Science fiction writer William Gibson has spent more time than most thinking about the future. In his earliest novels, published in the 1980s, he imagined that cyber space, a term he popularised, would develop as a separate realm, quite distinct from the real world.

But when I interviewed him in a precrisis London this year about his latest novel Agency (set presciently enough in a post-apocalyptic world), he acknowledged that the future that had arrived was decidedly unlike his vision of three decades ago.

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