There is a well-known quote from you: “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.” When you said that in 1999, were you thinking of cities, or perhaps certain cities? Do you think that is the case now to a lesser or greater extent?

It’s a very scalable observation. We can see it from orbit, as electric light versus its absence. We can see it in the differences in infrastructure in various neighborhoods of a city. I can see it in my house, which was built in 1927 and is in process of having its original wiring replaced. We can see it in a human skeleton: where there’s been a joint replaced, the future’s arrived.

Your fiction has depicted wide class gulfs in which “lowlifes” co-exist with the rich and feudallike corporations that concentrate mind-boggling amounts of wealth. Can the “vast squatter conurbs” that you mention in your article in the September issue be seen as a symptom of such widening income disparities? If so, do you think that this disparity will continue to greater extremes as they develop further, and could they potentially restructure the current social order somehow?

I depict those socioeconomic gulfs because they exist and because most of the imagined futures I grew up with tended not to depict them. Migration to cities is now so powerful, so universal, that people will create cities, of sorts, simply through migration—cities that literally consist mainly of the people who inhabit them on a given day.

Przyszłość miast – wywiad z Williamem Gibsonem