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Old 08-08-2007, 10:57 PM   #1
LaughingVulcan
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New William Gibson novel - Spook Country

William Gibson, author of "Neuromancer," "Virtual Light," "Pattern Recognition," and one of the fathers of the Cyberpunk genre is back with "Spook Country."

It just came out, like today.

And it's on Connect, also. :

Now I know where $20.76 of my most recent Connect credit is going. (Current Amazon price: $15.57 and retail according to Amazon: $25.95.) Correction: Where $20.76 went, as I just purchased it and am about to download it on my Reader.

Pardon for not giving an in-depth plot review - I've very intentionally been keeping away from anything in the slightest spoilerable about this. William Gibson to me is what J.K. is for many other millions.



OK, off to it.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:38 AM   #2
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Let us know how it is. For me personally I enjoyed his earlier works more than his recent stuff but I still read every one of his books.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:36 AM   #3
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I had been really looking forward to this but once again those who want ebooks get shafted.

$15.57 on Amazon
$20.76 on Connect
$25.95 on Mobipocket

It's enough to make me want to go back to pbooks
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:21 AM   #4
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The MobiPocket site is often the most expensive.

$20.76 for MobiPocket format at booksonboard.
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by splat View Post
I had been really looking forward to this but once again those who want ebooks get shafted.

$15.57 on Amazon
$20.76 on Connect
$25.95 on Mobipocket

It's enough to make me want to go back to pbooks
Now that Mobipocket is owned by Amazon, I really hope that as soon as Amazon llaunches its e-reader, the Amazon/Mobipocket price will be the same. On a book, a 10$ difference is a lot of cash...
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:35 PM   #6
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Post One small spoiler in the following!

Some reflections off the first seven plus chapters (112 of 845 pages on the Medium size...) One smallish semi-spoiler included:

* It's written in the usual style of Gibson: Short and staccato chapters interlaced with longer (yet still comparatively small) chapters. You just have to flow with the novel for a bit, getting used to the characters and situations depicted, just stringing along while figuring out where Gibson is going.

Also, main characters are introduced individually in the first few chapters. You'll probably have to read the novel through more than once (my usual for Gibson is that on the third read I really start appreciating the deeper themes.)

* In the first six chapters I thought this might be a stand-alone novel. It's in Chapter 7 that we get a reference to Pattern Recognition.

SPOILER WARNING (forgot that this board doesn't have spoiler codes!):



It turns out that one of the characters has been contracted to write an article for what is (apparently) a magazine owned by Hubertus Bigend, owner of Blue Ant in PR.

END OF SPOILER

While Gibson does write stand-alone stories (The Difference Engine with Bruce Sterling, the collected novellas of Burning Chrome,) he is more famous for his trilogies. The "Neuromancer" series (Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive,) and the "Bridge" series (Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow's Parties.)
Like his other trilogies, these novels are entirely readable separately, but there are added dimensions to reading the series. So, if you liked Pattern Recognition, there is hope to like this one.

* As above, I found it hard to get into the rhythm of the novel - it finally started to flow in late Chapter 5. With Gibson's shorter style, though, this is in the first sixteenth or so of the book. This is normal for me with Gibson stories.

* As an (at least potential) continuation of Pattern Recognition, this novel is not set in some alternate past, future, or even present. Instead, everything in it so far is entirely possible today, if on the fringe of technology and relationships. Gibson has always included elements of today's bleeding edge technologies and events, this series simply omits what's not possible today. This series is hard therefore to define as science fiction - there isn't a futuristic or alternate element here. It's questionable if this fits a "Cyberpunk" definition or not, even though it's utterly in Gibson's style of writing. Perhaps, just as Gibson was at the forefront of "Cyberpunk," he's now at the forefront of an entirely new school or writing yet-to-be-defined.

* So far, it's an enjoyable read, especially if you're as into Gibson as I am.

Last edited by LaughingVulcan; 08-09-2007 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:38 PM   #7
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Much to my surprise, Fictionwise have Spook Country with 100% rebate at the moment. Any one who had been holding off should grab it now
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:07 AM   #8
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I love Gibson books! Thanks for the heads-up, Leaping Gnome, I would've probably missed it
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hadrien View Post
Now that Mobipocket is owned by Amazon, I really hope that as soon as Amazon llaunches its e-reader, the Amazon/Mobipocket price will be the same. On a book, a 10$ difference is a lot of cash...
Unless the prices are LOWER, they won't sell well.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:31 AM   #10
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Much to my surprise, Fictionwise have Spook Country with 100% rebate at the moment. Any one who had been holding off should grab it now
100% Micropay Rebate. Meaning you buy the book, and then you get the money back into your micropay account which can then be used to purchase other ebooks from Fictionwise.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:48 PM   #11
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BTW, I finished it a couple of days ago.

My comments above are all pretty much remained true through the remainder of the book. The characters and plot keep on melding through the end of the book, and become much easier after you get the cadence of the book. I think it's a worthy successor to Pattern Recognition.

My personal rating list (for anyone who wants to compare how I'd stack up Gibson books):

7. Mona Lisa Overdrive
6. All Tomorrow's Parties
5. Idoru
4. The Difference Engine
3. (tie) Burning Chrome
3. Pattern Recognition
2. (tie) Neuromancer
2. Count Zero
1. Virtual Light

Edit to add: I don't know what this one will be named, but I do hope there's a third book to make this one a trilogy also.

2nd Edit to add: After reading jmorton's post below (and I agree fully with it...) I'd place Spook Country at about 3.5 on the above list.

Last edited by LaughingVulcan; 08-24-2007 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:23 PM   #12
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I just finished Spook Country. I enjoyed it, but if someone were choosing between this book and Pattern Recognition, I'd recommend the latter. If you haven't read any Gibson, then go with Neuromancer first. This is not a good place to start with him. On the BoingBoing.net podcast, Cory Doctorow referred to Spook Country (and I think he was including Pattern Recognition in this) as "radical speculative presentism." I do like the sound of that. As with other novels by Gibson, the novel starts with several seemingly unrelated characters doing seemingly unrelated things. It takes a while for the various threads to coalesce into one story. A second reading is probably worthwhile.

Jim
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