Virtual Light: Driving GUNHEAD with Chris Palmer

By Nikki Tysoe (originally posted to Flickr as MrG FP signing) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Nikki Tysoe (originally posted to Flickr as MrG FP signing) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Commenting in his 2005 collection of critical writings ‘On SF’, the late Thomas M. Disch argued: “Gibson, on the evidence of Virtual Light, is the fastest thinker” of a new generation of SF writers. In this episode Helen and Chris discuss why Gibson’s 1993 book is a luminous novel, both inside and beyond the category of cyberpunk literature. They explore the texture of Gibson’s language and narrative, and the desire of the heterotopian spaces he opens up within the usual tropes of dystopian futures. They talk about the “wonder” of being in Gibson’s “NoCal / SoCal”, where God is indeed in the details of a mixed media off-grid Oakland Bay Bridge, or, as Palmer notes, in a little punk word like “just”, which accompanies dual protagonists, Rydell and Chevette’s, defiantly improvised relationship with their city.

Strap yourself in, get ready to experience Gibson’s language couriers, who deliver directly onto the reader’s nerve endings a constantly improvised crisis: the moment of living the future-Now.