William Gibson's 2014 novel The Peripheral is a romp, a techno-sf story much in the spirit of his 1984 first book Neuromancer, with nano-scale assemblers, artificial intelligence, robot-body telepresence, vast wealth, ninja-style hyperviolence, cross-time many-worlds communications, mysterious über-powerful characters, and various flavors of dystopia — shuffled together in an alternate chapter structure with near-present-day small-town trailer-park poverty, personal/family loyalty, fast food carry-out, and semi-rural megamarts.

There's not a lot of wrestling with deep philosophical questions, nor radical new scientific concepts. Set aside titanic challenges, like how to power and control nanobots as they break-and-build countless chemical bonds to let characters walk through walls or dissolve enemy bodies. Ignore issues of all-powerful conspiracies that nonetheless require single-person heroics to solve cosmic problems. The language is good, the imagery poetic, the atmosphere and characters engaging, and the story comes together nicely. The Peripheral is a first-class roller-coaster ride.

(cf. Data Space (2005-12-31), Situational Strategy (2007-06-11), ...) - ^z - 2017-05-14