I think the least important thing about science fiction for me is its predictive capacity. Its record for being accurately predictive is really, really poor! If you look at the whole history of science fiction, what people have said is going to happen, what writers have said is going to happen, and what actually happened - it's terrible.

I can't imagine writing a book without some strong female characters, unless that was a demand of the setting.

If I'm practicing making up what the characters will do, it's never good. In fact, when I catch myself doing that, I try to get rid of that section, and try and let them start making the decisions.

The thing that 'Neuromancer' predicts as being actually like the Internet isn't actually like the Internet at all!

In the early '80s, I happened to find myself in the vicinity of people who would work for Microsoft five years later.

Why shouldn't we give our teachers a license to obtain software, all software, any software, for nothing? Does anyone demand a licensing fee, each time a child is taught the alphabet?

A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.

I read a great deal of science fiction with consummate pleasure between, say, the ages of 12 and 16. Then I got away from it. In my mid- to late 20s, I started trying to write it.

The history of the past, a hundred years from now, won't be the history of the past that we learned in school because much more will have been revealed, and adjectives we can't even imagine will have been brought to bear on what we did learn in school.

I'm often saddened and dismayed to see myself portrayed as either a Luddite or as a raving technophile. I've always thought that my job was to be as anthropologically neutral about emerging technologies as possible.

Whenever I read a contemporary literary novel that describes the world we're living in, I wait for the science fiction tools to come out. Because they have to - the material demands it.

Sometimes, I can myself be frustrated by books that seem to me to be insufficiently realistic about the world's potential for just being totally a randomly bad place.

I've become convinced that nostalgia is a fundamentally unhealthy modality. When you see it, it's usually attached to something else that's really, seriously bad. I don't traffic in nostalgia. We're becoming a global culture.

I don't think nostalgia is a healthy modality. But nostalgia and a sense of history are not the same thing. Nostalgia is a dysfunction of the historical impulse, or a corruption of the historical impulse.

All we really have when we pretend to write about the future is the moment in which we are writing. That's why every imagined future obsoletes like an ice cream melting on the way back from the corner store.

I was afraid to watch 'Blade Runner' in the theater because I was afraid the movie would be better than what I myself had been able to imagine. In a way, I was right to be afraid, because even the first few minutes were better.

The future has already arrived. It's just not evenly distributed yet.

The ecological impact of book manufacture and traditional book marketing - I think that should really be considered. We have this industry in which we cut down trees to make the paper that we then use enormous amounts of electricity to turn into books that weigh a great deal and are then shipped enormous distances to point-of-sale retail.

It's impossible to move, to live, to operate at any level without leaving traces, bits, seemingly meaningless fragments of personal information.

And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.

Time moves in one direction, memory in another.

I'm a really good eavesdropper. I listen to what people say and remember all the buzzwords.

I don't have to write about the future. For most people, the present is enough like the future to be pretty scary.

I'm happiest with people who've gotten furthest from traditional ideas of nationalism.

I don't generate a storyline and then fill it out in the course of writing. The story actually generates in the course of the writing. It's one of the reasons I've never been comfortable doing screenplays, because in order to get the contract for the screenplay, you have to sit down and tell them what's going to happen.

I've never really been very interested in computers themselves. I don't watch them; I watch how people behave around them. That's becoming more difficult to do because everything is around them.

When I wrote 'Neuromancer', I had a list in my head of all the things the future was assumed to be which it would not be in the book I was about to write. In a sense, I intended 'Neuromancer', among other things, to be a critique of all the aspects of science fiction that no longer satisfied me.

I don't begin a novel with a shopping list - the novel becomes my shopping list as I write it.

I grew up in southwestern Virginia. I was born in South Carolina, but only because my parents had a vacation cabin or something there on the beach. I was like a summer baby. But I did grow up in the South. I grew up in serious, serious Appalachia, in a very small town.

The 'Net is a waste of time, and that's exactly what's right about it.

I think that our future has lost that capital F we used to spell it with. The science fiction future of my childhood has had a capital F - it was assumed to be an American Future because America was the future. The Future was assumed to be inherently heroic, and a lot of other things, as well.

The box was a universe, a poem, frozen on the boundaries of human experience.

I didn't have a manifesto. I had some discontent. It seemed to me that midcentury mainstream American science fiction had often been triumphalist and militaristic, a sort of folk propaganda for American exceptionalism.

My dream scenario would be that you could go into a bookshop, examine copies of every book in print that they're able to offer, then for a fee have them produce in a minute or two a beautiful finished copy in a dust jacket that you would pay for and take home.

The Internet is part of this ongoing, species-long project we've been working on since we climbed down out of the trees in the savanna. We've been working on it without really knowing it.

I think the least important thing about science fiction for me is its predictive capacity.

I guess Twitter is the first thing that has been attractive to me as social media. I never felt the least draw to Facebook or MySpace. I've been involved anonymously in some tiny listservs, mainly in my ceaseless quest for random novelty, and sometimes while doing something that more closely resembles research.

Futurists get to a certain age and, as one does, they suddenly recognize their own mortality.

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead station.

Science fiction was one of those places, particularly during the McCarthy era, where you could write whatever you wanted because it was beneath contempt. They didn't bother censoring it.

I'm always interested in the spooky repurposing of everyday things.

I very seldom compose anything in my head which later finds its way into text, except character names sometimes - I'm often very much inspired by things that I misunderstand.

For years I have been mourning and not for my dead, it is for this boy for whatever corner in my heart died when his childhood slid out of my arms.

The people I hang out with tend to use Macs, not that I think they're necessarily superior.

I've been interested in autism since I've known about it, which is more or less since I've been writing.

I would like to design what people generally call streetwear. I'd like to dress skateboarders, or whatever the older equivalent of skateboarders are. I pay more attention to that stuff than anyone would ever imagine because I'm watching what the designers do.

If you've read a lot of vintage science fiction, as I have at one time or another in my life, you can't help but realise how wrong we get it. I have gotten it wrong more times than I've gotten it right. But I knew that when I started; I knew that before I wrote a word of science fiction.

Occasionally if I look back at something I've written I'll find one of those that I don't understand, but that's a bad thing - the unconscious has dealt me a bad hand.

I think the large part of the function of the Internet is it is archival. It's unreliable to the extent that word on the street is unreliable. It's no more unreliable than that. You can find the truth on the street if you work at it. I don't think of the Internet or the virtual as being inherently inferior to the so-called real.