Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

I enjoyed Gibson’s newest book back in the summer when I read it. In fact, I think it might be the best thing he’s written since Neuromancer. It’s not science fiction. It’s just fiction. The way Gibson writes though, it’s easy to forget that everything described is both possible and probable in the here-and-now. The Professor has my copy in FL. Else I’d quote a particular passage that makes this point. It’s a passage in which Gibson describes the reflective visor of a motorcycle helmet.

Pattern Recognition tells the story of a young woman hired to find the creator of film footage that has generated a cult following on the internet. Her search gets her mixed up with a collection of Gibson’s usual “high-tech low-lifes” across 4 continents.

The language is slick, still an conscious Pyncheon imitation, but with all the descriptive style that Gibson brought to short stories like Burning Chrome so many years ago.

This is a post-9/11 novel, which is very much at home in the immediate now in which it was published. It will be interesting to see how it weathers the years.


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