Review: William Gibson’s ‘The Peripheral’

December 19, 2014 6:00 PM

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Review: William Gibson’s ‘The Peripheral’

Whenever I’m asked on fancy stages or across shadowed bars to name my favorite author, I always reply: William Gibson. I am forever interested in the near future, in the forward-leaning now, and no one writes it better. Gibson specializes in the rapid appropriation of the most provocative ideas, images and — especially — artifacts circulating in the overlapping worlds of art, advertising, espionage and the global underworld. He also possesses some favorable mutation that allows him to metabolize the strangeness and make it, through the techniques of fiction, highly bioavailable to other brains.

His bibliography is a catalog of futures. There are noir futures, near futures and even non-futures. Gibson’s most recent trilogy — Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, Zero History — unfolded in the recent past, a sort of smeared just-now. There were whispers among Gibson’s readers as that trilogy e...

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