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« Kissing Without Consent or A Picture May Not Tell The Whole Story | Main | Daddy's Little Helpers »

August 09, 2007


Congrats, Andrew! This is terrific.

I have never read William Gibson. With age I seem to have moved away from science fiction. I was never very fond of the real "technical" themed stories in that genre. I preferred the "alternate world / rational unreality" variety of stories as penned by Frank Herbert, John Wyndham or even Vonnegut. Real life thrillers and old fashioned mysteries still remain a staple on my reading list. What I gather from your review of Spook Country is that in this case, facts may be "spookier" than fiction. Can you recommend one of Gibson's earlier books that may be worth trying?

Just came across this weird story - pretty spooky and science fictional, wouldn't you say? Please comment - in a separate post if you like.

Thanks very much for your kind words Ruchira -- as for earlier Gibson, I would heartily recommend his first novel Neuromancer as an example of the dystopian, fantastic quality of his work that I had been expecting more of in Spook Country. I should warn you that it's sometimes hard to tell what's going on in the book, but that that ambiguity somehow fits with the mysterious, inhuman world that he is describing.

Neuromancer famously kicks off the strain in sci-fi known as "cyber-punk," fusing high-technology and anarchic, anti-humanist politics (i.e. something like "human beings should have no loyalty to a political order that values production at the expense of human dignity"). While I liked Spook Country, I was surprised that it wasn't as dark and cynical in its worldview as his earlier work, given some of the truly horrific events that world terrorism and the Bushies have offered up in the last 7 years. In both of his last two books, the cyberpunk character has been replaced by a cyber-yuppie. I guess making lots of money softens a guy up...

Hmm ... "cyber-punk," huh? Is that anything like the Matrix movies? In that case I probably won't like it although my husband might (if he has the time to read it, that is). But I will check out the library shelves for Neuromancy.

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