1.18.2004

More Patterns...

Having been on vacation I come perhaps somewhat late to the discussion, but as far as best of the year is concerned my own list, is, with Chouinard’s, also up at Fantastic Metropolis and can be found here.

Like Strahan, I found Gibson’s PATTERN RECOGNITION to be an outstanding 2003 book and included it therefore on my list. I don’t remember being particularly bowled over by the beauty of the writing. (I reserved that for MacLeod’s THE LIGHT AGES!) I think what I truly enjoyed was the "coolness" factor, also noted by Jonathan. If the novel is not technically science fiction it still manages to speak to the technoporngeek in most SF fans.

My only real issue with the book had to do with the resolution to the mystery of the video clips, which I found to be terribly anticlimactic. One could argue that in this respect Gibson is just a victim of his own success, that the set-up is so artfully handled and so suspenseful (spooky, in fact) that any resolution was bound not to do it justice. But I really found myself hoping for something more – for the novel to take off into the fantastic in some kind of Pynchonesque twist, or perhaps even for the mystery to remain unresolved and to continue to function solely on some symbolic or metaphorical level.

Still, all in all, it’s quite a terrific entertainment.

My work causes me to globe-hop a bit myself and it was on a plane on one of these jaunts that I read the book, in one sitting and with a bottomless glass of whisky at my side. I have to say it was a particularly fine marriage of book and reading setting, matched only by reading Avram Davidson’s LIMEKILLER collection on a Caribbean beach last week!


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