Here are a few more reviews of Spook Country [initially courtesy of oddmanrush]:
- [Added 10.19.07] William Gibon Hates Futurist by David Beers, Tyee:
“The slot in culture that I’m most closely associated with is one in which charlatans declare that they know the future. My job is to sit near that slot and when people approach me I say: ‘Only charlatans say they really know the future.’ I sit near the tent where they give out bullshit and offer people a different sort of dialogue. My role is to raise questions.”
- [Added 09.15.07] Gibson still scares up a spooky atmosphere by Andy Smith, Providence Journal
- [Added 09.12.07] The ‘spooky’ worlds of William Gibson by Todd Leopold, CNN:
- A Reality Stranger Than Fiction by Angela Bennie, Sydney Morning Herald, on Gibson’s approach to writing:
- Distinct images, big words highlight ‘Spook Country’ by Susan Benning, Burlington Times-News [this review reads more like a high-school book report]
- Back From the Future — Questions for William Gibson by Deborah Solomon, New York Times [courtesy of bookofjoe]
- Sign language: Steven Poole enjoys decoding William Gibson’s latest offering, Spook Country by Stephen Poole, Guardian Unlimited [via Memetic Engineer]
- Check out this amazing piece, William Gibson Maps Mediated World in New Novel by Jillian Burt, PopMatters:
- Now romancer by Dennis Lim, Salon
- Sparkleblog summarized “wo readings in the Chicago area in support of Spook Country. The first of them was today at a Barnes & Noble in Elston”:
- A truly amazing essay: Cyberpunk Not Dead: William Gibson Journeys to the 21st Century in Spook Country by James McGirk:
We spent nearly four weeks holed up in a ‘houseboat hotel’ floating alongside the banks of Dal Lake with the rest of the press corps. At night we would hear AK-47 fire echoing through the city, and there were constant rumors. Some nights we’d be pulled ashore, with everyone convinced that the militants were planning to drive a motorboat into the hotel and shoot everybody. Sometimes blustering Indian officials would appear, insisting that the militants had killed him or that he was about to be released. The entire ordeal, at least on our end, was conducted through bribery, threats and terse discussions over cups of tea.
- 08-13-07: A 2007 Interview With William Gibson by Scott Rosenberg, NPR
- Space to think by The Observer, Guardian Unlimited
- Book review: ‘Spook Country’ follows complex path of post-9/11 by Claudia Smith Brinson, The State
- Novelist William Gibson tries techno-noir by Scott Eyman, Palm Beach Post Books
- ‘Spook Country’ by William Gibson by Bob Hoover, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- Review: Gibson sees America in ‘Spook Country by Charles Taylor, Newsday
- William Gibson’s ‘Spook Country’ by Matthew Bey, American-Statesman
- New York Time Out by Drew Toal
- William Gibson says reality has become scifi by Belinda Goldsmith, Reuters
- Ideas outshine characters in fast-paced technothriller by Vince Darcangelo, Rocky Mountain News
- Q&A with William Gibson by Clay Evans, Boulder Daily Camera
- Spies, spooks flit about in war on terror by Michael Berry, San Franscisco Gate
- Has Gibson Lost Ability to Terrify Us? by Andrew Rosenblum, New York Observer
- A pattern of change [review for Pattern Recognition] by Chris Packham, The Star
- The dread and the fury: William Gibson delivers an unsparing post-9/11 novel by Bill Sheehan, chron.com
- ‘Spook Country’: A fitful, fast-forward spy tale by Ken Barnes, USA Today
- Spook Country Review by Thomas M. Wagner, SF Reviews
- William Gibson Is Freaking Me Out by Joshua Zachariah Ellis, Zenarchery.com
- OnPoint audio interview with host Tom Ashbrook
“What we call technology in our science is almost always emergent technology. … They don’t mean the technology we’ve had for 50 years, which has already changed us more than we’re capable of knowing,” he says. “When I say technology, I’m sort of thinking of the whole anthill we’ve been heaping up since we came out of the caves, really.
He begins with a blank slate, he says. When he begins to write, he has no idea of plot, or of who his characters are or even what it is he wants to say. He just sits there, hoping the non-rational will take over. Only then will he begin to write.
“Very slowly, it can be a very slow process. I really do like to keep myself open to the characters and to what is happening. I don’t rule the thing rigidly. My characters, they really rule the whole thing. And their names rule them. They seldom just come to me, the names. And I am just a little reluctant to explain where the names come from, because sometimes I might even be having a joke at someone’s expense.
“Spook Country is the place where we have all landed, few by choice, and where we are learning to live,” he wrote. “The country inside and outside of the skull. The soul, haunted by the past, of what was, of what might have been. The realization that not all forking paths are equal, some go down in value.”
Someone is essentially doing a hypertext version of “Spook Country” at Node magazine, with chapter summaries and various annotations and illustrations.
Yeah, I’ve seen that. The amount of effort involved is a bit scary. The entries I’ve looked at have been remarkably accurate. Oscar Wilde said mirrors and cats are both inherently unhealthy to pay too much attention to, and I think that sort of Web site is in that category for me.
Where did you get Blue Ant and the character Bigend from?
WG: I was having one-on-one meetings very late at night with someone at the London offices of Ridley Scott’s advertising agency. Wandering around making coffee and stuff… It suggested something. It was an interesting space. I’d never been in an advertising agency before. I had this space, and had a company… and then I kind of reverse engineered Bigend out of the company. A lot of what I do in terms of creativity is actualy kind of a reverse engineering… I’ll find a flying saucer, and figure out how the drive works… And then I’ll put it in a Volvo.
My favorite of the new bunch is Regis Behe’s “Author captures world chaos in ‘Spook Country'” [Pittsburgh Tribune Review]:
“In the early ’80s, if we thought about cyberspace at all, it was somewhere very special that we went occasionally,” Gibson says. “But the rest of the time, we were here. What’s happened is the very special place we used to go for adventures has become the here. That’s where a lot of us are, most of the time. It’s a very special place, and kind of the unusual place is becoming the place where we aren’t connected to anything.”