William Gibson surprises people when they meet him. The writer who coined the terms “cyberspace” and “megacorp,” whose dystopian novels re-invented science fiction in the 80s, and was lauded in The Guardian (UK) as “the most important novelist of the past two decades,” greets people with a slow, easygoing Southern drawl – not the voice one would expect from a writer associated with cyberpunk.
He got that accent honestly. Born in 1948 in Conway, South Carolina, and raised in his parents’ home town of Wytheville, Virginia, young William was an erratic student and loner. His father’s job required the family to move often, which probably did not help Gibson make friends or concentrate in school. At Pines Elementary in Norfolk, he preferred to read works of his own choosing instead of his assignments. When his father died on a business trip, William and his mother returned to Wytheville in the Appalachians. Although he had determined to be a science fiction writer at age 12, he remained an unmotivated student through high school. His mother died when he was only 18.
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