ABSTRACT

This chapter moves from Herbert's cautionary tale of the facility of utopian thinking to imperial and white-supremacist practices in The Santaroga Barrier to Gibson's slightly more hopeful, if ultimately frustrated, vision of a heterotopian reality in his nanotech trilogy. The chapter demonstrated the significance of recognising race and gender as imbricated performative structures, within a general understanding of the material effects of the "virtual" matrix of ideological identity structures. The chapter points to the never-ending inversions of utopian thought, and so to the difficulty of effectively critiquing from within the hegemonic structures of sexism and racism in the United States. The chapter specifically explains Farnell's argument, which states of the first two books in Gibson's "post-cyberpunk", nanotechnology trilogy that, "Beneath an aesthetics of difference hides a subterranean narrative of conservative sexuality and gender, old 'norms' in new digital clothes".