The Null Device

Pattern Recognition

Rudy Rucker on William Gibson's new novel, Pattern Recognition. The concepts sound interesting, at least superficially.

Mind you, one of the things I don't like about William Gibson's novels is that his characters are all from the same small set of cardboard cutouts. Everyone is, it seems, either a grizzled mercenary techie of some sort, a future-dwelling mutant geek with special senses or a sassy, butt-kicking teenage girl. In fact, I can't remember the differences between his last 2 or 3 novels, because they all melted into one amalgam of hard-boiled one-liners, snippets of disjointed, future-shocked pop culture and random Japanese things. The review suggests that Pattern Recognition may go in the same direction; we already have a hard-boiled "cool hunter" who's so sensitive to things that she's physically allergic to brand names and the obligatory Tokyo references.

I'll probably buy it anyway; whether I remember anything of the plot afterward is another question entirely.

There are 8 comments on "Pattern Recognition":

Posted by: Graham http://grudnuk.com Fri Feb 7 12:17:45 2003

Yeah, but Neal Stephenson novels have grizzled mercinary techies and sassy butt kicking teenage girls too. They're both fun reads though.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Fri Feb 7 16:47:43 2003

At least Neal Stephenson's characters aren't as cookie-cutterish as William Gibson's. Perhaps he has a better sense of psychological realism or something? Gibson's characters have all the inner life of sitcom characters.

Posted by: cat http:// Fri Feb 7 22:56:57 2003

have you actually READ a gibson novel? from the way you describe things in that post it sure sounds like you haven't. you should actually open the book and read it once in a while instead of just basing your opinion on the covers/blurbs.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Sat Feb 8 06:04:34 2003

Actually, yes; I've read all his work up to All Tomorrow's Parties.

I liked his early stuff, but I don't think his less stylised post-cyberpunk work holds up well.

Posted by: Claire http://www.eskimo.com/~c/ Sat Feb 8 21:06:10 2003

I always thought that Gibson was all about style. You don't read his stuff for characters, or plots, or even ideas, you read it for the ride.

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Sun Feb 9 04:04:50 2003

True, though his "near-future" novels are somewhat more staid than his early cyberpunk writing.

I suppose it's sort of like Chuck Palahniuk; however much you liked Fight Club and enjoyed Survivor, his following novels are just more of the same.

Posted by: richard http://mechanicalcat.net/cgi-bin/log Sun Feb 9 23:15:57 2003

Claire: spot-on there

Posted by: acb http://dev.null.org Wed Feb 12 04:34:37 2003

http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/02/11/1521249&mode=nocomment&tid=99

Slashdot's review of Pattern Recognition. It does appear to be more of the same. I'll probably wait until the paperback comes out.

Want to say something? Do so here.

Post pseudonymously

Display name:
URL:(optional)
To prove that you are not a bot, please enter the text in the image into the field below it.

Your Comment:

Please keep comments on topic and to the point. Inappropriate comments may be deleted.

Note that markup is stripped from comments; URLs will be automatically converted into links.