is the capital
and largest city of the Commonwealth
in the United States
. The largest city in New England
, Boston is considered the economic and cultural center of the entire New England region. The city, which had an estimated population of 596,763 in 2006, lies at the center of the Cambridge–Boston-Quincy
metropolitan area—the 11th-largest metropolitan area
(5th largest CSA) in the U.S., with a population of 4.4 million.
In 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded the city on the Shawmut Peninsula. During the American Revolution the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston all occurred within the city and surrounding areas. After American independence was attained Boston became a major shipping port and manufacturing center, and its rich history now attracts 16.3 million visitors annually. The city was the site of America's first public school, Boston Latin School (1635), and first college, Harvard College (1636), in neighboring Cambridge. Boston was also home to the first subway system in the United States.
Through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded beyond the peninsula. With many colleges and universities within the city and surrounding area, Boston is a center of higher education and a center for health care. The city's economy is also based on research, finance, and technology — principally biotechnology.
(born March 17, 1948) is an American-Canadian writer who has been called the "noir prophet" of the cyberpunk
subgenre of science fiction. Gibson coined the term "cyberspace
" in his short story "Burning Chrome
" and later popularized the concept in his debut novel, Neuromancer
(1984). In envisaging cyberspace, Gibson created an iconography
for the information age
before the ubiquity of the Internet in the 1990s. He is also credited with predicting the rise of reality television
and with establishing the conceptual foundations for the rapid growth of virtual environments such as video games and the Web.
After expanding on Neuromancer with two more novels to complete the dystopic Sprawl trilogy, Gibson became a central figure to an entirely different science fiction subgenre – steampunk – with the 1990 alternate history novel The Difference Engine, written in collaboration with Bruce Sterling. In the 1990s he composed the Bridge trilogy of novels, which focused on sociological observations of near future urban environments and late-stage capitalism. His most recent novels – Pattern Recognition (2003) and Spook Country (2007) – are set in a contemporary world and have put Gibson's work onto mainstream bestseller lists for the first time.
To date, Gibson has written more than twenty short stories, nine novels (one in collaboration), a nonfiction artist's book, and has contributed articles to several major publications and collaborated extensively with performance artists, filmmakers and musicians.