To keep me busy on the trip from Antigonish to Edmonton, I picked up William Gibson's new book, Spook Country. It's the sequel to his last work, Pattern Recognition, though the only character from that work that shows up is Hubertus Bigend.
Spook Country follows the suddenly strange life of Hollis Henry, a former rock star in the band Curfew, who is now trying to make her way as a journalist. The Amazon page sums the story up best:
Set in the same high-tech present day as Pattern Recognition, Gibson's fine ninth novel offers startling insights into our paranoid and often fragmented, postmodern world. When a mysterious, not yet actual magazine, Node, hires former indie rocker-turned-journalist Hollis Henry to do a story on a new art form that exists only in virtual reality, Hollis finds herself investigating something considerably more dangerous. An operative named Brown, who may or may not work for the U.S. government, is tracking a young, Russian-speaking Cuban-Chinese criminal named Tito. Brown's goal is to follow Tito to yet another operative known only as the old man. Meanwhile, a mysterious cargo container with CIA connections repeatedly appears and disappears on the worldwide Global Positioning network, never quite coming to port. At the heart of the dark goings-on is Bobby Chombo, a talented but unbalanced specialist in Global Positioning software who refuses to sleep in the same spot two nights running.
Holllis definitely takes the lead protagonist role in Spook Country, which is interesting given Cayce is also the lead protagonist in pattern Recognition. It leads me to wonder if Gibson is deliberately selecting female characters to lead his new books as part of his new take on cyberculture. I wrote an article a year ago that suggests Pattern Recognition is Gibson's rewrite of Neuromancer - there's a lot of compelling arguments for it, not the least of which is the Case/Cayce parallel. The article concluded that Gibson has taken a second, much more critical look at the child he created, and has a far more pessimistic view. I should really clean that article up and send it somewhere.
Anyways, this hasn't so much been a review as a rambling on of somewhat related topics. In short, Spook Country is an excellent followup to Pattern Recognition. If you enjoyed PR, then definitely pick up Spook Country. It's a great read.