Douglas Coupland and William Gibson discuss culture, technology, and the craft of writing. Communications technologies are a “global memory prosthesis,” says Gibson, and aspire to an experience in which distinctions between the “virtual” and the “real” are dissolved. “We are already the borg,” Gibson says.
British novelist China Miéville is a 3-time winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, given to the best science-fiction novel published in the U.K. In this lecture he explores genre, ‘the elephant in the room,’ argues for its embrace as a useful taxonomy, and urges writers to aspire to the ‘swagger’ of hip-hop artists Jay-Z and M.I.A.
And, in a panel discussion entitled “Why Other Worlds? (Isn’t the ‘Real’ One Enough?)” acclaimed science and technology writer James Gleick leads Year of the Flood author Margaret Atwood, Miéville, and American writer Joyce Carol Oates in a discussion of the tensions between the real and the unreal inherent in writing and reading works of fiction.
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