July 3rd, 2008

spaceship

Writing outside the box?

GalleyCat had an item about William Gibson that includes a video of an interview. Gibson, credited by many with inventing cyberpunk, says that he thinks all science fiction stories are really about the here and now—or at least their authors' here and now. That makes Neuromancer "about" the 80's. Gibson credits September 11 with pushing away from writing science fiction but it seems to me that he was moving in that direction all by himself before that.

I think there's something in the idea that all fiction is of its time, not so much because writers can imagine anything other than their own time, but because readers can't relate to anything that is so strange that it simply won't fit into their frame of reference. Science fiction readers have a much bigger frame than most folks, but they still have one.