“The Future Is Already Here…”

So says William Gibson, the American author who followed his wife to her native Vancouver and from there has spun out his tales of the near future—from Neuromancer (1984) to Agency (to be released next week). Gibson decades ago coined the term “cyberspace,” and his cyberpunk tales inspired, among many other artistic offspring, “The Matrix” films.

Gibson is certainly not a futurist—that dubious profession, so exciting just a few decades ago, that proffered prognostications that already have turned out no more likely to be true than those of a carnival fortune-teller. But he isn’t, for a science-fiction writer, all that oriented toward the future…or, at least, not one far, far away. No, Gibson says, “the future is already here. It’s just that it isn’t very evenly distributed.”

Gibson is the Tom Wolfe of the future among us. He sees that the future doesn’t arrive all at once in packages shipped all from the same store—as it seemed to do in “The Jetsons,” or “2001: A Space Odyssey,” or “Star Trek.” It comes piece by piece: the huge flat screen TV hung above the bookcase, the microwave sitting on the counter beside the toaster.

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