July 2007 Archives

[via oddmanrush]

The Village Voice has an interesting review of Spook Country which concentrates on the similarities and diffrences with William Gibson's previous novel Pattern Recognition, especially with regard to Hubertus Bigend and the main female protagonists in the two novels Cayce and Hollis.

The Anxiety Maze
Magic capitalism and crazy Russian typewriters in William Gibson's new Spook Country
by Nathan Lee
July 31st, 2007 1:38 PM

"Magic capitalism" invokes the literary style of "magic realism", which was influenced by the pioneering Jorge Luis Borges, an author who William Gibson admires, and who has even written a forward to an edition of the Labyrinth anthology.

There are Santeria deities as well as cyberspace in Spook Country

N.B. may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far. If you are in the process of reading a copy of Spook Country you will not be reading this review, or anything else, until you have turned the last page !

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 69 and 70

Chapter 69. MAGNETS

"Garreth took Tito to the far end of the second table, where ten disks, each no thicker than a small coin, and about three inches in diameter, were arranged on a half-sheet of fresh plywood."

Chapter 70. PHO

"Brown took Milgrim to a dim, steamy Vietnamese restaurant, one with no English signage whatever."

Chapter summaries - may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far:

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 67 and 68

Chapter 67. WARDRIVING

"Milgrim sat beside Brown on one of the two benches in a very small park, under the bare branches of a row of young maples."

Chapter 68. SNAP

"Hollis thought that he looked a little like William Burroughs, minus the bohemian substrate (or perhaps the methadone)."

Chapter summaries - may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far:

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 65 and 66

Chapter 65. EAST VAN HALEN

"She opened her PowerBook on the counter of Bigend's crypto-kitchen, taking wifi for granted."

Chapter 66. PING

"Tito sat on a paint-spattered steel stool, looking up at a dirty skylight of wire-embedded glass."

Chapter summaries - may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far:

I have now finished reading my copy of Spook Country by William Gibson, which I purchased "over the counter" at Blackwell's Bookshop in London on Friday 27th July, although the official publication date in the United Kingdom is Thursday 2nd August, and is Tuesday 7th August in the United States of America.

I might attempt to write a "proper" review after these publication dates.

I shall continue making a few comments on the remaining daily chapter summaries and quotations being published by patternboy in his node.tumblr.com project.


Some vague pre-publication comments:

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 63 and 64

Chapter 63. SURVIVAL, EVASION, RESISTANCE, AND ESCAPE

"Tito watched the old man fold the copy of the New York Times he’d been reading."

[...]

"Gradually, in the crisis of self that your captivity becomes, [the captor] guides you in your discovery of who you are becoming."

Chapter 64. GLOCKING


"'Score some shit,' said Brown, sounding like he'd rehearsed the line, as he handed Milgrim a fold of colorful foreign bills."

Chapter summaries - may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far:

The "Lone Figure in Street" photograph used on the United Kingdom edition cover of William Gibson's Spook Country, copyright David H.Wells / Photonica is available via Getty Images

6210-000001_300.jpg

The bottom half of the photo is used on the front cover, the top half is used on the back cover.

Image 6210-000001 (Rights-managed)

Collection: Photonica

Caption: Lone Figure in Street

Photographer: David H Wells

Release Information: No release.

Restrictions: Cannot be used for or to illustrate the following subject areas in the territories indicated: Publishing - Textbooks. Perpetual.

Availability: Image availability for this image cannot be guaranteed until time of purchase.

Please note: Exclusive usage in APAC requires additional rights clearance. In Singapore and other select countries, Photonica is represented by a network partner. Please contact your local Getty Images office for further information.

UK edition of "Spook Country" cover artwork and blurb photos

Here are some photos of my UK edition of Spook Country which Blackwell's bookshop managed to dig out for me on Friday 27th July 2007.

The different shades are due to the presence or absence of camera flash, which tends to glare off the shiny dust jacket cover. The shade is, to the human eye, effectively black.

I still think that the US cover artwork with the edges of the buildings and the slate grey / blue / green sky and clouds, looks the best.

Click on the thumbnails for larger images:

UK_Spook_Country_front_1_300.jpg UK_Spook_Country_front_2_300.jpg

More images and blurb:

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 61 and 62

Chapter 61. THE PELICAN CASE

"They took the black plastic Pelican case on in Montana."

Chapter 62. SISTER

"'This is Sarah,' said Odile, when Hollis found her, on the crowded cafe patio of a municipal gallery."

[...]

"[Chombo] implements finite differential methods for the solutions of partial differential equations, on block-structured, adaptively refined rectangular grids".

Chapter summaries - may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far:

* Wednesday 29th August 1pm @ Forbidden Planet Megastore 179 Shaftesbury Avenue

Forbidden Planet Megastore street map

Latitude: N51:30:54 ( 51.514896 )
Longitude: W0:07:39 ( -0.127591 )

Another Friday, another physical trip to the Forbidden Planet Megastore, another enquiry of the Book Department staff (a different person from the previous time), but the same Answer.

The FP staff are still not aware of any Forbidden Planet book signing by William Gibson. There is still no promotional material either from Penguin or any in house Forbidden Planet printed posters and leaflets, which they have for other authors' releases and signings during July, August and September. There is still no mention of William Gibson on the Forbidden Planet Signings web page.

Therefore I think that the Forbidden Planet signing still needs to be confirmed by someone from Penguin Books or someone more senior at Forbidden Planet.

Blackwell's bookshop dig out a UK edition of "Spook Country" for me

On Friday afternoon, I also popped in to Blackwell's bookshop at 100 Charing Cross Road - see this location map

Blackwells_Bookshop_300l.jpg

Blackwell's staff were aware of their signing promotion, but thought that it was "in September" (actually on Tuesday 28th August at 7pm at the TUC conference centre in Great Russell Street, near the British Museum), and that they might advertise this on their website "soon". Again, there was no Penguin or Blackwell promotional material on display.

However, Blackwell's did have a couple of copies of Spook Country on their computerised inventory. A helpful member of staff searched through three boxes of newly delivered books, to dig one out for me !

N.B. the UK publication date is August 2nd, ahead of the US one on August 7th.

The third part of the Amazon blog interview with William Gibson:- Writing Fiction in the Age of Google: William Gibson Q&A, Part 3

William Gibson's comments on the influence of Google on his writing process, mirrors that of some of his internet immersed readers experiences as well.

Gibson: It's not that interesting for me. I'm okay with it because it doesn't pull me in that much. The thing that limits you with Google is what you can think of to google, really. There's some kind of personal best limitation on it, unless you get lucky and something you google throws up something you've never seen before. You're still really inside some annotated version of your own head.

This is very pertinent to patternboy's node.tumblr.com project, in which he annotates chapter summaries and interesting words or ideas, obviously using Google.

I have been doing the same here on this blog, commenting on patternboy's selection of quotations and chapter summaries, and using Google and my own knowledge and experience, in the countdown to the official publication of Spook Country.

Gibson: In some cases. The Vancouver stuff is less one-on-one than the Manhattan stuff, for instance. The places, the restaurants are in different neighborhoods, things like that. The New York stuff I somehow stuck closer to the real thing. The New York stuff is more googleable.

It seems that there will, after all, be a Forbidden Planet signing Wednesday 29th August 1pm - 2pm by William Gibson of his new book Spook Country

Still nothing on the Forbidden Planet website signings page, but according to this blog posting on theUK SF Book News Network

We've just this minute received the following announcement from Forbidden Planet: "We are pleased to announce that William Gibson will be signing copies of his new novel Spook Country at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, on Wednesday 29th August from 1.00 to 2.00 p.m."

See also An Evening with William Gibson - London, Tuesday 28th August 2007, 7pm, (TUC) Congress Centre, Great Russell Street

and

William Gibson @ the Edinburgh Book Festival Monday 27th August 2007

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 59 and 60

Chapter 59. BLACK ZODIAC

"Brown rented a remarkably ugly and uncomfortable black boat called a Zodiac".

[...]

"Cities, in Milgrim's experience, had a way of revealing themselves in the faces of their inhabitants, and particularly on their way to work in the morning. There was a sort of basic fuckedness index to be read, then, in faces that hadn't yet encountered the reality of whatever they were on their way to do."

Chapter 60. ROLLING THE CODES

"Hollis woke on Bigend’s mag-level bed, feeling as though it was the altar atop some Aztec pyramid."

Chapter summaries - may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far:

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 57 and 58

Chapter 57. POPCORN

"Commercial airlines were like buses, Milgrim decided, staring at the textured ceiling in his room in this Best Western."

Chapter 58. ALPHABET TALK

"The pilot followed the highways."

Chapter summaries - may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far:

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 55 and 56

Chapter 55. PHANTOM GUN SYNDROME

"'Miller,' said Brown, from his enormous white leather recliner, across ten feet of off-white shag carpet."

Chapter 56. HENRY AND RICHARD

"A pale boy with a very thin beard was holding a rectangle of white cardboard inscribed with Henry and Richard in green marker, as the left the customers hall."


Chapter summaries - may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far:

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 53 and 54

Chapter 53. TO GIVE THEM THE PLEASURE

Chapter 54. ICE

"Tito woke as the Cessna's wheels touched down."

Chapter summaries - may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far:

"Dark New World" - Washington Post review of "Spook Country"

The Washington Post has a very positive review today (Sunday) of William Gibson's Spook Country [hat tip to oddmanrush]

Dark New World

May container "teaser" or "spoiler" information about the plot and characters (depending on what other pre-publication reviews you have read):

Grey cover art for the US edition of "Spook Country" ?

The US edition of Spook Country seems to have cover artwork in which the background sky / clouds have turned out a rather more monochromatic shade of grey than the slate grey with hints of blue and green (and black) version released as images earlier (see this blog's Cover Artwork archive for comparison).

This could be an artefact of camera flashes etc. but if true, it does not appear quite as attractive as the original US artwork. It is still better than the UK edition artwork in my opinion.

Image from Have You Seen Mr. Darcy ? blog:

hysmd_300.jpg


Image from Ebay:

ebay_july_300.jpg

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 51 and 52

Chapter 51. CESSNA

"Tito discovered that he could sleep on an airplane."

Chapter 52. SCHOOL CLOTHES

"Milgrim found the housekeeper in the kitchen, where Brown has said he would be, rinsing breakfast dishes before putting them in the water."

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

Amazon blog interview with William Gibson part 2 - Second Life

Amazon bookstore's blog - On Second Life and in Second Life: William Gibson Q&A, Part 2 describes the rather bleak and unfriendly Second Life virtual reality experience which William Gibson had when he tried it anonymously last year.

Will the forthcoming Second Life promotion of Spook Country be better, and will the flakey system remain stable and not grind to a halt if lots of William Gibson fans do actually log in on August 2nd at 7pm BST ?


Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 49 and 50

Chapter 49. ROTCH

"Odile sat in the white armchair, with the white robot on its back in her lap, poking a white Mondrian pencil into its mechanism of plastic gears and black rubber bands."

Chapter 50. WHISPERING GALLERY

"Milgrim woke in a narrow bed, beneath a single flannel sheet printed with trout flies, partial riverscapes, and the repeated image of an angler, casting."


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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapter 48

Chapter 48. MONTAUK

"Tito sat, eyes resolutely closed, within his music."

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

The Amazon Bookstore's blog has published the first part of an interview with William Gibson:

Across the Border to Spook Country: Q&A, Part 1, with William Gibson

The Spook Country relevant section of the interview:

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 45 and 46 and 47

Chapter 45. BREAKBULK

"'‘Where do you think the truck's headed?' Hollis asked, poolside, from her cozy depression in the edge of the giant Stark futon."

Chapter 46. VIP

"'You aren’t carrying identification,' the old man said, in English, turning off the small camera on which he’d been repeatedly observing a piece of video.

Chapter 47. N Street

"There were ghosts in the Civil War trees, past Philadelphia."

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 43 and 44

Chapter 43. PONG

"The lobby bar was full again."

[...]

"This is a matter in which possession of information accounts to involvement. Do you understand?" Hubertus Bigend

Chapter 44. EXIT STRATEGY

"Milgrim found himself heading for Brown's parked Corolla, or rather he found his body, cramping and gasping from its unaccustomed gallop, weaving unevenly in what he supposed to be that general direction."

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 41 and 42

Chapter 41. HOUDINI

"With a click that he felt, rather than heard, the tiny ratchet at the heart of the cable-tie moved aside for Milgrim's modified ballpoint clip."

Chapter 42. GOING AWAY

"Systema avoids pursuit, whenever possible, the uncles taught."

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

[hat tip again to Fashionpolice]

William Gibson's first scheduled Second Life appearance seems to be on Thursday August 2nd at 7pm Pacific Standard Time i.e. 2am in the morning British Summer Time (or it could be 3am in the morning here in the UK if they really mean Pacific Daylight saving Time)

UPDATE: ot seems to be British Summer Time: (still to be confirmed)

2 August 2007/ 7pm BST / On Avalon (158, 87, 25)

check your local timezone

Since my "Ono-Sendai Cyberspace 7 cyberdeck" is currently being modified, I shall probably try Katharine Berry's in-browser AJAX javascript text interface for Second Life:


Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 39 and 40

Chapter 39. TOOLMAKER

"Milgrim remembered Union Square from twenty years before, when it had been a place of broken benches and litter, where a corpse may go unnoticed amid the huddled and unmoving bodies of the homeless."

[...]

"The core anxiety as he knew it today was in part an artifact of the substance [to which he is addicted "countering a tension at the core of his being"]"

Chapter 40: DANCING

"Tito knelt and tightened the laces of his Adidas GSG9s, respectfully reminding the Guerreros that it was time."

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 37 and 38

Chapter 37. FREERUNNERS

"The orishas spread through a seemingly ordinary awareness, invisible drops of ink in a volume of water [creating] a still higher state of readiness"

Chapter 38. TUBAL

"She lay very still, on her back, the sheet forming a cool dark tunnel, and gave her body explicit permission to relax."

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 35 and 36

Chapter 35. GUERREROS

" He left the black-wrapped mattress on the floor, with his keys at its exact center, the toothbrush and toothpaste on the edge of the sink, the wire hangers on the old rack that concealed the bug"

[,,,]

"(T)he holding of knowledge in dignified privacy helps insure desired results."

Chapter 36. SPECTACLES, TESTICLES, WALLET, AND WATCH

"By the time Milgrim had finished shaving and gotten dressed, Brown was holding a meeting in the adjoining room."

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

Chapter 33. COUNTERPANE

" Brown, in cloak and tight-fitting cowl fashioned from one of the New Yorker's foam-core blankets, gestured across the rolling beige plain with a sturdy wood-look staff, its length decorated in a traditional pattern of cigarette burns."

[...]

"The sky had turned a Turner-on-crack intensity."

Chapter 34. SPOOK COUNTRY

"'Ezeiza,' he said."

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

There is one confirmed London date on the Spook Country promotion tour:

An Evening with William Gibson - London, Tuesday 28th August 2007, 7pm, (TUC) Congress Centre, Great Russell Street - tickets £7 via Blackwell booksellers telephone line +44(0)845 456 9876 Mon - Fri, 9.30am to 6.00pm

However, so far, the rumour of a lunch time and / or evening signing the next day, Wednesday 29th August @ the Forbidden Planet bookshop cannot be confirmed

The signing events section of the Forbidden Planet website has been recently updated with some September signings of Dr Who books etc., but there is no mention of William Gibson.

I went physically to the shop today, and enquired of the helpful and usually well informed counter staff, who checked with their backroom colleagues as well, and none of them had heard of any planned William Gibson signing at Forbidden Planet

There are no Penguin or Forbidden Planet in-house printed posters or leaflets on display even about the publication of Spook Country on 2nd August in the UK (according to Amazon) or 7th August in the USA, let alone anything about any signing or author reading event.

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 31 and 32

Chapter 31. PURO

"Brotherman took the black packages down and loaded them into his truck, then the chair and ironing board, to be delivered to Vianca"

[...]

"Sometimes the closer to a truth one gets, the more complicated things become. The men in bars who explain every dark secret of this world [believe that] no secret requires more than three drinks to explain... The three-drink answers never contain the truth."

Chapter 32. MR. SIPPEE

" She ate a dollar-fifty-nine barbecue beef rib with broasted potatoes off a paper plate on the trunk of the Passat, waiting for Alberto to turn up at Mr. Sippee, a blended oasis of peace and mutual respect situated in a twenty-four hour convenience store at the Arco gas station at Blaine and Eleventh."

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 29 and 30

Chapter 29. INSULATION

"There was something about Rize, Milgrim decided, reclining fully dressed across his New Yorker bedspread, that reminded him of one of the more esoteric efforts of eating exceptionally hot Szechuan."

[...]

"Are you really so scared of terrorists that you'll dismantle the structures that made America what it is?"

Chapter 30. FOOTPRINT

"She drove to Malibu with the Blue Ant helmet in the carton beside her"

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 27 and 28

Chapter 27. THE INTERNATIONAL CURRENCY OF BAD SHIT

"Held physically together by the thick white Mondrian robe, her sunglasses, and a room-service breakfast of granola, yogurt, and a watermelon liquada, Hollis sat back in one wide white armchair, put her feel up on the shorter of the two marble-topped coffee tables, and regarded the vinyl Blue Ant figurine on the chair arm."

Chapter 28. BROTHERMAN

"Tito and Vianca packaged the contents of his room as ten parcels of varying sizes, each one double-wrapped in contractor-grade black trash bags and sealed with heavy black tape."

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

[hat tips to Hasa and ArkanGL

Sci-Fi-London (The London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film) and Blackwell booksellers present this forthcoming Spook Country promotional event:

On 28th August we present An Evening with William Gibson at the Congress Centre, Great Russell Street, London.

This venue, in the basement of the Trades Union Congress headquarters building is the same one at which William Gibson gave a reading from, and signed copies of Pattern Recognition in 2003.

Location map (Flash and /or Adobe .pdf -)

Map (Streetmap.co.uk)

For those of you using your Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) navigation equipment (either for "locative art" or military targeting purposes):

Latitude:N51:31:02 Longitude: W0:07:43

To celebrate the publication of Spook Country, William will be in talking about his new novel, taking questions from the audience and signing copies of Spook Country. Chairperson tbc.

William Gibson is the revered pundit of post-industrialism and creator of cyberspace. It has been several years since Gibson has been to the UK, don't miss this chance to listen to this visionary author.

The event is TUESDAY 28 AUGUST, 7PM at the Congress Centre, 28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

His new book SPOOK COUNTRY is released on 7th August.

Tickets £7, concessions £5
Bookings can be made by calling
0845 456 9876
Lines are open Mon - Fri, 9.30am to 6.00pm or visit
Blackwell, 100 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JG

Blackwell bookshop is only a few hundred metres away from the Congress Centre, on the eastern side of Charing Cross Road, between Oxford Street and Shaftesbury Avenue.

Memetic Engineer and friends will be going to this event.

John Clute reviews William Gibson's Spook Country

The famous science fiction reviewer John Clute has reviewed William Gibson's Spook Country in a peculiarly worded review in his Science Fiction Weekly Excessive Candour Column entitled Casper Country.

I assume that William Gibson is friendly with John Clute, who is an expatriate Canadian who spends a lot of time in London's Camden area, the setting for part of William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, There is an entry on William Gibson's blog which says:

I was in John Clute's living room, one morning, toward the start of a book tour, looking out at Camden High Street,

In this peculiar review of Spook Country John Clute appears to be trying to outdo William Gibson in his use of language, and obscure references, something which he did not do with in his much more straightforward, and easier to read review of Patttern Recognition

The Penguin UK publisher's blog announces that William Gibson is to be promoted in the Second Life virtual reality multi-user online game.

Over the next few weeks - to celebrate and, yes, promote his new novel Spook Country - we're planning a range of William Gibson activities in Second Life; we're screening his fine and strange movie No Maps for These Territories; there's a competition to design an avatar for the man himself; we're giving away shipping containers packed with Gibson goodies

You can pack many tonnes of "William Gibson goodies" into a full sized 40 foot long Shipping Container - is that what they are really promising ?

and at the beginning of August, William Gibson himself will be coming into Second Life to read from Spook Country and answer questions.

If you want to join in, log into Second Life, join the Penguin Readers group or get in touch with me virtually by sending an IM to Jeremy Neumann. We're looking forward to sharing a consensual hallucination with you.

Jeremy Ettinghausen, Digital Publisher

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 25 and 26

Chapter 25. SUNSET PARK

"Vianca sat cross-legged on Tito's floor with his Sony plasma screen across her knees."

Chapter 26. GRAY'S PAPAYA

"Sometimes, if Brown were hungry at the end of the day, and is in a certain mood, they’d go to Gray Papaya for the Recession Special."

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 23 and 24

Chapter 23. TWO MOORS

"Brown left Milgrim in the Korean's laundry for a very long time."

Chapter 24. POPPIES

"Votive candles had been lit in her darkened room."

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

Interview with William Gibson in the "College Crier"

An interesting interview with William Gibson, in the online College Crier magazine ("Free at all the colleges in Upstate New York") which discusses his writing techniques, and has a couple of insights into the writing of Spook Country [hat tip to Fashionpolice]

William Gibson: Sci-Fi Icon Becomes Prophet of the Present

By T. Virgil Parker


Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 21 and 22

Chapter 21. SALT OF SOPHIA

"Tito crossed Amsterdam passing the gray, snow-dusted stalks of a makeshift public garden, then walked quickly along 111th, towards Broadway."

Chapter 22. DRUM AND BASS

"Pamela Mainwaring, English, with blond bangs entirely concealing her forehead, drove Hollis back to the Mondrian in one of the big silver Volkswagen sedans."

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 19 and 20

Chapter 19. FISH

"Brown took Milgrim back to the Korean-owned laundry on Lafayette Street, for parking."

Chapter 20. TULPA

"Had that woman in the wheelchair had an IV drip-stand in tow, one-handing her way across the intersection, the other hand keeping the chrome-plated upright of the stand erect?"

[...]

"The celebrity self is a sort of tulpa ("projected thought-form"). The celebrity self has a life of its own. It can, under the right circumstances, indefinitely survive the death of its subject."

[...]

"I've learned to value anomalous phenomenon... From them, sometimes, emerge Blue Ant's most successful efforts. Trope Slope, for instance, our viral pitchman platform, was based on pieces of anonymous footage being posted on the Net"

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 17 and 18'

Chapter 17. PIRATES AND TEAMS

"The front of her Mondrian haircut had started to remind her of Bobby Chombo's elephantiasis-of-the-forelock, the result of an ongoing interaction of product with particulates."

[...]

"She ran her thumbs along a lambskin seat seam [in the Phaeton]. Like touching the butt of a supermodel, probably"

Chapter 18. Eleggua's Window

"Tia Juana sent him walking, crosstown along the 110th, to Amsterdam and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the better to consult Eleggua."

Also see the "Communications Bay" extract (which may or may not be quite what will be published) in this William Gibson Blog entry of Friday, March 10, 2006

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 15 and 16

Chapter 15. SPIV

"Inchmale had always been balding and intense, and Inchmale had always been middle-aged-even when she first met him, when they were both nineteen."

Chapter 16. KNOWN EXITS

"Milgrim was reading the New York Times, finishing his breakfast coffee in a bakery on Bleecker, while Brown conducted a series of quiet, tense and extremely pissed-off conversations with whomever was supposed to be in charge of watching the IF’s known exits, when the IF was home sleeping - or whatever the IF did, when he as home."

[...]

"If Brown had declared that the Queen of England to be a shape-shifting alien reptile, craving the warm flesh of human infants, Milgrim would not have argued."

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 13 and 14

Chapter 13. BOXES

"She stood beneath Archie's tail, enjoying the flood of images rushing from the arrowhead fluke toward the tips of the two long hunting tentacles."

Chapter 14. JUANA

He remembered her apartment in San Isidro, near the big train station.

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

About this blog

This blog is discusses and analyses the new book Spook Country by cyberpunk author William Gibson, published in August 2007.

This will be primarily from a United Kingdom perspective, as some of the themes of espionage and surveillance and hidden forces really do resonate in our endemic Surveillance Society.

This blog has been described, quite fairly, as "otaku-worthy immersion"

Email Contact

email: blog @ SpookCountry [dot] co [dot] uk

Here is our PGP public encryption key or download it via a PGP Keyserver.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g.

Spook Country Links

William Gibson Books discussion bulletin board Spook Country *NO SPOILERS* forum

William Gibson Books discussion bulletin board Spook Country - *SPOILERS OK* forum

William Gibson video about "Spook Country" on YouTube and on the official website.

William Gibson Links

William Gibson blog - written by the author himself, on which he has test marketed fragments of his novel Spook Country whilst writing it.

William Gibson Books discussion bulletin board

www.williamgibson.de - William Gibson book promtion website in Germany

William Gibson aleph - lots of resources about William Gibson's works.

The Cyberpunk Project - some online texts of some of William Gibson's writings hosted in Russia.

Wikipedia Links

Wikipedia entry for "Spook Country"

Wikipedia "Spook Country" page edit history RSS feed or Atom feed

The character "Hubertus Bigend" has his own fictional Wikipedia entry in "Spook Country", which has now become now a real one.

Node Magazine

  • Node Magazine - a fictional magazine which "seems to be actively preventing the kind of buzz that magazines normally cultivate before they begin to exist" mentioned in the hints given about the Spook Country book, which has already been created online by a fan (patternboy), before the book has been published.
  • node.tumblr.com - Node Magazine is publishing 2 Chapter Summaries and Quotations each day in the 42 day countdown to the official publication of Spook Country
  • Spook Country blog's "cloud of hyperlinks" in numerical chapter order - commentary and annotations on the node.tumblr.com annotations to Spook Country.

Fictional British TV Spooks

James Bond 007

Stylish, if somewhat far fetched, BBC TV drama based on MI5 the Security Service - Spooks

BBC children's TV series M.I.High

2008 spin off TV series from Spooks [spooks] code 9 , set a few years into the future in 2013, in the Orwellian Police State which has emerged after a nuclear bomb attack on London.

Fictional Spooks

The Spy Wise Blog by Wesley Britton

Real Spooks

MI5 - the Security Service - counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, domestic surveilance

GCHQ - the Government Communications Head Quarters - intercepting and deciphering enemy communications, and protecting UK ones.

MI6 - SIS - the Secret Intelligence Service - mostly foreign intelligence - not quite like depicted in James Bond films.

Ex - Spooks

RichardTomlinson.org - Richard Tomlinson - still being harassed by his former employer MI6. There are also links to Cryptome's archives of articles and alleged, unproven, lists of names of former or mcurrent MI6 agents (including, improbably, some UK Ambassadors), which caused lots of controversy. Tomlinson denies publishing anything not already in the public domain.

Martin Ingram, Welcome To The Dark Side - former British Army Intelligence operative in Northern Ireland.

Operation Billiards - Mitrokhin or Oshchenko ? Michael John Smith - seeking to overturn his Official Secrets Act conviction in the GEC case.

The Dirty Secrets of MI5 & MI6 - Tony Holland, Michael John Smith and John Symond - stories and chronologies.

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

Spooky Info

Cryptome.org - including various spooky documents which some Government agencies would prefer not to be online.

Alan Turnbull's www.secret-bases.co.uk - "An entertaining guide to using Internet-based research tools – Ordnance Survey's maps, Getmapping's aerial photos and Google Earth! to reveal the UK's "hidden" MoD facilities and military sites"

Eye Spy Magazine - " The world's leading newsstand magazine on intelligence and espionage" - photos, articles, book reviews, private sector surveillance equipment and services adverts etc. N.B. Sometimes uncritical articles on various anti-terrorism and espionage topics, presumably in order to keep in favour with their anonymous sources.

Historical Spooks

Science Museum, London - Science of Spying Exhibition - for Spy Kids of all ages until September 2007.

Bletchley Park - "Historic site of secret British codebreaking activities during WWII and birthplace of the modern computer."

Imperial War Museum. London

Spooky CyberPunks and CyberGoths

The Dose is a "free, downloadable PDF zine ranging from industrial and gothic music to indie game development, Japanese visual kei, eyecandy, cyberpunkness" produced in Hungary.The three (so far annual) issues so far, with another promised in July 2007 contain plenty of CyberPunk and CyberGoth images and reviews, with the occasional reference back to William Gibson or other cyberpunk fiction authors.

Spy / Surveillance Art Projects

Spy Box - "A digital camera inside a parcel looks out through a small hole and captures images of its journey through the postal system. The Spy Box was sent from my studio to the gallery taking an image every 10 seconds recording a total of 6994 images these were then edited together to create an animated slideshow." - by artist Tim Knowles

Benjamin Males - "Face Targeting and Analysis System (2008) - Software designed to find and analyse faces in a video stream. First stage in an ongoing project looking at the potential misuse of technology"

London CyberPunk Tourist Guide

As part of the preparations for William Gibson book signing and lecture event promoting Spook Country in London, during August 2007, this "local knowledge" guide to places of interest to cyberpunk fans was compiled, and has been subsequently expanded.

London CyberPunk Tourist Guide - http://CyberPunk.org.uk

Please feel free to add comments or send emails, to keep it up to date.

Zero History

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Zero History blog - ZeroHistory.net - discussion and hyper link cloud enhanced literary criticism of William Gibson's forthcoming novel, entitled Zero History, which is due to be published on 7th September 2010.

See the Fragments of a Hologram Bill thread on the William Gibson Books discussion forum for the snippets of writing which have been released for discussion to the public so far.

Syndicate this site (XML):

Zero History

Zero_History_amazon_150.jpg

Zero History blog - ZeroHistory.net - discussion and hyper link cloud enhanced literary criticism of William Gibson's forthcoming novel, entitled Zero History, which is due to be published on 7th September 2010.

See the Fragments of a Hologram Bill thread on the William Gibson Books discussion forum for the snippets of writing which have been released for discussion to the public so far.

Cover Artwork

US cover art (the design we prefer):
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UK cover art:
UK_cover_February_150.jpg

See how the cover artwork designs have changed slightly over time in the Cover Artwork category archive

"Spook Country" hyperlink cloud annotation

Our "Spook Country" hyperlink cloud annotation - re-orderd into numerical Chapter sequence

The Node Magazine node.tumblr.com, which this was a collaborative online contribution to, was online even before the official publication date of the first hardback edition of the book in August 2007.

This has been commented on by the author William Gibson, and described by Emeritus Professor of English Literature John Sutherland as "the future of literary crticism"

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Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
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Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves." The WikiLeakS.org project makes use of Tor as part of their anonymity infrastructure.

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