William Gibson talks about scrapping and rewriting a novel after the 2016 Trump election

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/11/bigend-to-end.html


He should have insisted on exclusive rights to the crisis design.


Problem with using Turkey and Syria is that the book could get overtaken again, before it hits my kindle.

Maybe there’s a new genre there, SF which looks a day into the future and is always topical. Pushes to the book reader at 9 PM.


But it wouldn’t be science, and it certainly wouldn’t be fiction. Gibson doesn’t write science fiction anymore anyway, hasn’t since ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’, he writes Speculative Fiction - same initials, whole other style.
Since ‘Pattern Recognition’ his books have been set in the present, just not quite our present, a ‘mirror world’ if you like…


Yeah he seems to be writing about things which happen next week or next month. Hence the constant changes of direction.

Anyone know if the audiobook of Agency is going to be available on CD? I can’t find it anywhere.

Update: I contacted Penguin Audio. They said no. :rage:

Check the hollow space behind your medicine cabinet.


I agree that “Pattern Recognition” and its sequels are arguably not science fiction, but “The Peripheral” (which I finally got around to reading over the holidays), certainly is. It involves people from the future a century or so out interfering with their past (sort of; he uses parallel universes to avoid the paradoxes of time travel) which is still our future (3D printing tech in the “past” is still way better than what we have now).


Can’t wait for Agency but I have been wondering if all is not as it seems with the past world in The Peripheral. The protagonists don’t actually know how they are able to contact the Stub. There is some hand waving about a Chinese server which they somehow got access to. From their perspective it could be in their past, or it could be a simulation of their past.


Well my first thought was if it is going to be (future) available, perhaps that explains why you can’t find it now (present).

But then I went to Amazon. And there it was - released on 23 Jan on Audible. Of course, insisting on having it on CD in this day and age may be an inhibiting factor. Use a CD burner, perhaps?

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After having read his former works, I had the sad realization with Pattern Recognition that we just caught up with his cyberpunk dystopia and, living in it, no longer recognize it as such.


Some of us certainly do! I and many others were really anticipating all of this for quite some time. I started messing around with modems and began reading cyberpunk around '93/'94 as an early teenager, and it was quite obvious that sometime between the twenty-teens and the twenty-twenties, we’d arrive at the cyberpunk dystopia.

I always knew it was going to be WEIRD, but I’m not sure I anticipated Donald Trump as President-level weird…


Here’s another great Gibson interview from last month:
How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real | The New Yorker


Have been waiting for this, HARD. 'specially after I found Stephenson’s “Fall” basically unreadable.

Don"t say that! Love Stephenson (usually), just bought Fall but haven’t read it yet.

Fall wasn’t bad; certainly not unreadable. I think Stephenson’s done better (Reamde, Seveneves, among others). Give it a chance, it at least has some interesting ideas, and lets us enjoy some of our favorite Reamde characters a little longer.

The Peripheral is definitely science fiction, in the way the Blue Ant books were not. I just finished reading it for the third time, in anticipation of Agency, and I think I might have figured out where the new book’s title came from. Can hardly wait to find out…

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I wish you well, my friend. I hope your experience with it is better than mine.

I’ve read and enjoyed literally everything Neal has ever written. Fall is the one exception and it made me really sad to have to put down a Neal Stephenson book. Not everyone feels that way about it. Goodreads is full of glowing reviews.

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