The Peripheral

The Peripheral

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
13
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"Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran's benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC's elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there's a job he's supposed to do - a job Flynne didn't know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He's supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That's all there is to it. He's offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn't what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder."--Publisher.
Publisher: New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2014
ISBN: 9780399158445
0399158448
Branch Call Number: F GIB NVD
Characteristics: 485 pages 24 cm

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JCLThomasM Jul 03, 2017

Two parallel and diverging timelines and one murder investigation. William Gibson's new cyberpunk book explores a future just within reach - with enough time and imagination, for better or for worse.

a
ApollosRaven
Jun 15, 2017

I found the setting(s) intriguing from the get-go. Other reviewers have noted the difficulty of piecing it all together - I stuck with it because I liked the main character and because somewhere around page 50 I'd pieced together enough to relax and stop worrying about it. Okay, Gibson doesn't cut this reader any slack - but he certainly is a world-building wiz, and gave me things worth thinking about. This is one I'd read a second time.

d
DuncanButcher
Apr 05, 2017

Vintage Gibson for better and worse. I really enjoyed it, and don't mind being thrown into a future without context, and having to piece things together similarly to how one does in real life. This is the barrier to his work, as everyone else notes. If you can get through that, you will find a fascinating near future that looks far too terrifyingly like our present direction, and a further future beyond that which is both fascinatingly plausible and depressing in its verdict on our limitations.

The plot itself is fairly conventional for Gibson, with a plucky female lead in difficult circumstances, drawn into a conflict between powerful rivals.

The fun is never in the plot, it's in the setting, if you can tolerate the price you have to pay to enjoy it.

m
Marge2015
Apr 14, 2016

Fantastic, in the style of SF unraveling at breakneck speed while you piece together the world and people in it. Always has been my favourite style of SF, and Gibson is the man to pull this off. Love all his work, but absolutely recommended for seasoned SF readers.

a
ace_combs
Apr 03, 2016

A little off-putting at first because the characters are speaking jargon that you are not yet privy to--it feels a little Joycian (I don't happen to think that's a good thing). But it does coalesce into an entertaining read and the premise is fascinating. The plot is pretty basic, especially after having just read 6 Neal Stephenson books in which the fate of the world or worlds was always in the balance, but the world-building is sound if not always technically plausible. He does make good use of the maker movement and draws on one of the main tenets that separates the cosplayers and figurine-makers from the more ambitious, which is that the maker movement's ability to transmit positional aspects of solid objects holds great promise in the real and--more important--the Third World.

m
morrich
Feb 14, 2016

This definitely requires some effort to read. After about 200 pages things start to coalesce. The time travel technology did not really make sense to me; there are some vague concepts regarding information flow through time using servers. If you can overlook this though the story is not too bad.

s
StarGladiator
Aug 19, 2015

Some authors can go on forever, some - - like Gibson - - just have several good books and they continue to write long after that fishy smell has turned rotten! I agree this book is unreadable, but his last four or five weren't that much better. Where he proved he jumped the shark was with his incredibly idiotic, insipid, and downright infantile Op-Ed piece in the NYT about stuxnet, which he couldn't grasp in the least - - waaaaay over his head and out of his reach!

a
ayidax
Aug 06, 2015

@energy35 - great description! Thanks.

e
energy35
Jun 18, 2015

Definitely, definitely not for everyone. If you like being dragged along behind technobabble going at a hundred twenty miles an hour without anyone ever stopping to explain, you'll love this book (and the rest of Gibson's oeuvre). If you don't, it won't make any sense.

I am the kind of person who likes the technobabble. So I loved this book.

s
sat7
May 01, 2015

Outstanding adult Science Fiction. Great character development with multiple plot streams. I appreciated the intelligent structure of this writers style and the technology is right on time, Plausible and eerily enough, seeming this could become reality... . Allow the author time to structure the characters, you will be pleasantly rewarded.

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