Recently in William Gibson's blog Category

"Neals Yard...is also glimpsed, literally on the run, in Zero History."

A small plot hint via William Gibson's blog, where he has been answering questions from some William Gibson Board fans, which mentions a central London location in Zero History, which also featured in Pattern recognition and in Spook Country:

William Gibson blog - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - 8.27 AM

From Bictaker:
Q In Pattern Recognition, Cayce visits Neal's Yard, which seemingly fits her character profile and compliments the storyline for me, as I find it a wonderful little corner of our metropolis. But, why Neal's Yard? Did you pick it at random - a pin in the map, had a previous chance visit created an impression, or was it recommended to you as an appropriately bohemian locale for the leading lady to frequent.

A If you know the 60s history, it's a Disneylanded bohemia. Very amiably Disneylanded, but still. But I think I sent her there because I'd seen a sign, a few years earlier, announcing a Pilates studio. Oddly, Neals Yard (some people insist on spelling it that way) is also glimpsed, literally on the run, in Zero History. My first British publisher was Victor Gollancz, on the other side of Covent Garden, so I have fond memories of Seven Dials when it was still somewhat seedy. Paul Smith had set up in Floral Street but there was still a certain sub-Soho grit.

[...]

"Neal's Yard" or "Neals Yard" ?

The missing apostrophe in Neals Yard is not due to the road sign erected by the Local Council's highways department perhaps it is the influence of mobile phone SMS text messaging abbreviations.

However, there is a growing trend in the United Kingdom, whereby illiterate local council bureaucratic jobsworths decide to drop the apostrophe and other punctuation in street signs and on maps. This also affects many place names named after Saints, e.g. The Daily Telegraph newspaper illustrates this point in an article with photos of

ST.. PAUL'S SQUARE

which has mutated into

ST PAULS SQUARE

in the centre of the city of Birmingham.

stpaulssquare_signs_450.jpg

St. Paul's Square in Birmingham with and without the apostrophe Photo: PA via the Daily Telegraph - Apostrophes abolished by council

Note also the abbreviation of "Saint" simply to "ST" rather than to "ST." or the more complicated abbreviation illustrated above.

Inevitably, being Britain, there is an Apostrophe Protection Society which opposes this trend.

If you look at these Google Street View images>, you can see that the old street signs at the Monmouth Street entrance to Neal's Yard

Monmouth_Street_entrance_Neals_Yard_gsv.jpg

and at the Short's Gardens entrance (note another apostrophe)

Shorts_Gardens_entrance_to_Neals_Yard_gsv_450.jpg

both still display the apostrophe in Neal's Yard, as do all of the shops and shopping arcades nearby.

Running through or past Neal's Yard CCTV

Anybody running through or past Neal's Yard, as hinted at in the William Gibson blog post above, might be picked up on the Closed Circuit TeleVision (CCTV) surveillance cameras which cover both of these entrances.

There are further CCTV cameras within Neal''s Yard proper, which appear to be connected via infra red laser data links to the Thomas Neal shopping arcade on the other side of Short's Gardens.

CCTV_infra_red_laser_data_links_into_Neals_Yard_gsv_450.jpg<br />

See London CyberPunk Tourist Guide - Covent Garden - Neal's Yard

NEALs_Yard_2_300.jpg

There is also a Blue Plaque dedicated to Monty Python, where the famous eccentric British comedy series / industry began its initial recordings:

Neals_Yard_Monty_Python_Blue_Plaque_300.jpg

The Short's Gardens entrance to Neal's Yard has a water clock sculpture. One shop to west, is the Neal's Yard Dairy Cheese Shop, which harks back to the original use of the premises.

This shop produces an overwhelming taste and smell sensation, with real "live" cheeses such as Cheddar and Stilton etc.. and is one of cyberpunk fiction author William Gibson's favourite shops in this area :

Friday, August 31, 2007

A SOVEREIGN FOR SOUL-DELAY
posted 5:03 AM

Yesterday morning I walked around the corner to Neils Yard Dairy and bought myself 200g. of the Montgomery's unpasteurized cheddar.

Asked for it by name. The clerk, in a proper cheeseman's cap, wrapped my interestingly discoloured wedge in that special white paper they use, glossy on the inside, folding it that way I can never quite master.

Now it's 5:23AM PST, back in Vancouver, and the Montgomery's cheddar really *is* a sovereign medicine for jet lag. And that is the reason it costs almost as much as heroin, in America.

Interestingly, now (20th August 2009), the offices above this Neil's Yard Dairy are being advertised as "Trendy Offices to Let"

Neals_Yard_Dairy_Cheese_Shop_450.jpg



This is a copy of the Home House Club, Portman Square, which may very well feature in some form in William Gibson's novel in progress Zero History:

Home House Club, Portman Square

At the north west corner of Portman Square, where it meets the southern end of Gloucester Place are three 18th Century town houses, which have been converted into a luxurious private members club.

The Home House Club (pronounced "hume", after the Scottish / Berwickshire aristocratic clan, to whom at least one British Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home was a related) occupies Numbers 21, 20 and 19 Portman Square. The entrance to Number 21 is on the western, Gloucester Place side of the block, and Numbers 20 and 19 are on the main Portman Square façade.

This real life club, may have influenced the fragment of cyberpunk literary author William Gibson's next novel, mentioning as it does the character of Inchmale, who appeared in Spook Country

See some discussion on the official William Gibson board discussion forum
Inchmale's club in Portman Square, which speculates on a fragment of text (which may, or may not actually end up in a novel) released by the author on his blog on 1st January 2009.

CABINET (HAPPY NEW YEAR) posted 12:09 AM

Inchmale's club, in Portman Square, was called Cabinet. It was a peculiarly narrow place, apparently occupying half of the vertical volume of a townhouse whose expensively forgettable façade reminded her of a sleeping face.

[...]

Apart from a futuristic architect designed House bar at Number 21,

Zaha_Hadid_designed_bar_Home_House_Club_300.jpg

the interior decoration evokes 18th Century aristocratic opulence, including

Anthony Blunt Bedroom

Named after a former resident of House No 20 who had an apartment here after the Second World War during his tenure as Master of the Queen's Art Collection.

[...]

Anthony_Blunt_bedroom_Home_House_Club_300.jpg

This blurb conveniently forgets to mention Anthony Blunt's espionage career as a KGB spook, linked to the notorious Philby, Maclean and Burgess spy scandals, which rocked the British intelligence services in the 1950s and 1960s, and which was covered up by the establishment for many years, and which led to the stripping of his knighthood, when it was eventually made public. The treachery of the Cambridge Five spy ring has been hugely influential on British spy fiction, drama, tv and films.

Home_House_Club_Portman_Square_map.gif

Latitude: N51:30:59 (51.516433)
Longitude: W0:09:24 (-0.156541)

hhc3_300.jpg

hhc4_300.jpg

More images of 21, 20, 19 Portman Square:


William Gibson's new novel in progress - Zero History

As with his previous novel Spook Country, the author William Gibson has published some fragments of writing which may or may not find their way into the final version of his next novel, which seems to be entitled Zero History.

William Gibson explains:

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

"WORK IN PROGRESS"
posted 6:05 PM

Those little bits of text I sometimes post are, for the reader, I imagine, a lot like visiting the set of a film. The scene you see shot, and remember, may not be in the film when it's released. Or, owing to the editing process, or even reshooting, it may be there but not remotely resemble what you saw shot.

For example, I titled an earlier fragment "The Gabriel Hounds". In it, a character sees some dogs (of sorts). Those dogs no longer have anything at all to do with that which is called "the Gabriel Hounds" in the draft today.

Apophenia. Faces in clouds.

And I'm actually rather careful not to put up enough to allow you to figure out what's really going on, in terms of the broader narrative.

  1. CABINET (HAPPY NEW YEAR) - Thursday, January 01, 2009
  2. HOLD THE COPROPHAGIA - Saturday, January 24, 2009
  3. CRICKET - Sunday, February 01, 2009
  4. THE GABRIEL HOUNDS - Tuesday, February 03, 2009
  5. FIFTEEN - Sunday, February 08, 2009
  6. SPECIES - Monday, February 09, 2009
  7. BOHEMIAN - Thursday, February 12, 2009
  8. AMATEUR - Sunday, February 15, 2009
  9. GABBLE RATCHETS - Wednesday, March 04, 2009
  10. MAQUETTE - Tuesday, May 12, 2009
  11. WHAT'S IN A NAME? - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 (includes an image)

The Fragments of a Hologram Bill thread on the William Gibson Books discussion forum collects the published fragments into one thread, which are discussed and analysed on other parts of the forum and elsewhere.

Zero History is an excellent title, laden with many potential meanings, for what appears to be the direct sequel to Spook Country, which followed on from Pattern Recognition.

The fragments so far mention of some previously established characters like Hubertus Bigend, Reg Inchmale, Holly, Milgrim, Sleight, Pamela etc.

Locations include London and Conway, South Carolina (where William Gibson was born).

About this blog

This is the ZeroHistory.net blog

Discussion and hyper link cloud enhanced literary criticism around the forthcoming new novel by cyber punk / literary fiction author William Gibson, which is currently in progress, and which is provisionally entitled Zero History.

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.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this website or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

blog @ ZeroHistory.net

If you have confidential information that you want to share with us, feel free to make use of our PGP public encryption key for blog @ ZeroHistory.net or an email account based overseas e.g. Hushmail

William Gibson's Twitter feed - GreatDismal

William Gibson is now a keen user of Twitter, rather than his now seemingly abandoned blog, so that is now the most likely place to find the latest news about his writing, or travels etc.

It is also the place to spot his occaisinal requests to his fans, for help with research on specific background details, some of which may, or may not, end up in the finished novel Zero History which he is currently working on.

William Gibson's Twitter stream - GreatDismal

"Zero History" hyperlink cloud annotation

For "Zero History", we aim to repeat the success of our collaborative "Spook Country" hyperlink cloud annotation - re-orderd into numerical Chapter sequence.

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"

Zero History blog & Node Magazine - hyperlink cloud literary criticism & annotation

Gabriel Hounds - Systemneustart

The German translation of Zero History is entitled Systemneutstart - "System Re-Boot"

A class of students at the Philipps-Universität Marburg in Germany, have a group blog, which analyses some of the themes of this novel which they call:

Gabriel Hounds

Spook Country blog

Spook Country blog - SpookCountry.co.uk - includes discussion and hyper link cloud enhanced literary criticism of William Gibson's previous novel Spook Country

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.

Links

Wikipedia entry for William Gibson.

Official William Gibson Books website: www.williamgibsonbooks.com

Wiliam Gibson's blog post announcement What's in a name? of Zero History as the title of his new novel.

William Gibson's Twitter announcement of the Zero History title.

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.

Campaign Buttons

cfoi_150.jpg
Campaign for the Freedom of Information

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.
Free Gary McKinnon, who lives in London, is accused of hacking in to over 90 US military computer systems, and 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.

FreeFarid_150.jpg
FreeFarid.com- - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
Spy Blog - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Open Rights Group
Open Rights Group

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.

anoniblog_150.png
BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

ngoiab_150.png
NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

rsf_logo_150.gif
Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

Syndicate this site (XML):

"Zero History" hyperlink cloud annotation

For "Zero History", we aim to repeat the success of our collaborative "Spook Country" hyperlink cloud annotation - re-orderd into numerical Chapter sequence.

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"

Zero History blog & Node Magazine - hyperlink cloud literary criticism & annotation

Zero History Cover Art

Zero_History_amazon_150.jpg

Zero History blog Cover Art category archive

Zero_History_UK_cover_art_150.jpg

Systemneustart_cover_150.jpg German edition: Systemneustart approximates to "System Re-boot"

Recent Comments

  • Mark Fudge: Foyles sold out already - that kinda of sucks... read more
  • Memetic Engineer: William Gibson describes this "otakublog" as "actually very useful" http://twitter.com/GreatDismal/status/11107753199 Zero History otakublog http://bit.ly/avsZpn This sort of thing is becoming read more
  • Memetic Engineer: William Gibson corrects his previous tweet: http://twitter.com/GreatDismal/status/11103336804 Correction: 641 ms. pages. Forgot and left part of beginning of book on read more
  • Memetic Engineer: William Gibson has now finished the manuscript, according to this tweet: http://twitter.com/GreatDismal/status/11067870492 Zero History completed. 644 ms. pages, which is read more
  • Memetic Engineer: @ Joe Parrish - thanks for spotting that ! I have posted the details as a blog article. read more
  • Joe Parrish: You probably know this but at the Putnam sight in there fall adult catalog on pages 14 and 15, 15 read more
  • Memetic Engineer: custom Jankel-armored Toyota Hilux with Israeli nano-glass windows http://twitter.com/GreatDismal/status/9610309225 @ceesaxp Bigend is currently driving a custom Jankel-armored Toyota Hilux with read more
  • Memetic Engineer: @ Caplewood - thanks for spotting the Amazon.com publication details for Zero History I shall keep an eye out for read more
  • Caplewood: Amazon lists the publication date for Zero History as September 7, 2010. read more
  • Caplewood: . . .much less otaku like, than your obscured /shortened link to the Google translation of the Japanese Wikipedia article. read more

December 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31