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William Gibson's first novel Neuromancer sold more than six million copies worldwide. Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive completed his first trilogy. He has since written six further novels, moving gradually away from science fiction and futuristic work, instead writing about the strange contemporary world we inhabit. His most recent novels include Spook Country, Zero History and Peripheral. His non-fiction collection, Distrust That Particular Flavor, compiles assorted writings and journalism from across his career.
Gibson, known as the "patron saint of cyberpunk lit," has made his reputation with futuristic tales. Though his new novel is set in the present, baroque descriptions of everyday articles and menacing anthropomorphic treatment of the Internet and sister technology give it a sci-fi feel. Cayce Pollard, a market researcher with razor-sharp intuition, makes big bucks by evaluating potential products and advertising campaigns. In London, she stays in the trendy digs of documentary filmmaker friend Damien (away on assignment), whom she e-mails frequently. When Cayce brusquely rejects the new logo of advertising mogul Hubertus Bigend, she earns his respect and a big check but makes an enemy of his graphic designer, vindictive Dorotea Benedetti. Hubertus later hires Cayce to ferret out the origin of a series of sensual film clips appearing guerrilla style on computers all over the world and attracting a growing cult following. Cayce treats this as a standard job until somebody breaks into Damien's flat and hacks into her computer. Suddenly every casual encounter carries undertones of danger. Her investigative trail takes her to Tokyo and Russia and through a rogue's gallery of iconoclastic Web-heads. Casting a further shadow is the memory of her father, Win, a security expert (probably CIA) missing and presumed dead in the World Trade Center disaster of exactly a year earlier. For complicated reasons even she doesn't understand, she connects her current dilemma with her father's tragedy and follows the trail with the fervor of a personal vendetta. Gibson's brisk, kinetic style and incisive observations should keep the reader entertained even when Cayce's quest begins to lose urgency. Gibson's best book since Mona Lisa Overdrive should satisfy his hardcore fans while winning plenty of new ones. Agent, Martha Millard. 10-city author tour; rights sold in Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain and the U.K. (Feb.) Forecast: Given Gibson's reputation with SF fans, his grasp of popular culture and state-of-the-art technology and his inimitable narrative voice, this chase thriller should take off right out of the gate. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
"'More insight, wit and sheer style than any of his contemporaries' Charles Shaar Murray, Independent"
In an apparent attempt to write one of the first post-9/11 novels, Gibson, best known for his hip cyberpunk fiction set in a dystopic near future, locates this text in contemporary time. The plot concerns Cayce Pollard, a thirtysomething freelance market researcher, who, because of her phobic reaction to certain brand names that somehow allows her to recognize what will become "cool" and thus profitable, is hired to locate the makers of some cryptic video footage anonymously posted on the Internet. This footage, which inexplicably takes on the status of a modern-day Delphic Oracle, has been an obsession of a cohort of web junkies (including Pollard herself), who prattle on about its possible origin, meaning, and significance. For characterization, Gibson relentlessly employs clothes-catalog descriptions, making this novel virtually impossible to distinguish from the trivialized pop culture it purports to critique. The novel itself may be classified as a melodrama of beset geekdom-focusing on post-9/11, angst-ridden, globe-hopping computer nerds and marketing employees who jet from London to Tokyo and elsewhere, all the while keeping in touch via e-mail and cell phone. This book, which may well reveal the emptiness at the core of Gibson's other fiction, will probably thrill his aficionados but, it is hoped, no one else. Given Gibson's immense popularity, however, it is recommended for all libraries.-Roger A. Berger, Everett Community Coll., WA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Adult/High School-Cayce Pollard is a well-paid professional marketer. She and her friends-filmmakers, dealers in electronic esoterica, designers, and hackers-live on the cutting edge of a highly technological, "post-geographic" world, where the manipulation of cultural trends can bring great power. When she is employed to discover the source of "the Footage," a mysterious film that has been appearing in bits and pieces on the Web and gathering a worldwide underground following, her survival is at stake. In her search for the auteur, she outwits corporate spies, terrorists, and mobsters in London, Tokyo, Moscow, and New York; struggles with ethical issues; and even delves into the mystery of her father's disappearance on September 11, 2001. Some readers might feel that this novel demands too much of them-the prose is witty, each page challenges with provocative observations, and there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle. But those who enjoyed Gibson's earlier work, or the writing of Neal Stephenson or Bruce Sterling, should relish this headlong race through an unsettling but recognizable world to a surprisingly humane conclusion.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.