Posts Tagged ‘Agency’

William Gibson plays with time but offers little of interest in his new novel, ‘Agency’

April 26, 2020

By Matthew E. Milliken
April 26, 2020

William Gibson’s first book, the pioneering cyberpunk novel Neuromancer, came out in 1984. In the 36 years since, he’s averaged a new novel every three years (counting The Difference Engine, the 1990 steampunk tale he cowrote with Bruce Sterling). There’s been the occasional odd publication — the anthology Burning Chrome; his screenplay for Johnny Mnemonic, published in a volume containing the original short story; a nonfiction collection, Distrust that Particular Flavor; an original graphic novel, Archangel; and a graphic adaptation of his legendary unproduced screenplay for a sequel to Aliens.

It’s a respectable output, but not so prolific as to make a new Gibson novel seem routine. Instead, each fresh book seems like a gift — or like, as I wrote in 2019, a new place waiting to be explored:

What kind of world — often at once amazing and dispiriting — has the U.S.-born writer created, and what convoluted scheme are the characters enmeshed in, voluntarily or otherwise? Moreover, what kind of inventive gadgets will they wield?

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