In a 2011 interview with the Paris Review, science fiction writer William Gibson described his debut novel, Neuromancer, as a pushback against notions of American exceptionalism and a future that's better for everyone. “I didn't have a manifesto. I had some discontent,” Gibson said. “It seemed to me that midcentury mainstream American science fiction had always been triumphalist and militaristic, a sort of folk propaganda for American exceptionalism.”
Released in 1984, Neuromancer was a grittier take on the future than what he said was the “slick and clean” sci-fi literary aesthetic that was popular at the time. Its protagonist, a criminal hacker punished by the government, is a quintessential antihero.
Gibson has written 10 other novels since then, all of which he said were mostly unplanned until he began writing. “I have to write an opening sentence,” Gibson told The Review. “I think with one exception I’ve never changed an opening sentence after a book was completed.”