Books Genre

“Speculative fiction of the very recent past”

I haven’t read William Gibson’s Spook Country yet, and my memory of Pattern Recognition is a bit fuzzy — I recall a lot of descriptions of the protagonist’s Pilates routines? — but this review of his new book Zero History, by Paul Di Filippo at the B&N Review, includes an interesting quotation from Gibson about the trilogy’s aims:

His latest book, Zero History, marks the culmination of a trilogy too new to have been named yet (although I will offer a suggestion at this review’s end), a cycle that started with Pattern Recognition and continued with Spook Country. All three books are set in a recognizable present, Gibson having foresworn traditional SF with the assertion that “fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day….”┬áIn an interview with the California Literary Review, he referred to this mode of storytelling as “speculative fiction of the very recent past.”

I’m skipping the rest of the review because I still do want to read Spook Country, but I wanted to post that phrase here because it’s a formulation I haven’t seen before. An intriguing historical fiction/sf mashup, and extra intriguing in the context of that statement about the luxury of imagining the future.

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