Friday, October 15, 2010

Zero History

I finished reading Zero History by William Gibson. The story ties loosely with two of Gibson's previous books, Pattern Recognition and Spook Country, to create a trilogy.

Gibson made his name with Neuromancer in 1984. It has probably been 25 years since I read that book and really need to go back and reread it. Neuromancer won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award and the Philip K. Dick Award. Since I read his first book, I have always looked for and read Gibson's books.

Unlike his earliest science fiction, Zero History is set in the near future. The backdrop for the book looks like the world we know. Interestingly, everyone has an iPhone... The book explores the hacker culture, surveillance, paranoia, viral marketing, the fashion industry, celebrity, base jumping and the Festo AirPenguin.

I read the two previous books in the loose trilogy in 2003 and 2007. While I remember a couple of the more interesting ideas from those books, I am fuzzy on the characters. Several of the characters from the previous book are the main characters in Zero History. I feel like I need to go back and read the previous books again.

I enjoy the pace and style of Gibson's writing. I found myself getting drawn into the story and the characters. Zero History can probably be best described as a thriller rather than science fiction. It is a solid book which I would give a 'B'. Although the book could stand alone, it probably makes sense to read Spook Country before this book.

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