I like William Gibson and I like – or adore – the overwhelming majority of the things he has written. He’s generally a switched on guy, a good egg and – despite having made the poor life choice to re-tweet that appalling bigot and sexist Chris Kluwe too often (EG: ever) – is an interesting person to follow on Twitter, where he’s a curator of the interesting and muse-inspiring.
It pains me, then, to say that his latest work The Peripheral is fucking awful.
It’s full of great ideas such as a post-apocalyptic New World Re-order, the future of drone technology, poverty-tech, the fate of techno-veterans, quantum communication with alternate timelines and so on, but in terms of telling an actual story?
It fails, utterly.
The Peripheral might as well be a ‘literary’ novel in that, while lots of ‘stuff’ happens, nothing really gets resolved in any sort of satisfying way and then it abruptly…
I haven’t been left this dissatisfied since receiving half a blowjob.
This is a damn shame since, on paper, there’s good and interesting plots to get your teeth into. Illuminati-like financial conspiracies from another universe, a murder mystery, the threat of a Presidential assassination and the question of whether there’s meaning or worth in providing altruism to a universe you know the approximate future of, even though there’s really nothing in it for you.
None of these are handled with any emotional or structural satisfaction and it all just sort of tails off into a shapeless mush.
Avoid and wait for his next one.