Thursday, March 9, 2023

Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson

 This anthology, published in early 2012, is a collection of essays and speeches by William Gibson.  It shows the influences that interested him as he was writing such classic novels as Necromancer and Pattern Recognition.  There are twenty-five pieces plus an introduction.

One of the interesting items I noted was that as the Internet became more ubiquitous, Gibson wasn't sure if he wanted to participate.  He was slow to embrace email and wasn't sure that the instantaneous availability of so much information about any subject one cared to research was a good thing overall.  This was even before the rise of hate and scams that many find today as they go online.  

Another influence that Gibson writes about in several articles is his fascination with the East, particularly Japan.  He saw it as the vanguard of new technology and felt that teenage girls walking the streets on their new phones foresaw what would be popular and available to others quickly.  Again, Japan's dominance in this field has waned a bit since these articles were written but at the time, it was surely an apt observation.

Readers will be interested in Gibson's notice of and discussion of details in the various topics he explores.  He in interested in what influences society and the future that will come whether or not humanity is ready for it.  He also writes a bit about his childhood and that is also an interesting insight into the author.  This book is recommended for nonfiction readers, especially those interested in science fiction.

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