A Review of William Gibson’s “The Peripheral”

Finished William Gibson’s “The Peripheral”. A barely employed woman from a rural near future subs for her brother as a game beta tester and sees a gruesome murder in the game which seems set in a London of the far future. But, it’s not a game, the death is real, she’s the only one who knows, and her knowledge puts two continua at risk.

To say any more would be to spoil the threads of confusion Gibson carefully sows in the first hundred pages, which tell two stories in settings that appear at turns familiar and utterly strange before finally meeting via the peculiar agency of the titular peripheral.

Once the storylines meet, Gibson spends a couple chapters in infodumps, and the book settles down to the sort of gripping high tech thriller he’s famous for.

I began explaining the book to my daughter. She really doesn’t like books that just toss you into worlds without explanation. Kinda weird, given how big a Stephen Baxter fan she is…

This book isn’t connected to the Zero History trilogy, but it shares the same sort of ambience.

Worth reading. Not quite up to Gibson’s high point of Idoru, but what is?

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