A book that has ‘Agency‘ as its title, and is written by William Gibson, as Boris already intuited, is a book that I must read. So I did, in the past few days after it got published on January 23rd.
It was disappointing I thought.
Except for its definition of personal agency by a rogue AI as personhood, financial independence, and global citizenship, plus transparency about that towards others. And except for introducing the concept of Competitive Control Areas (described more theoretically here) to overcome failed states (in this case by installing Russian oligarchs/gangs, aptly named the ‘klept’. We probably should use that term more widely)
The playing with alternate time paths (stubs) I disliked as it seems a cop-out (leave the timey wimey stuff to The Doctor, where it’s all just a bit of good fun). Other than that the entire book is merely a long chase through a USA where Trump never got elected and Brexit didn’t happen (but Syria might become a nuclear war zone). A high speed chase with AI glasses, and coolio drones remotely controlled by people from the future who lived through the ‘Jackpot’ (the crunch where 80% of humanity died from the climate emergency, but somehow the tech level never collapsed) and now seem rather relaxed about it all as they interfere in other timepaths for fun mostly.
William Gibson, image by Frédéric Poirot, license CC BY SA
Thank you for the pointer, Boris! Added to the feed reader. I very much enjoyed the Murderbot diaries.
Thanks to Boris Mann, I found out a new novel by William Gibson, Agency, is available today in North-America and due to be available 23 January here in the Netherlands. Pre-ordered for Kindle. I know what I’ll be reading the next few days.
Is a good dog deployed for war crimes a bad dog, and when he disobeys his Master a good dog? Existential questions for a biotech dog in Dogs of War. It’s a long way for humans to accept to share the world with self-aware machine-animal hybrids. But luckily there’s an humanoid hive behind the curtain to ensure the path develops.
I read the first book Children of Time, in which spiders inherit the earth, or rather a terraformed planet, late last year. This is the second episode, Children of Ruin, this time with very emotional octopuses (yet with rational tentacles) and with alien self-aware slime mould. We’re going to have an adventure, the mould makes the last remaining humans say.
The weird thing was I kept thinking I read it before, although it was first published last May. Maybe there were a few sample chapters appended to the first part.
Exit Strategy is the next installment of the Murderbot Diaries.
This one is a bit short and a bit less humorous but still a fun read, tying up a lot of loose ends. I think there is no logical next one.
Or it will be a new storyline unrelated to previous parts, set in the same universe.