RE Matrix: Is William Gibson getting the credit he deserves?

Discussion in 'Community' started by GeneR, May 9, 2003.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    GeneR

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    #1
    I am halfway through reading Neuromancer by William Gibson. Believe it or not, it's the first time I read it so I'm a bit out of the loop about these things. Anyway, as I read it, I kept stopping every twenty pages or so, with an "Ohmygosh! This is so similar to the Matrix! (Or really: Ohmygosh! The Matrix is really so similar to Neuromancer!)"

    I mean The Matrix is very innovative. However, so much of the terminology seems to borrow from Gibson's ideas, I was rather stunned. Zion. A.I.'s. The term, The Matrix. Constructs. Jacking in... Suddenly, I realized why the other MR user, WinterMute, has the name, uh, WinterMute. :D

    Is it just me? Is Gibson getting the credit he deserves? I haven't been reading too much (if anything) about Reloaded but would like to get feedback from anyone else who may have been following The Matrix Reloaded, etc. Thanks!

    :D
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #2
    Re: RE Matrix: Is William Gibson getting the credit he deserves?

    -GeneR

    :D

    I think that the Wachowski brothers are tippping the hat to Gibson for effectively giving birth to the "Cyberpunk Culture" with Books like "Neuromancer" and Johnny Mnemonic", that the Matrix is clearly a part of.

    <to be honest, when I first saw the previews of "The Matrix" the first time around, I thought it was a William Gibson novel that I haven't heard of adapted to the screen like Johnny Mnemonic was - only, I hoped, better>

    But it appears that "The Matrix" is it's own story, only owing it's roots to William Gibson. The story itself, belongs to the Wachowski Brothers.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    GeneR

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    #3
    That makes sense.

    Yeah, that makes sense. I guess I was rather ignorant of cyberpunk up until recently. I really did not know where so much of the inspiration for the genre has derived.

    The W. Bros certainly have created some very interesting POVs and ideas in their films which are innovative in their own right. What surprised me most of all is the common language that is being used. :D
     
  4. macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #4
    Another book that the Wichousky brothers may
    have gotten ideas from is 'Snow Crash' by
    Neal Stephenson. Definitely not as much came
    from Snow Crash as did from William Gibson's
    book(s), but I just thought I would mention him.
     
  5. macrumors regular

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    #5
    Snow Crash is most definately one of my favorite books of all time!!

    If you like Gibson try these:

    • Neal Stephenson - The Diamond Age. WOW! Cryptonomicon and Also check out In the Beginning was the Command line
    • Jeff Noon - Good british drug influenced novels. Start with Vurt.
    • Dan Simmons - His Hyperion series ia amazing! - takes for granted the technologies involved, but maybe it shouldn't have ;)
    • Alastair Reynolds - For a great resurgence of good Space Opera infused with the notions of Cyberpunk
    • Richard Morgan - Gibson/Hammett mixed into one

    ... my personal list is endless, having grown up with a father who is a writer/owns a bookshop and mother who is polish/russian physicist.
    It almost sounds like the the begining of a novel itself...:D

    Music, Macs and Books. Pretty much sums me up.
     
  6. macrumors regular

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    #6
    As for giving Gibson credit,
    Thank You for all you have given to us and opened the worlds eyes to the fact that science follows fiction - or at least gives the technical people of this world an insight of how we can/will/should live with technology.

    As i mentioned in a previous thread somewhere (mac sighting's?), Apple should have a campaign involving William Gibson and their (hopefully) imminent release of 'iWorks/Document/Office Killer' such as the David Lynch/FCP thing.

    Just my £2.43...
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #7
    Obviously I'm a huge Gibson fan, I read Neuromancer the week it was published and everything since, I think the whole SF industry owes him a debt of gratitude, not just the cyberpunks.

    Strangely I think there are better writers in the area, scem0's already mentioned Neal Stephenson, a personal favourite, but there's also Gibson's compadre Bruce Sterling, their book, "The Difference Engine" is a marvelous alternate history piece. Sterling's "Heavy Weather" and "Distraction" point to a believable future using realistic tech, although the environment takes a kicking.

    You should also check out ken Mcleod and Iain M. Banks, Mcleod's first trilogy starting with "The Star Faction" is cyberpunk for the UK. Banks's SF work isn't really cyberpunk, but is excellent SF.

    The matrix couldn't exist without Gibson, Stephenson et al, I love the movies, but I don't think they have the scope or intelligence of the novels.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

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    #8
    You should read "Shockwave Rider"

    Before Neuromancer (one of my all time-fav's by my favorite writer), there came John Brunner's novel "Shockwave Rider" Here is the Amazon.com review:
     
  9. macrumors regular

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    Sydney, Australia
    #9
    yes, the matrix owes a debt to WG.

    yes, the Matrix owes a debt to William Gibson... and basically every Japanime since (and including) Akira.

    But you also need to realise that Neuromancer was published AFTER Bladerunner was released... although it was being written while BR was in production.

    And of course, Bladerunner owes its existence to Philip K. Dick who is (in my mind) the grandfather of cyberpunk. John Shirley is its father. :)

    But there a plenty of authors who helped found the movement, not just William Gibson - its just that Neuromancer found a large audience.

    :)
     
  10. macrumors regular

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    #10
    Re: yes, the matrix owes a debt to WG.

    And Gibson was the first to coin the term "Cyberspace"
     
  11. macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

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    #11
    Re: Re: yes, the matrix owes a debt to WG.

    bugger, i was just going to say that.

    A great book to read by Bruce Sterling (a bit of history really, very informative) is "The Hacker Crackdown".
     
  12. macrumors regular

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    #12
    Re: Re: yes, the matrix owes a debt to WG.

    Yup. And he wrote Neuromancer on a typewriter and, afaik, had never really used a computer at that point.
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #13
    Re: Re: yes, the matrix owes a debt to WG.

    Yep and in Count Zero - written in 95 I think he also called cyberspace the 'matrix'

    So I think that WG is getting a nod just in the title of the movies.

    D
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #14
    Re: Re: yes, the matrix owes a debt to WG.

    No No No No No!!!!!!!

    The term "cyberspace" was created by the brilliant mathematician and one of the fathers of computer science, Norbert Weiner (also president of MIT in his later years). The term is his and his alone, decades before Gibson ever uttered it.

    Sorry to get worked up, but I think credit should be given where it's due :)
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #15
    Re: Re: Re: yes, the matrix owes a debt to WG.

    The term "cyberspace", as well as the term "hacker", was developed at MIT. The original "hackers" were members of the MIT Model Railroad Club (could they possibly be more nerdy?) that took a liking to the earliest computers and started devoting their creative energies to computer programming instead.
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #16
    William Gibson is a strange type to be so influential in our circles, he's certainly not the computer geek type, although he is geeky in many ways, as h'biki notes, he used a typewriter for the first novel and for draughts of Count Zero, although I believe he now uses Apple.

    There was talk of assocoations after Douglas Adams died, but Gibson shuns personal attention apparently, and didn't want the profile.

    He is, I understand, an excellent gamer.

    Gibson's reference to cyberspace as "the matrix" stemmed from the wireframe graphics in the light-cycle sequence in Tron, it is the underlying fabric of cyberspace.

    What did you think of the Bridge trilogy "Idoru", "vurtual Light" and "All Tomorrows Parties"? Better or worse than the Neuromancer set?
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #17
    I'll definitely give Gibson credit for coining the phrase "the matrix". But Norbert Weiner was the visionary that first made the leap from looking at a computer program as just a sequence of computer instructions, and pondering the "virtual" world that the computer program created, with its own set of rules. What he called...(drum roll please)...cyberspace.
     
  18. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #18
    Ah, I've read Idoru, pretty interesting, taking place before Neuromancer. Haven't tried the others though, probably should go and get them.

    I saw/herad/read an interview with Gibson (it was a while ago, don't remember exactly where) and he was saying that the 'plugging' yourself into the computer might not come to pass as he wrote it. There might be military apps that do it, but for the general public and 'cowboys' its going to be nanotech inside us that will interact with the matrix. Circumventing the whole hard wired problem (wireless ;) ) Very cool stuff.

    D
     
  19. macrumors member

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    #19
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    GeneR

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    #20
    Wow. Quite a reading list!

    I'm really going to have to read a bit more... especially all these books people have mentioned here! Thanks! :D
     
  21. macrumors regular

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    #21
    A great new anthology book has just been released - i went to install broadband at my dad's shop yesterday, Three iMac DV 400 and an old dell + Netgear DG814 -

    "Exploring The Matrix - New writings on the Matrix and the Cyber Present" Ed. Karen Haber. ISBN 0-7434-7502-X. £10.99 www.ibooks.net

    ...Strange, it doesn't seem to be on their website yet? But you can order it here www.murderone.co.uk, no online browsing but you can email the details above and they ship internationaly...

    I will post a pic of the cover after i've cut the hedge in my garden :rolleyes: :)

    Edit: Just found it onAmazon but they've only got it in hardcover and it's more expensive.
     
  22. macrumors regular

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    #22
    ok, it's just started raining, So here's the pic...
     

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