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Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 9 and 10


"The message tone woke him."

Chapter 10. NEW DEVONIAN

"Milgrim was dreaming of the Flagellant Messiah, of the Pseudo Baldwin and the Master of Hungary, when Brown reached down into the hot shallows of his sleep, dug his thumbs into his shoulders, and shook him, hard."

Chapter summaries (may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information):

Tito learns though Alejandro of his grandfather’s connection to Semenov, Castro's first KGB advisor, and "how (his) family came to be what it is." Tito also learns that old man helped his grandfather work the "big magic" that brought their family to America. A magic that carries with it an obligation for Tito to continue the legacy of his father and grandfather. [364 characters]

N.B. the picture entitled "Nikolai Nikolaevic Semenov (1986 - 1986)" of Nobel Prize winning Professor of Chemistry Nicolai Nicolaievic Semenov (1896 - 1986) is not that of "Castro’s first KGB advisor"

There are some web references to "Vassily Petrovich Semenov, a senior KGB agent in Montevideo in 1964."

According to the Wikipedia article on the Cuban spook agency the Dirección General de Inteligencia, (DGI):

"In 1970 a team of KGB advisors led by General Viktor Semyonov was sent to the DGI to purge it of officers and agents considered anti-Soviet by the KGB"

So even if "Semenov" was not actually Fidel Castro's "first KGB advisor", who may well have been "Nikolai Leninov, the KGB Chief in Mexico City, was one of the first Soviet officials to recognize Castro's potential as a revolutionary and urged the Soviet Union to strengthen ties with the new Cuban leader", the name sounds right for such a KGB Spook.

Chapter 10. NEW DEVONIAN
Green-gloved Brown demands Milgrim to translate a cryptic message intercepted by a surveillance bug. Penniless and ID-less Milgrim ponders the Flagellant Messiah and the possibilities hidden with the "warmly rippling amniotic soup" of Rize, his new drug of choice, including thoughts of freedom beyond the gray boxes of Brown’s captivity. [338 characters]

Who are Brown and Migrim snooping on ? If secret messages or data are being passed around using IPods, then where is the opportunity to use a "surveillance bug" ?

Will this be spelled out in more detail, or will we just have to imagine it from a typically sparse and oblique reference, loaded with so many potential meanings, so typical of WIliam Gibson's writing style ?

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