William Gibson criticized Cyberpunk 2077. Predictably, the subreddit for the game got stupid about it and insulted him.

But this has to be my favorite string of comments from the whole thread:

It's funny because these people are probably the same kind of shartdonkeys that thought Gibson would support GamerGate before he crashed their fantasies. XD

@Jo @rick_777 @abbenm I'd say "well, no one can know everything" but when you specifically boast about not knowing who someone is and don't even bother to look up what they did.... you kinda painted yourself into a corner

@robert @abbenm I last read a book during Reagan's 1st term and even I know who Gibson is. 😆

@abbenm Gibson can't have seen the gameplay preview if he thinks it looks like a GTA reskin. Probably a bit early to criticize the game anyway.

@abbenm me, before looking up William Gibson: "huh, who's he"

me, after looking up William Gibson: PFFFTTTTTTTTTTTTT

@abbenm 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 golly, i bet someone feels a bit foolish now

@abbenm William Gibson with the essential 1980s novel "Some Kind Of Game Critic"

@abbenm Every time! There's always someone who does this. Fucking fake geek boys.

@abbenm @viciousviscosity Fair, though: Gibson hasn't written anything competent since, arguably 1988, really 1986. So nobody under 40 has any reason to know who he was, and nobody has any reason to care what he says now.

I read "Johnny Mnemonic" when it came out in OMNI, maintained the Cyberpunk Media List back in the day… he faded out fast.

He also had a hilarious has-been moment when he got in Second Life and future-shocked right out when confronted with actual furries, borgs, and posthumans.

@mdhughes @abbenm @viciousviscosity I don't care much about the Reddit thread, but this SL thing, this I gotta see.

@qwertystop @abbenm @viciousviscosity Search (and probably will find you the interview about his first time, where he couldn't find anything and was shunned for having an ugly avatar (who'd invite an ugly rando to a party? Nobody. SL took pity on newbies who tried, but not hopeless cases.)

And then he had a book promo appearance, the kind of SL tourism very unpopular in SL, and it went… uh, badly. Heckled, surrounded (outside the security area) with offensive content.

@mdhughes @viciousviscosity @abbenm @qwertystop

Maybe I’m just old, but I think Gibson’s work has improved recently, and honestly his early books, while definitive of much of our modern culture, feel very adolescent to me when I’ve revisited them.

If you haven’t read “The Peripheral” you might want to give it a chance. It’s not “far future” like Neromancer felt in 86 but it captures the spirit and gives you something to think about.

@jbob @abbenm @viciousviscosity @qwertystop I mostly bailed on Gibson after Idoru which had already happened IRL (not even with a real AI) before he wrote it, and his Spook Country was so awful I didn't finish. I dunno if I can give him another shot when there's a billion other better-record writers in my tsundoku. Supposedly there's a series of The Peripheral, if that's any good I'll look at the book.

@mdhughes @qwertystop @viciousviscosity @abbenm

Yeah I skipped a lot of the stuff between The Sprawl trilogy and The Peripheral. I tried a couple but didn’t connect with them either.

I hear you about there being plenty of other stuff to read though, I have a very low endurance for reading fiction so I have to be choosy.

@jbob @abbenm @viciousviscosity @qwertystop Martha Wells' Murderbot Chronicles and Alastair Reynolds' Revenger series have been just amazing. And I'm still hip-deep in a bunch of Peter F. Hamilton tomes, so I'll be done with those around 2022.

@mdhughes @qwertystop @viciousviscosity @abbenm nice!

I could use some short-ish non-dystopian reads.

I could use some inspiration for creating a *good* future 😇

@jbob @abbenm @viciousviscosity @qwertystop I'm not aware of much. I guess James Gunn's Transcendent trilogy? It's like old-timey space opera.

Locus Awards nominees just got posted, probably something in those:

I liked Sue Burk's Semiosis, but she's got a mean streak.

@mdhughes @qwertystop @viciousviscosity @abbenm

Thanks, I’ll check that list out.

I read “Accelerando” a few years back and enjoyed most of it (I got a little bored near the end).

@jbob @abbenm @viciousviscosity @qwertystop I loved Charlie's short stories, but he seems to get confused about his point at novel length, and inflicts it on the reader. Every Laundry book has a good Lovecraftian 30-page story buried in 300 pages of text.

@abbenm @hasya23 I don't know who they are either and I consider that a point of pride

he was the ghost writer for the matrix trilogy or something i think

@abbenm I haven't heard his criticism but if I had to guess it's that Cyberpunk 2077 isn't doing a good enough job in the way it handles actual cyberpunk? Like it's not subversive enough?

@radicalrobit @abbenm the game is obviously meant to fetishize the world from the trailer, which is always an element of cyberpunk ("evil but sexy"), but the game tends too much toward just the "sexy" end. What's particularly evil doesn't seem too fleshed out, and responsibility for the world like in any good cyberpunk fiction needs to be pinned somewhere particular (megacorps, world government, etc), but it's not focused enough for that. I haven't read Gibson's critique, but as a writer that's what I'd guess he'd go after.

@lunaterra @abbenm yeah that's probably accurate. all the aesthetic of cyberpunk but none of the story elements.

@lunaterra @radicalrobit @abbenm idk if he wrote a full critique so much as he just tweeted that it looks like some generic retrofuturist shiz

@lunaterra @radicalrobit yeah, I think that's right on the money. Some of it just feels really lazy. The news ticker mentions "Anti-corporate protests". Like, they don't even have a name? Not even an issue? Not an industry or a complicated relationship between workers and political issues? Nothing? Just frustrating.

That said, I still trust CD Projekt Red to do a way better job than virtually anybody else who has attempted this genre in recent memory.

@radicalrobit @abbenm I hope he rips into them for the whole "humanity stat" thing where computerized prosthetics somehow make people violent murderers for no reason

@abbenm i need the link
for the love of god i need to see that thread

@fuckcompute I warn you, this thread is really depressing. I picked the worst comment, but it's probably basically reflective of the vast majority of everyone else in the thread too

@abbenm "I tried so many times to get into Neuromancer. Never could."

"I forced my way through it. Not worth it."

well, that's enough humanity for today

@fuckcompute THANK YOU. LIke, seriously? Plus all the projecting like "ohh he's probably jealous" which are just absolute cheap shots.

I got so mad at that thread, so I feel like this equal and opposite mastodon response has been the cure that I needed.

@abbenm it seems like no man's sky all over again

like, i don't give a fuck what gibson thinks about a trailer for a game (especially because it was a bad take), but these people are defending this game *religiously*.

i'm honestly staying away from the game altogether until it comes out. it's got such a cult of personality that it can't possibly live up to current expectations

@fuckcompute If it's "just" a re-skinned Witcher I will be super happy. If it's just a more well realized world that will be enough. It COULD be more, but at least that will be enough.

And yeah, the sheer reflexive, low effort nature of the comments is really something to behold

@abbenm oh my god, people are talking about the game sharing an "Art style" with GTA

it's... fucking grand theft auto???? it doesn't have an art style, it's graphical style is "generic video game"

oh my god i hate reddit

@drwho @twee thanks y'all for being in this thread cause it's how i saw it and my partner and i are dyiiiing with laughter

@abbenm @kalium that is the greatest self-own I’ve seen all month


May we have the link to the criticism please? I would very much like to read it. Thank you :)

@Eidolon0 William Gibson saw one of the trailers for Cyberpunk 2077 and just remarked that he wasn't super impressed, basically with the game world presented by the trailer.

@abbenm I mean it's not like it's based on his Novel or anything. it's just a genre. i think it looks super fun. if it ever gets released.

@Eidolon0 I definitely trust Projekt Red to do that kind of world basically better than anyone else who is attempting it. But it's still kind of guarded optimism.

And I don't think it was criticizing it specifically for not following the spirit of a novel of his, but more generally as a representation of any type of cyberpunk world.

@abbenm bladerunner, ghost in the shell and deus ex do it best imo

@Eidolon0 I should have been clear, I meant games. And I may literally be the world's single biggest Deus Ex fan (my profile pic is based on it), but I was less than thrilled with recent games. Agree w/ Blade Runner though! And haven't seen Ghost in the Shell.

@abbenm if you like philosophy and a somewhat scary peak at where the world might one day end up, check out Ghost.
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