Author known for shaping the cyberpunk genre.
March 17, 1948
Coining the phrase “cyberspace” in his 1982 short story “Burning Chrome,” then making the phrase popular in his 1984 novel Neuromancer, William Gibson helped create the cyberpunk genre.
Gibson’s interest in science fiction started at an early age, but it was not until 1977 that he began writing. His debut novel, Neuromancer (1984) is the most famous work of the early cyberpunk genre. Gibson won the Nebula and Hugo Awards for Best Novel for Neuromancer, as well as the Phillip K. Dick Memorial Award.
His next two novels, Count Zero (1986) and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988), complete what is known as the Sprawl trilogy. His 1990 novel The Difference Engine, co-authored with Bruce Sterling, became central to the steampunk subgenre.
Gibson’s later works are less overtly science fiction, but continue to explore issues of sociology, technology, and rapid change, at times flirting with the technothriller genre. Two of his stories have been made into films: Johnny Mnemonic (1995) and New Rose Hotel (1998).