As an essayist, William Gibson is a great sci-fi novelist
Distrust That Particular Flavor
by William Gibson
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Back in 1980, I persuaded the Washington Post Book World, where I was then working as an assistant editor, to launch a monthly column devoted to science fiction and fantasy. For once my timing was just right. During the 1980s, Gene Wolfe produced the four original novels of The Book of the New Sun. John Crowley brought out Little, Big and the first volume of the Ægypt series. Writers with roots in science fiction—J. G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Ursula K. Le Guin—broke into mainstream consciousness, while mainstream literary figures such as Margaret Atwood and Russell Hoban produced dystopian visions of the future.
Smack in the middle of that golden decade, the distinguished SF editor Terry Carr published the first half-dozen titles of the new Ace Science Fiction Specials. All paperbacks, these
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