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Standing in the Shadow of Gibson


People often ask me how much of an influence author William Gibson was on the Cyberpunk RPG. Yet, the funny thing is, when I started writing CP, I hadn’t actually READ any Gibson– my primary influences were Blade Runner and Walter Jon Williams’ Hardwired (as a matter of fact, Walter was an early play tester on Cyberpunk). But as soon as Walter Jon told me I had to read Gibson, I went right out and grabbed Neuromancer. And I remember telling my wife later that night, “This guy is so good, he makes my teeth hurt.”

Over the years, I have heard all kinds of quotes from and about William Gibson, and one resonated with me–that he viewed Blade Runner in much the same way I did–this stuff is going to happen–and I can see it in my head just like this movie is showing it. And trust me; it’s a very scary place to be– sitting in a darkened theater, watching the dark future as you see it spinning out frame by frame, knowing that everything you see is a potential truth just waiting for time and history to unlock it.

So when I discovered this interview with Gibson (from the magazine Paris Review), I poured over it like a thirsty man attacks a beer. And had this eerie feeling that for years now, William Gibson and I have been walking the same future streets, absorbing the same writers, the same visions and the same history–always in parallel, always in dopplerspace, never meeting, never seeing the other, heading towards a vision that both of us can see in the near darkness of the future.

But of course, he’s a hell of a lot better at communicating that vision than I will ever be.  Me? I just write games.

Enough rambling. Read the interview. It’s awesome.

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