William Gibson

Just out of high school, I had a mild obsession with William Gibson’s so-called cyberpunk novels. The first and most famous of these is Neuromancer, an incredibly prescient book that the Wachowski Bros. shamelessly ripped off in The Matrix. Neuromancer is the first in “The Sprawl” trilogy; Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive followed. I borrowed and never returned Neuromancer from Tilford; a few years ago I lent it, along with Burning Chrome, Gibson’s collection of short stories, to a student who in turn never returned them. I read Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive at the same time as my college roommate Jordan. I don’t know who has these books now.

In 1990 Gibson co-authored a book called The Difference Engine with Bruce Sterling. The Difference Engine posits a Victorian England where computers have already been created and are in use. The novel explores the consequences of a technological revolution coming a 100 years early. This book launched what is sometimes called the “steampunk” genre. After TDE, Gibson spent the 90s writing three novels often referred to as “The Bridge” trilogy: the first, Virtual Light, was pretty good (it had a really cool idea about “organic computers”); the second, Idoru, was pretty bad, really; the last, All Tomorrow’s Parties, was downright awful (I couldn’t finish it–I was embarrassed for one of my favorite authors!) At the beginning of the new millenium, technology had caught up to Gibson’s cyberpunk visions, making some of the details of his Bridge trilogy seem outdated or just plain hokey.

I knew our time together was up when I passed on a $4 copy of 2003’s Pattern Recognition at Barnes & Noble a few years ago. Despite his fiction taking a dip, Gibson’s blog, as well as his essays (often published in Wired magazine–check out what is probably his most famous piece, “Disneyland with the Death Penalty”) remain relevant and entertaining. Maybe his forthcoming novel, Spook Country, will prove more entertaining; until then, at least we have the Sprawl Trilogy.

(Check out more William Gibson covers at this gallery)   

Classic Crime Comics Covers

Another covers gallery. I love this one–plenty of weirdness!


Zombie kisses…mmm. The taboo pleasures of necrophilia in four-color glory!


William Burroughs wasn’t the only one addressing the horrors of drug addiction. These touchy themes led to constant censorship battles for EC Comics.


The horrors of love. I like this guy’s beard.

Crimes by Women

True crimes. Get lurid.

Crime Never Pays!

William Burroughs Cover Gallery


Burroughs appears on a large number of his covers, whether as a photograph, or something more iconic:


I like this early, lurid pulp edition of Junky. Note the spelling of the title, as well as Burroughs’ pseudonym, William Lee:


The Wild Boys: One of my faves.


This Spanish edition of Naked Lunch really captures the squeamish quality of all things Burroughs:



Check out the full gallery here.

Philip K. Dick Cover Art Gallery


Via an excellent and fun blog, robertmonroe.org, a gallery of PKD covers. Check out the gallery here.