How William Gibson discovered science fiction.
He sits on my bed, talking to his mother on the phone, his car keys plugged into my computer, taxidermy birds at his feet, familiar with my room. I have already met his scientist father and taken pictures of them both. Possibly this makes me uncomfortable.
We have been reacquainting ourselves after six years apart in the same city. It has been interesting, though unexpected. We are very different people than when we first spent time together in the almost perpetual darkness of the constant heaven threatening raves and parties that we used to work at. (We met, like Shane and I, (and Jacques and T. Paul), as part of the first incarnation of C.R.’s Fr8-train Land.) I think we have far more in common now than we ever might have then.
Perched on the roof of his truck, we watched the night occlude the city from Spanish Banks and discussed stars and noise, art and engineering, information architecture, and how to wire lights to make bursts of sound, constellations of old ideas polished into new. When we drove back into town, swaggered into the bar, and kidnapped Shane to star-crash on my couch, it was like we completed a circle that took almost a decade to make.
Human After All.
History begins now.
At work, my boy haunts the hallway from months in the past. A reflection of when we sat here over our greasy chinese picnic and laughed over chopsticks and our mismatched everythings. His eager grin and long legs folded, the mischief in his eyes conspiring against my cleverness. It’s difficult to be there some days. I catch my ears bent listening and I almost have to close my eyes against the superimposed image of his voice sitting next to me. He’s hung up the mirror-ball I gave him for his birthday and sent me a picture from L.A. It looks like the perfect accessory. As consolation, it beats a drum within me like the clapper in a bell. We had a good thing. He remains the happiest part of my dreams.
Robert Silverberg on Philip K. Dick.
These long summer evenings have been both good and bad for me. I’ve been getting up early, it being too sticky hot to stay in bed, but as the day molasses crawls down the windowpane of the sky, I don’t feel I’m accomplishing as much as I could be. I want to be as busy as sin, not living this meandering odd-jobs existence I seem to be dreaming up daily. Tuesday I’m on set again, but I haven’t heard about call-times yet. It’s still too early to say. My flashing re-boot of a film career is suffering from the drop in the American dollar. Crews are being pared down. It’s not as cheap to shoot here as it was five years ago. I’ve been keeping my fists up, but it proves to be difficult. The industry’s not being kind to any of us. It might be time to side-step into the Jolt and Doritos fuelled modern fortress of video games, like James wants me to.
William Gibson explains why science fiction is about the present.