Spook Country

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Spook Country  

US cover
Author William Gibson
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction novel
Publisher Penguin Putnam[1]
Publication date August 2, 2007
Media type print (hardback, paperback), audiobook
Pages 384 pp (hardcover)
ISBN ISBN 0-399-15430-2
Preceded by Pattern Recognition

Spook Country[α] is a 2007 novel by William Gibson.

Gibson announced the book on October 6, 2006 on his blog, where fragments of the novel were posted non-sequentially for some time, leading to much speculation on the content and plot of the novel. Spook Country is set in February 2006,[2] and is a continuation of his previous novel, Pattern Recognition. In an interview with PC Magazine in February 2006, Gibson declared that the book was set " 'in the same universe,' as they say, as Pattern Recognition. Which is more or less the one we live in now."[3]


[edit] Characters

Hollis Henry -- Former member of the early-nineties cult band The Curfew, now a freelance journalist assigned by the nascent magazine Node to write a story about the use of locative technology in the art world.

Tito -- Part of a Chinese Cuban family of freelance spies and associated support personel, assigned by his uncles to hand over a series of iPods to a mysterious old man. Adept in a form of systema that encompasses tradecraft, a variant of free-running and the Santeria religion as opposed to the Russian martial art of the same name.

Milgrim -- An Ativan addict being held prisoner by the operative known as Brown, who is coercing him to translate the volapuk encoding used by Tito's family.

Brown -- The lead covert operative for an extra-legal organization. He appears to have had law enforcement training, but little training in tradecraft.

Odile Richard -- A curator of locative art. She is Parisian, but speaks a flawed English that often provides comic relief.

Jimmy Carlyle -- A troubled, deceased member of The Curfew. He was addicted to heroin which eventually killed him.

Bobby Chombo -- An expert in geospatial technologies. His background is troubleshooting navigation systems for the US military. He provides the technology necessary for creating locative art. He refuses to sleep in the same place twice.

Alberto Corrales -- A locative artist living in Los Angeles. His art often recreates the deaths of celebrities such as River Phoenix.

Spook Country also sees the return of two characters from Pattern Recognition; Hubertus Bigend and Pamela Mainwaring, founder and employee of the enigmatic marketing agency Blue Ant respectively.

[edit] Major themes

The book takes a multilayered approach similar to Gibson's novels prior to 2003's Pattern Recognition and treats themes relating to espionage, the nature of media (e.g. locative art), and esoteric martial artistry, as well as familiar themes from the author's previous novels such as emergent phenomena and the sociocultural effects of technology. During a 2008 European tour in support of the novel, Gibson commented that "If the book has a point to make where we are now with cyberspace, is that cyberspace has colonized our everyday life and continues to colonize everyday life."[4]

[edit] Reception and reaction

Spook Country reached #2 on the Canadian hardcover best-seller list.[5]

Node Magazine, a literary project in the guise of Bigend's fictional magazine, was created to annotate the novel by an anonymous recipient of an advance copy.

[edit] Footnotes

α. ^  Alternate titles for the novels include The Very Latest, The Most Recent And Terrible News and The Mongolian Death Worm. [6]

[edit] References

[edit] Reviews

[edit] External links

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