Posted tagged ‘William Gibson’

I Evoke Brow XXX: No Sermons or Mounts, just a review; on the other hand, no one gets crucified

October 16, 2007

Spook Country134, William Gibson135

Asimov136 and Heinlein137 were and are fodder for space dorks; Gibson’s novels are book-porn for technophiles, gadget freaks, and engadget138 obsessed compugeeks, vicariously lifehacking via the new Old Man of SciFi’s cutting edge fiction. Obviously, I’m a fan of his novels. You can’t help but see the move within SciFi from rockets to gadgets as reflective of contemporaneous geek and (perhaps) pop culture–we have left behind stargazing and focused our gaze on ourselves and our beloved computers. No one that I’ve read pulls this off nearly as well as Gibson. As I noted in my review of Pattern Recognition139 (which loosely prequels this novel, with a shared world and secondary character), Gibson’s latest works are startlingly contemporary.

In my not-so-humble opinion, Spook Country is good but falls short of Pattern Recognition’s greatness. It’s a fascinating read and as reflective and prescient as Gibson’s other works, but somehow less filling. The “big mystery” that supposedly drives the plot forward is just too secondary to the interesting bits of the book, namely the characters and the mashup of technologies. The intertwined stories seem to be a bit too far flung, less than cohesive. I think I’ll read it again in a few years (hopefully a sequel will appear around then) and see if it strikes me differently, as it’s predecessor did.

7/ 10