion reflects on the reputation that William Gibson will likely enjoy in the future, based on his publications to date. Gibson has earned a permanent place in the history of science fiction, and he will always be remembered for his seminal contributions in the 1980s. Despite the stylishly cynical attitude said to characterize cyberpunk, Gibson has shown himself to be unfashionably optimistic fiction tropes of space travel and alien life. But he even more assiduously avoids creating apocalyptic futures such as Alas, Babylon and similar science fiction visions that terrified him as a child. This chapter argues that Gibson does not worry about what future generations might say about him; for Gibson, anyone thinking about the future is really thinking about the present, precluding genuine speculation about the future, so there is no reason to worry about the unknowable judgments of posterity.

Keywords:   science fiction, William Gibson, cyberpunk, space travel, alien life

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