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How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real | The New Yorker
In his late twenties, Gibson earned an English degree at the University of British Columbia. He took a class taught by the feminist sci-fi pioneer Susan Wood; she suggested that, instead of writing an analytical paper, he might turn in a story of his own. (At her urging, he sold the story, “Fragments of a Hologram Rose,” to a small magazine.) He began writing science fiction in earnest only when Graeme was on the way, and it seemed to him that his career had to start, or else. Deborah was in grad school, so he took care of the baby, writing “Neuromancer” while Graeme napped. He learned to work iteratively. He still rereads his manuscripts from the beginning each day—an increasing burden, as each book goes on—stripping away what’s superfluous and squirrelling new ideas into the gaps. (Having shown a technology used properly in one scene, he might show someone misusing it in another.) His plots are Tetris-like, their components snapping together at the last possible moment until the space of the novel is filled.
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