by William Gibson
Cover Artist: Nichole LaRoche
Review by Ernest Lilley
Putnam Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780399154300
Date: 07 August 2007 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
With Spook Country, Gibson has looked at the future from the vantage points of prescience and reminiscence, as well as that of blissful ignorance and the constraint of being an insider. Ironically, where his irreverent lack of computer knowledge allowed him to create Neuromancer in 1984, his subsequent adoption by all manner of geekdom robbed him of the freshness of that writing. As a result, Spook Country feels dated, even though it's set in the indeterminate now. Of course, if this is SF, the "S" stands more for "spy" than for "science" but even so, it feels more like a recent yesterday than the day after tomorrow. From official release/information:
Book Description: Tito is in his early twenties. Born in Cuba, he speaks fluent Russian, lives in one room in a NoLita warehouse, and does delicate jobs involving information transfer.
Hollis Henry is an investigative journalist, on assignment from a magazine called Node. Node doesn't exist yet, which is fine; she's used to that. But it seems to be actively blocking the kind of buzz that magazines normally cultivate before they start up. Really actively blocking it. It's odd, even a little scary, if Hollis lets herself think about it much. Which she doesn't; she can't afford to.
Milgrim is a junkie. A high-end junkie, hooked on prescription antianxiety drugs. Milgrim figures he wouldn't survive twenty-four hours if Brown, the mystery man who saved him from a misunderstanding with his dealer, ever stopped supplying those little bubble packs. What exactly Brown is up to Milgrim can't say, but it seems to be military in nature. At least, Milgrim's very nuanced Russian would seem to be a big part of it, as would breaking into locked rooms.
Bobby Chombo is a "producer," and an enigma. In his day job, Bobby is a troubleshooter for manufacturers of military navigation equipment. He refuses to sleep in the same place twice. He meets no one. Hollis Henry has been told to find him.