Review of “The Gernsback Continuum” (1981)


William Gibson (writer).

Collective unconscious alternative cultures, with the example of a near-monolithic vision of the future in older science fiction impressing itself upon the year 1980.

It’s a fine treatment of the idea, much better than Wolfe’s glamorously atavistic vision of Poe-era proto-SF in “Against the Lafayette Escadrille” (1972), or Pournelle and Niven’s eulogy for the Gernsback continuum in Lucifer’s Hammer (1977). The deprecation of Gernsback’s vision is in line with the cyberpunk movement but the plot is not.

text fiction