Friday, April 01, 2005
William Gibson & Types of Tomorrow
Gibson sets All Tomorrow's Parties in the future - but just barely. It is intended to be a plausible tomorrow extrapolated from salient elements of today. Books that present possible futures are typically categorised as either utopia or dystopia: a better future or a worse future. (Remember the etymologies given for both.) Note that dystopias are often affirmative in intent: not predictions nor willful projections but corrective rebukes or cautions of present trends. George Orwell's masterpiece 1984 is exemplary. I argue that with All Tomorrow's Parties Gibson is attempting a new hybrid: a eudystopia, or a good far future built from materials of a bad near future.