Gibson on “Future Fatigue”

Via Jim Henley, William Gibson writes:

Say it’s midway through the final year of the first decade of the 21st Century. Say that, last week, two things happened: scientists in China announced successful quantum teleportation over a distance of ten miles, while other scientists, in Maryland, announced the creation of an artificial, self-replicating genome. In this particular version of the 21st Century, which happens to be the one you’re living in, neither of these stories attracted a very great deal of attention.

Henley says “It’s one of those times I wish I found Gibson’s novels more engrossing.” Fortunately, I like several of Gibson’s novels a great deal. Indeed, while riding the train from Shanghai to Yiwu and watching the alternation of run-amok ultra-modern construction and backbreaking rural poverty rush by at 200 kilometers an hour, I kept thinking of the line “the future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed.” It inspired me to re-read Neuromancer on the plane back home (possible thanks to the magic of ebooks) which is definitely still a great read today.