Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Pattern Recognition"

I have not have the patience to read much fiction for a while, but I just finished re-reading William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition". I've read it three times now, the last two times as audio book. There is some indefinable characteristic about that book I just really love. It is so modern and yet so timeless. It is sort of sad, and yet very positive and sort of optimistic. Go get it.

I also like the main character, Cayse Pollard. She is beautiful, but understated, competent but not ego-driven, tough and yet caring.

Nobody writes like Gibson. Every sentence is a little work of poetry, and yet somehow they all line up and tell a story.

One reason I love SF more than what academics normally consider fine literature, is that not only does it not fear technology, but also it usually has highly capable characters. Whereas "fine literature" usually has characters who accomplishes nothing except to polish their neuroses.

Actually Pattern Recogntion is not even SF, but it feels like it.

... Another reason I love Gibson: He has apparently approximately the same priorities as I have myself. There is very little romance or sex in his stories. But a lot of art and creation. Several of his books have at their core a trek to find an important artist. Visuals and designs and aesthetics in general are very important too. I really like that.

I get the feeling that Gibson appreciates things. Things don't have to be loud or big or unusual to be wonderful, to him.


Gandalfe said...

I was just thinking about this book the other day. It inspired me to bring in a guy that spots trends and makes company bets based on the best stuff. I know the book is in my library somewhere. There is no way I would have let it go.

Anonymous said...

Gibson, not fearing technology? Allow me to disagree, please. True, it's been a few years since I read Gibson (and other Cyberpunk writers), partially as a means to escape a world politically downhills at least for half an hour by reading about a dystopian world much worse than what could happen in reality. And yes, it was a dystopia, even if the advances of technology were presented matter-of-factly and not as the evil demons coming to us... the evil is created, of course, by applying technology to evil, selfish purposes. This is not much different from reality, only reality has come much closer to cyberpunk than I would have thought when I was 15 years younger. I stopped reading cyberpunk because I don't think anymore that literature can outrun reality in bad ways... I also can't stand crime thrillers anymore. I'm re-reading Tolkien or Sheckley.