I was on Twitter on my laptop at Peet’s coffee that morning, relaying to the human race an irreverent thought I’d had about the Peet’s playlist (“Of all the Ramones songs!”) when I saw that William Gibson, the Father of Cyberpunk, had retweeted the following question from a fellow author: “Are there any snake venoms that don’t kill you, but just get you high? Asking for a fictional friend.”
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Neuromancer! When I set out to read this book, I feared that maybe I would be too late to the party–that the elements once thought prophetic would now seem quaint, that William Gibson’s groundbreaking vision would fail to land an impact after so many decades of imitation and iteration. I’ve consumed a lot of cyberpunk in my time, and this book predates pretty much all of it, save for Blade Runner. And as much as I still like (one specific version of) Blade Runner, the book which was its basis, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?–did strike me as both quaint and low-impact when I got around to reading it in 2015. I mean, electric sheep? Please come on.
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