gibson_630William Gibson
The dystopian author on time travel, cronuts, and his 22nd-century novel.
—By Tasneem Raja
A special feature presented in cooperatio with Mother Jones Magazine

For evidence that the sci-fi future is encroaching on the present, look no further than William Gibson’s latest book, The Peripheral, which opens a mere decade or so from now and includes a cameo for cronuts, those croissant-doughnut hybrids invented last year by a New York City chef. When Gibson’s debut, Neuromancer, exploded onto the sci-fi scene way back in 1984, his vision of “cyberspace” felt dizzyingly distant. (Gibson, now 66, had coined the term in a short story a couple of years earlier.)

Now Neuromancer just seems prescient: a corporate dystopia whose denizens, increasingly engrossed with their technological distractions, live on opposite sides of a cavernous divide between the tech haves and have-nots, their lives circumscribed by conglomerates with insatiable appetites for data. The new book, meanwhile, stars a bunch of downtrodden trailer park residents who get caught up in the deadly games of some time-warping elites from 70 years hence. For this week’s episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast, I reached Gibson at home in suburban Vancouver—he has dual citizenship—to talk about everything from vintage feminist sci-fi to his speed date with Google Glass.