Having worked at a number of bookstores I’ve encountered a few famous or people from time to time. In London I’ve biked past Stephen Fry (who looked utterly distraught when he knew I recognized him, as if to say “oh God, don’t bother me now”) and Richard Ayoade (Moss from the IT Crowd, who gave me a nod when I wizzed past with a big thumbs up). In the store itself I’ve talked to Timothy Spall (British actor, you might know him as Churchill from The King’s Speech, or Wormtail in the Harry Potter series) and Alexander Kapranos (lead singer of Franz Ferdinand).
But I came within a gnat’s wing of topping all these when William Gibson walked up to my counter to buy a book. One of my favorite authors and a huge influence during my teenage years. I not only loved his stories, but his interviews on shows like Prisoners of Gravity. Nothing could top running into the man himself!
… sadly, this wasn’t that William Gibson.
This was is the OTHER William Gibson. The one who gets phone calls from fans looking for the Sci-Fi writer and gets asked questions about movie deals and the books he’s written by fans who have never actually seen his face on a book jacket or interview. The one who owns a copy of Neuromancer that’s signed: To William Gibson – From William Gibson.
To quote Maxwell Smart: Missed it… by THAT much.