Sunday, September 09, 2007

Triangulating Gibson

Gibson | Spook Country


The purported inventor of the terms 'cyberspace' and 'matrix' is currently in the UK promoting his latest book, Spook Country.

(...) how Gibson nowadays writes, and how he demands to be read:

"One of the things I discovered while I was writing Pattern Recognition [Gibson's previous novel] is that I now think that any contemporary novel today has a kind of Google novel aura around it, where somebody's going to google everything in the text ... there's this nebulous extended text. Everything is hyperlinked now."

What the author is outlining here is the theory of a new and innovatively creative reading practice.

(...) And the plot of Spook Country (which revolves around the concept of GPS triangulation)
(...) Hollis is in Los Angeles, doing a feature on locative art


Gibson says: "One of the biggest technologically driven changes in my writing is the awareness that every text today has a kind of spectral quasi-hypertext surrounding it." It is "all of the Googled information that found its way into the book but which isn't available to the reader as a literal hypertext unless you're willing to be the animator of the hypertext process" and Google each term that's distinctive and new.

"It's curious. When I published 'Pattern Recognition' " -- his previous book, which was also set in the recent past and achieved mainstream success -- "within a few months there was someone who started a Web site. People were compiling Googled references to every term and every place in the book. It has photographs of just about every locale in the book -- a massive site that was compiled by volunteer effort. But it took a couple of years to come together. With 'Spook Country,' the same thing was up on the Web before the book was published." Somebody got an advance reader copy, and instantly put up a site for his fictional Node magazine.

Amazon interview

Everything is hyperlinked now. Some of it you actually have to type it in to get it, but it's all hyperlinked. It really changes things. I'm sure a lot of writers haven't yet realized how it changes things, but I find myself googling everything that goes into the text, and sometimes being led off in a completely different direction. X

College Crier online

Google ( web | news | image ) and Wikipedia

  • Spook Country is a novel by William Gibson, released on August 2, 2007 in the UK and on August 7, 2007 in the US by publisher Penguin Putnam.[1]
  • Gibson announced the book October 6, 2006 on his blog, where fragments of the novel have been posted non-sequentially for some time now, which has led to much speculation on the content and plot of the novel. Gibson has confirmed that Spook Country is set in February 2006[2], and is a continuation of his previous novel, Pattern Recognition.
  • Hollis Henry -- Former member of the early-nineties cult band The Curfew, now a freelance journalist assigned by the nascent magazine Node to write a story about the use of locative technology in the art world.

  • Wired | Q&A: William Gibson discusses Spook Country and Interactive Fiction| "Something that started with Pattern Recognition was that I†discovered I could Google the world of the novel. I began to regard it as a sort of extended text — hypertext pages hovering just outside the printed page. There have been threads on my Web site — readers Googling and finding my footprints. I still get people asking me about "the possibilities of interactive fiction," and they seem to have no clue how we're already so there".

  • PR - Otaku | Logging and annotating William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition Updates | 2007.08.13: No, there won’t be a similar annotation for Spook Country. Why? Because structurally, it’s the exact same book: | Gibson is trying to kill off his own creation, cyberspace, by claiming that “hyperspatial [‘eeperespatial’] tagging” will make cyberspace and meatspace exactly the same thing.

  • David Weinberger, Everything is Miscellaneous | Social reading | September 8th, 2007 | John Sutherland writes in The Guardian about William Gibson’s latest book being absorbed into the cloud of links, annotation and commentary. It’s a great example of both the enriching of ideas through their miscellanizing and how reading is becoming a social act.

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