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All Tomorrow's Parties. William Gibson Paperback – July 1, 2011
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- Publisher : Viking (July 1, 2011)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0241953510
- ISBN-13 : 978-0241953518
- Item Weight : 7 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
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This novel concludes the Bridge trilogy: characters you already know fortunately come together, seeking to survive as parties seek to create cultural fundamental changes. And human culture changes globally at the novel's end, but the creation vanishes into the madding crowd as the novel ends. I interpret these events as a beginning, not a conclusion, and I'm surprised that William Gibson wrote no follow-on novel to 2003's All Tomorrow's Parties.
This fine book is the culmination of couple of pseudo-episodic Gibson novels...his writing gets better and better and some of the passages are almost impossibly beautiful in their spare conciseness and wonderful language/syntax. Highly recommended for reading out-loud to (or by) your partner.
Gibson skillfully weaves the theory of historical inflection points (or cusps) into a story about how an artifical intelligence/personality (who apparently yearns to be free) manipulates various characters and the public nano-compiler network in order to become embodied as a young woman!
If you didn't catch that your first time through, read it again!
Told almost entirely from the meats' point of view and populated with hints of themes to come in Gibson's following (and very highly recommended) book, Pattern Recognition. Also, for relevant background, read the previous novel: Idoru.
As others have noted, he's stylistically back to the evocative, Delaney-inspired prose that made _Neuromancer_ and so many of his short stories work so well. And the characterization is much stronger than in the previous installations of the series. It eschews the contrived "gotta have a plot" scripting of _Virtual Light_ and _Idoru_ in favor of a well-thought-out progression toward an end that, as another reviewer has noted, passes almost too quickly to see -- a typical "Gibson ending", to be sure.
As for the future he depicts.... let's just say that in its own way, it's one of the more chilling dystopias I've ever encountered, wherein society and culture are made manifest in lawsuits and trash TV, and grim hope lives out on the margins in the "autonomous zones"....