The Peripheral

I saved William Gibson’s most recent book, THE PERIPHERAL, for the week running up to Xmas, as Bill’s books are always a pleasure and I wanted to go into the whole Xmas nightmare situation with something joyful and relaxing.  And what a joy that book is.  The elided conversational sentences!  The short snappy chapters propelling you through the thing! The concept itself, combining time travel and telepresence, which I’ve not seen done in exactly that way before (there was a short story, maybe by Alastair Reynolds, using physical telepresence to connect parallel Earths, but very different in all aspects).  THE PERIPHERAL seemed to me to be, somehow, the connective tissue between Bill’s early and middle work, the cyberpunk years and the contemporary Blue Ant trilogy.  (I had to research some guns for the JAMES BOND graphic novel the other day, and found the “bullpup” weapons that half the cast of THE PERIPHERAL tote around — I thought Gibson had invented them. Again. He’s done this to me more than once.) The book is marvellous, and I recommend it as possibly the best science fiction I read in 2015.

And I wonder if, out in probably-snowy Vancouver, William Gibson isn’t thinking about Inspector Lowbeer and wondering if he isn’t sliding into another trilogy.

THE PERIPHERAL, William Gibson (UK)  (US)