‘Tis the season when many people turn their attention to picking the best books of the year, and we are very happy to report that William Gibson‘s latest novel, AGENCY, was selected by Time Magazine as one of their Must Read Books of 2020!
Described as a ‘seductive sequel to THE PERIPHERAL‘, it’s published in the UK by Viking. Here’s the synopsis…
San Francisco, 2017. Clinton’s in the White House, Brexit never happened — and Verity Jane’s got herself a new job.
They call Verity ‘the app-whisperer,’ and she’s just been hired by a shadowy start-up to evaluate a pair-of-glasses-cum-digital-assistant called Eunice. Only Eunice has other ideas.
Pretty soon, Verity knows that Eunice is smarter than anyone she’s ever met, conceals some serious capabilities and is profoundly paranoid –– which is just as well since suddenly some bad people are after Verity.
Meanwhile, in a post-apocalyptic London a century from now, PR fixer Wilf Netherton is tasked by all-seeing policewoman Ainsley Lowbeer with interfering in the alternative past in which Verity and Eunice exist. It appears something nasty is about to happen there — and fixing it will require not only Eunice’s unique human-AI skillset but also a little help from the future.
A future which Verity soon fears may never be…
Here are just a few of the reviews the novel has received so far…
‘This dazzling vision of politics and power across alternate timelines is both observation and warning… begins with the classic Gibsonian unboxing scene… a sensual, remarkably visual ride, vigorous with displays of conceptual imagination and humour.’ — Guardian
‘[A] book as engaging, thought-provoking and delightful as its predecessor… Strong co-starring characters unique to this tale interact with returning old favorites… the intricate noir-thriller plotting affords constant entertainment and suspense… Gibson’s language is as zesty as ever… [Gibson] he can always be counted on to show us our contemporary milieu rendered magical by his unique insights, and a future rendered inhabitable by his wild yet disciplined imagination.’ — Washington Post
‘William Gibson’s AGENCY interrogates our relationship to technology with startling clarity’ — Globe & Mail
‘Many of the ideas in AGENCY are familiar Gibson peccadilloes. He is still interested in decentred political and technological systems and shadowy, quasi-criminal superstructures that can be navigated only by visionary individuals armed with the right tech. And he still delivers these ideas in plots that aspire to the satisfying knottiness of thrillers.’ — Financial Times
‘[A] strong presence of familiar Gibsonian traits: smooth prose, sly pop-culture references, and acute observations of behavior and social interaction… filled with the expected Gibsonian oddball details and throwaway bits of invention… an immersive, textured, and sometimes deeply strange setting, which is a good thing. Come for the intricate plotting, stay for the weird and wonderful mindscape.’ — Russell Letson, Locus
‘AGENCY… is parallel-contemporary, changing the outcome of the 2016 election without relieving us of chaos and horror. It’s a much more explicit commentary than we’re used to getting from Gibson and an implicit reminder that Trump is best understood as a dumb symptom of our predicament, rather than the cause. Writers who manage big, showy debuts are often one-trick ponies, but Gibson has an inexhaustible supply of tricks, new stories and new ways of telling them that make him the most consistent predictor of our present, contextualizer of our pasts and presager of our possible futures.’ — LA Times
The aforementioned THE PERIPHERAL is also published in the UK by Penguin.