Pattern Recognition is William Gibson’s first novel set in the present, and is also his most vital work since he burst on the scene with Neuromancer. Pattern Recognition sports all of Gibson’s usual obsessions as well as some new ones, like the impact The Day the Towers Fell has on contemporary society.
All science fiction is by some measure a fun-house mirror or nightmare based on the present, and Gibson has always been enviably plugged in to the paths society is on at the time of his writing. By turning off the sci-fi gadgetry and focusing his efforts on the present–albeit a very much non-evenly distributed present inhabited by a beautiful few–Gibson’s work takes on a whole new level of vibrancy, and the prose in Pattern Recognition is in places hauntingly beautiful.
As is usual, Gibson falls down a bit on the ending, which feels a bit too tidy and quick–after such an incredible build-up, the denouement really leaves you wanting more. But that is a minor quibble.
Interestingly, this novel feels more like a Pynchon novel than any of his other works, which can only be said to be the highest possible praise.
Pattern Recognition is a novel to cherish, re-read and obsess over.
Music: Stream from Secret Agent
Posted Tuesday, 13 April, 2004 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.