A lot has been said of, and by, this author. Entire books have been written about his ideas. Bruce Sterling says this about Gibson in the introduction to Burning Chrome:
If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, science-fictions writers are its court jesters. We are Wise Fools who can leap, caper, utter prophecies, and scratch ourselves in public. We can play with Big Ideas because the garish motley of our pulp origins makes us seem harmless.
Yet the sad truth of the matter is that SF has not been much fun of late...But William Gibson is one of our best harbingers of better things to come.
...The triumph of these [Gibson's] pieces was their brilliant, self-consistent evocation of a credible future.
...In the Sprawl stories we see a future that is recognizably and painstakingly drawn from the modern condition. It is multifaceted, sophisticated, global in its view. It derives from a new set of starting points: not from a shopworn formula of robots, spaceships, and the modern miracle of atomic energy, but from cybernetics, biotech, and the communications web --to name a few.
...Many SF authors, faced with this lurking monster have flung up their hands and predicted shipwreck. Though no one could accuse Gibson of Pollyannaism, he has avoided this easy out. This is another distinguishing mark of the emergent new school of Eighties SF: its boredom with the Apocalypse.
...In Gibson we hear the sound of a decade that has finally found its own voice. He is not a table-pounding revolutionary, but a practical, hands-on retrofitter. He is opening the stale corridors of the genre to the fresh air of new data...
All these rantings may seem a little out of date, but they do bring to light a few important issues (within SF and the sub-genre of cyberpunk itself). Plus Sterling's short essay is an interesting look back on history.
Gibson writes of how he first met with Sterling at the World Science Fiction Convention in 1981. Previous to that Gibson had published a few short stories (such as Burning Chrome) and had read Sterling's first novel Involution Ocean. John Shirley introduced the two, and they hit it off. Later Shirley also recommended The Artificial Kid to Gibson (Sterling's second novel, which was recently rereleased and from which I am getting this information via Gibson's introduction). An important novel, they agreed. Proto-cyberpunk, I guess. Strange, the progression of fiction.