Given how popular William Gibson's previous reading / signing events in London have been, it is perhaps not a surprise that this forthcoming event for Zero History is much more expensive than the ones held at the TUC Congress hall, for Pattern Recognition and Spook Country .
Monday October 4th, 2010
Doors open at 6.15pm. The event will begin at 7.00pm and finish at 8.30pm.
'In terms of influence he is probably the most important novelist of the past two decades' Steven Poole, Guardian
American-born William Gibson is one of the most acclaimed and successful writers of the last twenty years. He coined the phrase "cyberspace" and developed the concept in his bestselling first novel Neuromancer, creating an iconography for the Information Age long before widespread use of the Internet. Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive completed his first trilogy. He has written six further novels, moving gradually away from science fiction and futuristic work, instead writing about the strange contemporary world we inhabit.
Gibson will be talking about his life and work, and in particular his new book Zero History, which is set largely in London and captures the paranoia and fear of our post-Crash times.
5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ, Tel: 020 7730 4500
Tube: Sloane Square
Bus Routes: 11, 19, 22, 137, 211, 319, 360 C1
However, as William Gibson tweeted:
London: the expensive seats http://bit.ly/9UTvu5
Tue Jul 27 05:49:47 +0000 2010
Cadogan Hall, a former church used for musical concerts etc., has a capacity of 900 or so in the main auditorium, so this is a big event, which should finance William Gibson's trip to London.
This event is organised by Intelligence Squared, who produce a glossy magazine and who hold televised and internet broadcast public debates . See this review by a Charles Moore, the former editor of The Daily Telegraph broadsheet newspaper:
The House of Commons no longer provides model debate
Charles Moore reviews Intelligence Squared, and laments the decline of proper parliamentary debate.
But of course the British interest in debate did not suddenly disappear. It was perhaps to answer the half-conscious sense of a vacuum that Intelligence Squared began. In 2002, its founders Jeremy O'Grady and John Gordon noticed that Lady Antonia Fraser filled the 750-seat hall of the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington with her talk about Marie-Antoinette. Why shouldn't they do the same, they wondered, with debates? They set up a company to achieve this.
As the title implies, the idea multiplies itself. Last year, Intelligence Squared ran 27 events. Frequently, there is such demand for the £25 tickets that they have to move out of the RGS to the more intimidating grandeur of Methodist Central Hall. Intelligence Squared has already licensed the use of its name in New York, Sydney, Kiev and Hong Kong, and is in the process of doing so in Nigeria and Brazil. It has a popular website on which films of the debates appear and written and weekly topical mini-debates can be found.
William Gibson will not, presumably, be debating anything, but this event and venue do show his increasing status as an important cultural icon in the United Kingdom, as elsewhere.
What else will William Gibson be doing between this Monday 4th October event and the Forbidden Planet Megstore book signing on Saturday 9th October 2010 ?
The hard core William Gibson Discussion Board fans from the UK and Europe will probably be mostly at the Saturday book signing.