To a curious, anxious, white male child coming of age in an incurious and paranoid white monoculture, there was literally nothing like it—though a great deal of science fiction, possibly the majority of it, I was starting to notice, depicted futuristic monocultures that were dominated by white males. The rest, however, had as much to do with making me the person I am today as anything else did. Things might be different, science fiction told me, and different in literally any way you could imagine, however radical. Simply to know that people who thought that way existed was a game changer for me. Being able to directly access their minds, as a reader, was like discovering an abundant, perpetually replenished, and freely available source of mental oxygen.—
William Gibson on the potential gift of exposure to otherness inherent in literature.
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