Dan Sandman

44: The Peripheral by William Gibson

In Adventure, Books, Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction on 30/10/2015 at 12:00 pm

The Peripheral by William GibsonThe picture on the back of this hardback book is of its author. I’m drawn to those intelligent blue eyes of his. He’s not looking straight at you, but peering just behind you. This is what his speculative fiction has been doing since he coined the term cyberspace back in 1982. It looks just behind you, peers into potential futures. The Peripheral (2014) is no exception.

William Gibson (1948 – ) has a remarkable knack for making the future believable. His slick novels thrust us into the lives of ordinary people, trying to live decent lives, despite the bullshit knocked out to them by criminals and corporations alike. Characters such as Flynne Fisher, who gets sucked into some weird future-London. All she wanted was to earn was a few quid, playing games with her brother Burton. Now she finds herself in some messed-up future dimension, whilst her whole family gets dragged into some serious shit.

There’s a quote from The Time Machine (1895) by H.G. Wells (1866 – 1946) at the start of this book. Something to do with time travel making you sick and confused. Taking this point on board, I wonder if reading a Gibson novel is somewhat like time travelling. When you first pick up one of his books, you’re thrust into an alien world. At first it feels weird, but you keep reading because you’re enjoying it. Despite feeling confused, you persevere; and eventually, all the dots start to connect.

Intersect behind peering blue eyes.

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  1. Great review. I do have one question though- how do you know that the future is believable? 😀

    • Gibson makes you believe in his version of the future, through his use of literary technique and engaging language. Whether we are convinced or not by his predictions about tomorrow’s world is open to debate. Glad the review got you thinking. ☺

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