Despite a late-career PR push from Al Gore, it's writer William Gibson who is most often tabbed as "inventing" the idea of cyberspace; that's honestly the least interesting thing you can say about Gibson. Much more interesting is his ability to accurately forecast the way technology will be used (and abused) by the common man and his downright eerie gift for capturing the hi-tech, low-ambition way people will make their living in the not-so-distant future. Novels such as Idoru and All Tomorrow's Parties gave us out-of-work security guards and bike couriers as heroes struggling against the nefarious forces of high-finance corporations who buy the law, set against a backdrop of major American cities devastated by natural disaster and a populace crippled by reality TV addiction. See? He knows who we really are. Gibson reads from and discusses his latest novel, Zero History, at 2 p.m. today at the Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library (225 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com). Admission is free, and books will be sold on-site by Left Bank Books.
Sun., Sept. 19, 2010