William Gibson's short story, "Winter Market," depicts the future through corporate society's treatment of human beings as "gomi," or junk. Human beings in this futuristic world are tossed aside and exploited for the success of the company. In response to the dehumanization, people turn toward that which will make them feel better, such as drugs, sex, and "partytime". They search for a type of connection with others, yet in the end, everyone becomes more isolated and lonely. In "Winter Market," Gibson paints a picture of a dark and depressed world, where people are separated and lost, and struggle to find a way out, which only a slight few succeed in doing. Is this world so far off? Or can it be seen in today's growing technological and global community? As social scientist Manuel Castells says, " for the first time in history people are simply irrelevant- (5).
In the world of Winter Market, people are not treated as humans, and the world is not full of beautiful ideas and hope. Instead, the world is filled with junk, or as Gibson calls it, "gomi". Gomi consumes land and lives. Casey, the narrator, says, "Where does the gomi stop and the world begin? The Japanese, a century ago, had already run out of gomi space around Tokyo, so they came up with a plan for creating space out of gomi." (119) Moreover, not only is this world filled with gomi, but people actually make their livings out of turning this junk into art. In Winter Market, Rubin is an artist. However, he is not an artist in the traditional sense. Instead, Casey describes him as a, "Gomi no sensei. Master of junk." (118) His home is filled with gomi and he plays with it and makes it into art. In this new technological world, discarded objects and thrown away pieces of what used to be are not the only things classified as gomi. In this world, gomi can be people. Casey described other forms of gomi as, " still operative. Some of it, like Lise, is human.