Thursday, September 13, 2007

Spook Country

William Gibson's a tricky writer for me. I love his books and the atmosphere he creates in them, but I'm rarely sure if he's *actually* any good.

Gibson, for the non-nerds out there, was one of the creators of the cyberpunk sub-genre of science fiction. Nowadays he's writing writing about the here and now, but still using most of the tools of he used in his sci-fi days.

Spook Country gives us three protagonists: former singer Hollis Henry turned magazine writer trying to find something to do with her life, the Cuban intelligence trained cultural and ethnic mash-up Tito, who makes his living as and "illegal facilitator", and the perpetually sedated translator Milgram who's been hijacked by someone who may or may not be a government agent. All of them connected to a mysterious container that's been at sea for a very long time, and is about to make landfall soon.

His take on the here and now naturally includes the current fucked up state of affairs in the US. While his corporate dystopias were very much informed by Reagan and his policies, this is by far the most overt political commentary Gibson's done in any of his books, so you get bits like:

"The old man was as American as it got, but in what she thought of as some very recently archaic way. Someone who would've been in charge of something, in America, when grown-ups still ran things."

and casual references to getting shot in the face by the vice-president.

I enjoyed Spook Country, but not to the same extent as say, Pattern Recognition. The mystery of the container pulled me along for quite a while, but the thing that usually holds Gibson's novels together for me is the atmosphere and vision instead of plot and characters, and I suspect the problem here is that I'm a bit too much on the same page. So I'm nodding along instead of going "cool" when he brings up levitating beds and the like, because I remember the story he cribbed it from.


Anonymous said...

tjena! ha do överlevd japan? ;) //sanne...hihi... no får do na ti funder på! ;)

SH said...

Sanne? Nu har ja verkligen nating ti funder på jo...

You've got me beat. :o

Anonymous said...

ha do vari peedand na mycki ti villon i somar? ;) to bruk ju vara hååli på hede peedasi to! :D //susanne

SH said...

Haha, holy shit, hur har du hitta hit? :D

Kom tibaks först 21:a augusti, så de blev bara en tur ti villan i år, å de va för att dra upp vår #%&#&% flytbrygga i sex graders värme.

Hur e de me dig, då? Fortfarand inställd på en karriär vi Mirka? ;)

Anonymous said...

tihii... klart he! nee... jag har flytta ti vasa och gör staan osäker!? ;) har do na msn? om do känder för e så: ;)

SH said...

hurja. jag e, om du int kan gissa va de e för bisarr typ som försöker lägga dig ti contacts :D