Portrait of 
William Gibson 
for the New Yorker

Instead of fantasizing about future worlds, Gibson sets his novels in the ongoing, alarming realm of the present.
        Gibson first used the word “cyberspace” in 1981, in a short story called “Burning Chrome.” He worked out the idea more fully in his first novel, “Neuromancer,” published in 1984, when he was thirty-six. Set in the mid-twenty-first century, “Neuromancer” follows a heist that unfolds partly in physical space and partly in “the matrix”—an online realm. “The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games,” the novel explains, “in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks.” By “jacking in” to the matrix, a “console cowboy” can use his “deck” to enter a new world:

<<Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimateoperators, in every nation. . . . A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity.Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.>>
After 5 hours of shooting in the cold, mr. Gibson tell me : << I will call you a taxi >> ! 

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