Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I have a pretty wide selection of books on my Kindle, some of which are science fiction. There are six of the Ian M Banks Culture novels. I haven't got the latest one - Surface detail - yet but will do when the price comes down a bit (presumably when the paperback is published).

I've got some Stephen King but that's more horror than SF. There's Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman who probably lean more towards the fantasy genre. I've also got some of the classics like Dracula, Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde because they were free and it's nice to have them.

Then I have three books by William Gibson. They are Pattern Recognition, Spook Country and Zero History which make up a trilogy although I don't think they have acquired a group name yet. His original cyberpunk books are now grouped as the Sprawl trilogy, and they were followed by his Bridge trilogy. The series that began with Pattern Recognition has been described as post-modern science fiction (whatever that means). They take place in a world that feels just like ours but maybe just a few years in the future. The technology in the books feels like the stuff we use now but just a little better. Characters from the novels recur throughout the series, in particular a media tycoon with the impressive name Hubertus Bigend.

The three novels are fantastic and are favourites of mine. Gibson's cyberpunk ethic seems to have evolved into a more familiar but somehow stranger world where he tells stories about industrial espionage that manage not to feel like spy stories or as science fiction. Although you could classify them in to both genres. I've read them all twice now and highly recommend them.

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