William Gibson's now infrequently updated blog (now that the is a heavy user of Twitter) gives some tantalising plot and location hints about the forthcoming novel ZeroHistory
Monday, May 31, 2010
posted 4:57 PM
Zero History, my ninth novel, will be published this September, rounding out that third set of three books. It's set in London and Paris, last year, in the wake of global financial collapse.
Some of the fragments of text previously published on the blog are set on the cost of South Carolina, where William Gibson grew up in his youth.
See the official William Gibson Books discussion board thread Fragments of a Hologram Bill
I wish that I could tell you what it's about, but I haven't yet discovered my best likely story, about that. That will come with reviews, audience and bookseller feedback (and booksellers are especially helpful, in that way). Along with however many interviews, these things will serve as a sort of oracle, suggesting to me what it is I've been doing for the past couple of years.
If Pattern Recognition was about the immediate psychic aftermath of 9-11, and Spook Country about the deep end of the Bush administration and the invasion of Iraq, I could say that Zero History is about the global financial crisis as some sort of nodal event, but that must be true of any 2010 novel with ambitions on the 2010 zeitgeist. But all three of these novels are also about that dawning recognition that the future, be it capital-T Tomorrow or just tomorrow, Friday, just means more stuff, however peculiar and unexpected. A new quotidian. Somebody's future, somebody else's past.
Simply in terms of ingredients, it's about recent trends in the evolution of the psychology of luxury goods, crooked former Special Forces officers, corrupt military contractors, the wonderfully bizarre symbiotic relationship between designers of high-end snowboarding gear and manufacturers of military clothing, and the increasingly virtual nature of the global market.
I called it Zero History because one of the characters has had a missing decade, during which he paid no taxes and had no credit cards. He meets a federal agent, who tells him that that combination indicates to her that he hasn't been up to much good, the past ten years. But that quotidian now finds him. Events find him, and he starts to acquire a history. And, one assumes, a credit rating, and the need to pay taxes.
At a guess, that character is likely to be Milgrim, who features in Spook Country and also in three of the blog published text fragments: "The Gabriel Hounds", "Fifteen" and "Maquette, which are likely chapter titles in Zero History.
It's also the first book I've written in which anyone gets engaged to be married.