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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, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 18 February 2020

Journey to the Future

Journey to the Future

A Biographical Sketch

(p.9) Chapter 1 Journey to the Future
William Gibson

Gary Westfahl

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes William Gibson's early years based on his autobiographical sketch, “Since 1948,” first posted to his blog on November 6, 2002. There, he relates the generally familiar story of how he was born in South Carolina and, as a child, frequently moved with his parents because of his father's various jobs. In these early years, the major influence on Gibson's life was television. This chapter first considers Gibson's childhood and adolescence before discussing how he discovered science fiction literature, which became his passion. It then considers the change in Gibson's perception of science fiction beginning in 1962, which he often attributes to his chance discovery of William S. Burroughs and, through him, other Beat Generation writers. It also looks at Gibson's publication of fanzines, his enthusiasm about Fritz Leiber, and how he developed an interest in science fiction poetry and later in nonfiction. Finally, the chapter documents the turbulent events of Gibson's first two decades of his life and notes that since the 1980s, his life has been remarkably uneventful.

Keywords:   childhood, William Gibson, television, adolescence, science fiction, William S. Burroughs, fanzines, Fritz Leiber, poetry, nonfiction

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