Agency (Large Print / Library Binding)
If you haven't read “The Peripheral,” don't worry. It's not necessary that you do to enjoy the sequel and subject of this review, “Agency.” It is one of William Gibson's great talents that he is able to tell stories that interlock but do not rely on each other for background. “Agency” stands as a story on its own. However, that's not to say you shouldn't read “The Peripheral.” On the contrary, it is my opinion that you should read all the William Gibson novels you can. But I digress.
Before going on to say some nice things about “Agency” in particular, I would first like to thank William Gibson and his publisher, Berkley, for producing such an excellent novel. And you know what else? I'd also like to just briefly pay homage to a man who is beyond argument one of the greatest writers of science fiction who ever lived. William Gibson's meditations on what it means to be human in an age of thinking and perhaps even feeling machines never fail to awe me. I once read somewhere that the last frontiers left were the depths of space and the depths of the sea. Whoever wrote that obviously forgot to consider the vastnesses of the human imagination. In his books, William Gibson never does.
“Agency” is a fine read. There are to be enjoyed within its pages descriptions of alternate realities that can communicate with each other, high stakes I.T. espionage, and one really kickass A.I. that, if your like me, will surely be your favorite character. Its techno jargon is so rollicking and its protagonists so engaging and likeable, I never once felt daunted by the admittedly high concept near future territory being explored. That's a trick not many authors I know of can pull off. I hope you read it and, more than that, I hope it leads you to explore the many other great books in William Gibson's incomparable body of work. After all, the guy coined the term “cyberspace” and inspired “The Matrix.” You can't go wrong.— J. Hendricks