August 6, 2007
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At the end of a process that William Gibson started in July 2005 there’s Spook Country, the latest from the master, which will be out tomorrow.
It’s interesting to me that everywhere, including most recently this News.com article about the book, Gibson is mentioned as “[having] predicted many of the changes technology has brought about”. Now, he has predicted a lot of things, but in almost subliminal fashion in my opinion, and his own comments on how something as crucial as the concept of cyberspace came about bear me out. In the documentary No Maps for These Territories Gibson recounts about how he came up with the idea of cyberspace (this documentary, btw, is great if you’re into that sort of thing… just Gibson in the back of a limo talking for an hour and a half!). So how did it start? Was it the then-emerging Internet? Was it computer networks? Computers even, at all? Nope. It was the first time he saw a someone with a walkman, lost in their own world of music, when he visualized it: “Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.” Gibson admits he’s never been a computer geek — he doesn’t know current technology all that much (according to what his blog, he finds eBay more interesting than Second Life, which is pretty striking.
As an aside, In the book page, Amazon also has a fascinating proposal for the book that, according to them, bears only a slight resemblance to the finished book.
The book is set in early 2006, perhaps more anchored on reality than even Pattern Recognition — of which I happen to own a signed copy. 🙂 Can’t wait to read it!