Recently in Pre-publication (teaser / spoiler) reviews Category

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapter 83 and 84

Chapter 83. STRATHCONA

"And you’re writing your thesis on Baptists, Mr. Milgrim?"

Chapter 84. THE MAN WHO SHOT WALT DISNEY


'It's not bad,' said Bobby, spilling a little of his second piso mojado as he leaned back in his chair to see the top of Bigend's building through Hollis's helmet.

[...]

She put the helmet on, turned it on, and looked up to where Alberto’s giant cartoon rendition of the Mongolian Death Worm, its tail wound through the various windows of Bigend's pyramidal aerie like an eel through the skull of a cow, waved imperially, tall and scarlet, in the night.


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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapter 82

Chapter 82. BEENIE’S

"The unfamiliar ring tone of Garreth’s cell woke her."

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

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapter 81

Chapter 81. IN BETWEEN EVERYTHING

'You can’t give me a number?'

Chapter summary - may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews, or how much of the book, you have read so far:

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 79 and 80

Chapter 79. ARTIST AND REPERTOIRE

"'Where’d you say you’re from?' asked the man from Igor’s label, offering Tito an open bottle of beer."

Chapter 80. MONGOLIAN DEATH WORM

"'Business-class lounge for Air Asshole,' declared Inchmale, enthusiastically taking in the central area of the first floor of Bigend’s flat."

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

LA Times review of "Spook Country" - where are the UK media reviews ?

The Los Angeles Times (Sunday edition), another major mainstream publication, which will reach a large (United States) readership, has a review of Spook Country, which is again a positive one.

When will the critical mass of US mainstream media reviews be reached, which may wake up the United Kingdom media, who seem to be ignoring the book, despite its slightly earlier publication here ? Until Spook Country is "mentioned in the media", it will not be made available widely in bookshops outside the major cities, especially the large retail chains like W.H.Smiths or Waterstones.

The reviewer Ed Park (formerly a literary editor at New York's "Village Voice" until it got taken over by The New York Times last year) seeks to draw comparisons with a couple of American novels, with which I am not familiar (are you ?) namely: Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, and Willam Gaddis's The Recognitions

Luckily, these days a few seconds, via a world wide web search engine, is sufficient to find decent articles about these two books, something which was impossible when they were written.

Ed Park also alludes to to William Gibson's previous novel Pattern Recognition, concentrating on apophenia and, presumably, the William Gibson discussion board thread on the name "Hubertus Bigend".

'Spook Country,' a novel by William Gibson
Technology and consumerism mingle and turn monstrous as a young journalist pursues an elusive lead for a story.
By Ed Park
August 5, 2007

N.B. may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews (or how much of the novel) you have read so far:

.

Another good review of Spook Country: can be found on the A World to Win - for a future without global capitalism (!) website (no date or time stamp entries, or reader comments published on their blog)

Freerunning through cyberspace

Review by Corinna Lotz

Corinna Lotz is a leftwing art historian and critic, and veteran of various factional splits, purges and vendettas which seem to characterise the decline of the Marxist / Stalinist / Communist / Labour intelligentsia in the United Kingdom.

Despite this, she has produced a very fair and intelligent review of Spook Country, concentrating on the global societal, real world and cyberspace aspects of the book.

N.B. this may contain plot and character teaser / "spoiler" information, depending on how many reviews you have read so far:

Node magazine countdown - Spook Country Chapters 77 and 78

Chapter 77. SLACK ROPE

"The Guerreros were not waiting for him, when he left the dark bed of the truck, blinking under artificial sunlight."

Chapter 78. THEIR DIFFERENT DRUMMER

"My purse,’ she said, as they drove back to Bobby’s."

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 75 and 76

Chapter 75. HEY, BUDDY

"Oshosi, scout and hunter, had entered Tito in mid-backtuck. "

Chapter 76. LOCATION SHOOT


Having dropped Tito and driven on, not far at all along the strip of low-lying auto-body repairs and marine supplies, Garreth turned right, into the parking lot of what seemed to be a much taller building, one built on an entirely different scale.

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 73 and 74

Chapter 73. SPECIAL FORCES

"Going somewhere she’d never seen, at night, in a van with two men, with equipment, reminded her of the beginning of the Curfew, minus Heidi Hyde."

Chapter 74. AS DIRECTED

"Milgrim had been thinking about offering Brown a Rize, when he spotted the IF walking along the sidewalk."

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 71 and 72

Chapter 71. HARD TO BE ONE

"'What do you know about money laundering, Hollis?' the old man asked, passing her a round foil dish of peas and paneer."

Chapter 72. EVENT HORIZON

"'That jacket we put you in, in New York, for the helicopter,' the old man said, walking around Tito, who had just put on a new black hooded sweatshirt that Garreth had given him.


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

[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:

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:

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:

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:

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

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.

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):
US_cover_April_150.jpg

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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