If sci-fi author William Gibson could time-travel, this is the question he'd answer

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Oct 24, 2014, 6:02 PM EDT

Living legend William Gibson has written some of the coolest sci-fi and cyberpunk stories ever put to paper, but what would he do if he had a working time machine?

Gibson sat down with Mother Jones for a wide-ranging interview, touching on everything from random questions about his well-known novels to what he’s working on next. But one of the best questions for the Neuromancer author came when he was tasked with a question every sci-fi fan has likely pondered from time to time — if you could time-travel, what era would you visit?

This being Gibson, he takes the query in an extremely unique direction, and says he would use the opportunity to answer a question we’d have never really thought to ask. Basically: He’d go to the future, but not to see what happens. Instead, he’d want to know how our generation is remembered:

“If could have any information from our future, I would want to know not what they're doing but what they think about us. Because what we think about Victorians is nothing like what the Victorians thought about themselves. It would be a nightmare for them. Everything they thought they were, we think is a joke. And everything that we think was cool about them, they weren't even aware of. I'm sure that the future will view us in exactly that way.”

It’s a fascinating spin on the question, and we have to agree — it’d be fascinating to know which of our accomplishments, and which pieces of our culture, will still endure hundreds of years from now. Will they think we were a “joke,” too? It’s a fascinating question.

What do you think? How will our era be remembered?

(Via Mother Jones, image via Wired)