I could see the near future from The Peripheral while driving through the little village of Topanga yesterday – I thought, ‘Ooh, it’s Flynneville.’ Flynneville on the coast. That future in The Peripheral owes a lot to my formative years in quite a small town in southwestern Virginia, adjacent to the bottom of West Virginia and to Tennessee. There’s a lot of childhood material in that thread for me. I’ve also kept track of the region over the decades, and I just extrapolated what’s happened there, like what’s happened to so many small American towns. It’s not just in the South, but there’s a lot of it there. It’s that dissonance between certain kinds of technology being present in places that haven’t moved forward in other ways. There are people in tiny, obscure places who know more about some particular kind of Chinese porcelain than most people in New York do. It’s like any knowledge is unevenly distributed now. You can have these complete otakus in some arcane field of collecting who live in a tiny town in Nebraska, and maybe have never left it, but they still wind up being the world amateur authority on some particular thing.
— William Gibson interview in Locus magazine