William Gibson on the Short Story Format

It’s been argued that “the single” (a one-cut vinyl recording in either 78 or 45 rpm format) was the medium that defined the most perfect expressions of rock: that the single is in fact that music’s optimal form. The same has sometimes been said of the short story and science fiction. In the case of rock, I’m inclined to suspect nostalgia for a dead media platform. In the case of science fiction, I think there may be something to it. It requires a very peculiar sort of literary musculature to write a very short piece of science fiction that really works.

—William Gibson, from the introduction to Burning Chrome.

January 16, 2020


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