July 5, 2020

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William Gibson author of The Peripheral

William Gibson’s The Peripheral adapted as series for Amazon

For years I have waited for an adaptation of William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. In fact, I even posted what was believed to be some concept art intended to woe potential investors. Alas that has so far all been in vain. This despite names such as that of director Vincenzo Natali being attached. Instead, fans of Gibson’s work may be getting an adaptation of his 2014 novel The Peripheral. The novel takes place in a near future in which the characters will be involved in other alternate timelines. These timelines are directed by forces in the future. The writer for the series will be Scott Smith. He will also act as showrunner and executive producer.

William Gibson author of The Peripheral

Big names attach to The Peripheral

The series is being produced by Amazon. It is touted as the next big science fiction high-concept series. Two interesting names already attached as producers are Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. They just finished Westworld season 3. Jonathan Nolan is of course the brother of director Christopher Nolan. The latter himself has a considerable track-record when it comes to sci-fi. His movies Memento, Inception and Interstellar are classics that will long be remembered. Jonathan of course was the showrunner for Person of Interest which was long featured on this website. So where does all this leave us? The news came only last November. With the COVID-19 epidemic I cannot say I expect this series to be released sooner than 2022. Meanwhile Lisa Joy’s movie Reminiscence has been high on to watch list since it was announced.

The Peripheral cover

While the announcement of an adaptation of The Peripheral was not exactly what I hope for. It is far better than nothing. At the same time I can understand the choice from the point of view of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. This adaptation will lend itself better to a series with successive seasons. Notably as two novels have already been published. The second being Agency. Neuromancer would be very hard to adapt. The hard-sf setting could easily alienate viewers. The Peripheral could focus more on drama. As has become usual with science fiction series since the Battlestar Galactica remake. The special effects would be not unlike that of Westworld – especially season 3. As a side note it is also already clear who will direct the first episode of the show – Vincenzo Natali. His movie Cypher has starring Lucy Liu and Jeremy Northam has been a longtime favorite of mine.

Neuromancer and Snow Crash

It would be wrong to understate the importance of William Gibson‘s writing on our lives. Thanks to him we use terms such as cyberspace. A few weeks ago I watched the movie Hackers which includes a references to a Gibson Computer. William Gibson together with Neal Stephenson did a lot to form our modern day vocabulary. Especially when it comes to computer terminology. The latter author is famous for many novels including Snow Crash. An adaptation of which will be made by HBO. It is truly a wonderful time to live. Still, that leaves Neuromancer. I see an increasing chance that it may be adapted considering the huge budgets thrown into series at the moment. That was it for the announcement regarding The Peripheral. If you liked this article please fill out the widget on the right.