Herein lies one of Gibson’s most incisive gifts: his appreciation for the undersung, the copy, and how it can proliferate. Not the original, because as recontextualization, mash-ups, memes and other clever varietals of simulacra have possibly forever detonated our sense of originality and authenticity, the first is simply the start of an idea and not necessarily the best iteration, at that. Instead, Gibson knows that each copy adds more nuance to the object of our cultural fascination, imparted in its own weird, sometimes trashy but wholly individual code. The moments in “Distrust” where he translates the details of those codes are among the collection’s best. London, he says, “can reflect Japan, distort it, enjoy it, in ways that Vancouver, where I live, never can.” In Gibson’s writing, he functions as London does but to the past; he reflects it, distorts it and then projects it into the future. Or more precisely, he finds certain fun-house experiments already happening in the culture and then he takes those ideas and extrapolates them to their hysterical end in fiction. Take his massive urban environment, the Sprawl, used in “Neuromancer” and other books and short stories, a city that spawns so much of itself that it’s monstrous.
more from Margaret Wappler at the LA Times here.