Friday, August 6, 2010

William Gibson on PKD

I'm not much of a tweeter (twitterer?) but I do love following Sarah Palin, some of my favorite pro skateboarders, and cyberpunks like William Gibson (who goes by the handle GreatDismal). I asked Gibson if he'd be willing to talk about PKD's influence. His response was short, sweet, and interesting:

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

It comes off as sort of negative-sounding...but if it's true, it's true, right?

Adrian said...

Kind of strange to hear him say that, considering he *did* write a decent introduction to the PKD 1974 letters book.

Anonymous said...

No doubt true, but I kept thinking last night, as I watched "Moon", that PDK's influence just continues to expand.

Torley said...

I LOVED "Moon". Everything about it went together extremely well. I can't think of the real moon without hearing Clint Mansell's piano + drums-driven riffs.

As for William Gibson, I appreciate the man's ideas and his tremendous influence on cyberpunk, but I found Neuromancer very dry and boring. Neal Stephenson's blend of high culture and lowbrow humor is much more to my taste, as is PKD's style.

ct-scan said...

The longer answer is posted in his blog...I ran across this a few years ago. I really like Gibson...but it's not hard to see from his writing that PKD wasn't much of an influence.

http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/archive/2003_01_01_archive.asp

"Monday, January 13, 2003

posted 5:28 PM
PHILIP K. DICK

I usually skip the “influence” questions, on grounds that if you know your own influences, your digestion’s pretty sluggish. I’ll make an exception, though, when someone suggests an influence I know I haven’t had, and PKD is definitely one of those.

I read THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE when I was twelve or so, and a proud new member of the Science Fiction Book Club. The concept of American vintage collectibles in a Japanese universe stuck with me, and not much else. Thereafter, I read virtually no PKD. Why? My guess is that my MDR of paranoia was satisfied by reading Pynchon instead, and my regular nature-of-reality workout provided by the ever-limber Jorge Luis Borges. Dick just never found a niche in my ecology of favorite writers.

While I’m at this, I’ve never read much Chandler either, another frequently supposed influence. The real deal, in that particular rainslick modality, for me, is Dashiell Hammett. Invented the vehicle, as far as I know, though Chandler brought a classier chassis to it. "

ct-scan said...

Clint Mansell and Moon...both are wonderful!

Kept waiting for the main character to start running a radio station from up there =)

Mr. Hand said...

I wonder if it's just a coincidence that Gibson is not a very good writer. Perhaps there is some accounting for taste. I think his introduction to the Letters reflects his popularity more than his appropriateness. (Now the RAW introduction, and the Terence McKenna appendix to the Exegesis... those are a little more appropriate!)

ZenWoman said...

I'm pretty disappointed to hear that Gibson wasn't a Phil-fan. But, I also agree with another poster about Neal Stephenson's better blend of culture and humor. Snowcrash completely changed my life (in terms of jacking into the Metaverse), much as PKD did on so many levels. I'm going to the festival, too, for the Intergalactic Release of my novel, in which Phil is a major character and essential to my story and title: A Kindred Spirit.
And, also to meet the Total Ultimate Dave Dick-heads (Gill and Hyde ;) FDO Forever!!