Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
William Gibson is an author who suffers from a form of literary type-casting. Through his steady and consistent work in the late 1980’s and 90’s, including the masterful Neuromancer, he helped define the cyberpunk genre. But if you lost track of Gibson, as I fear many did, around Mona Lisa Overdrive then you may have missed out on his current, and I would argue some of his best, work. Gibson has said that he stopped writing about the far future because the present had become so choke full of technological and cultural weirdness that, when truly examined, it seems completely futuristic. His latest Zero History, which can stand alone but is the final book in a loosely tied together trilogy, certainly holds to that. Like a good internet surfing session Gibson seemlessly weaves together divergent subjects as far afield as micro trend spotting, base jumping, fashion, the military industrial complex, modern perceptions of privacy, addiction, the music industry and, my favorite meme from Zero History, the Festo Air Penguin (see video below), into a strong character driven thriller and sprinkles it all with a kind of slick urban dread that he does so well.