Monthly Archives: August 2011

Soldiers of God

by Kelly Clancy

The first graphic novel I’ve read in years… picked it up free at an art exhibition, after being favorably impressed by several of the chapter title panels, blown up and on display.

It was good! The story is one you’ve seen or read before, a comparison of lives in two seemingly disparate cultures, divided by seemingly everything: geography, history, economics, language, and most recently war. And yet, don’t you see how their problems are ours, how similar we all are in our human hopes and despairs? Oh sorry, I started to get carried away… The strength of the book lies in its ability to transcend these cliches, with intelligent writing and a nuanced and engaging drawing style.

Zero History

by William Gibson

This was a fun read, and a fast read, but it didn’t blow me away. I’m not sure that anything Gibson writes from here on will ever top Neuromancer. That book set the bar for the particular brand of science fiction that places the future so near that you can practically smell it. And in fact the most recent books, Spook Country included, are set in what is recognizably the present.

And so while with Neuromancer Gibson seemed able to show us the world as it would be tomorrow or next week, Spook Country in some respects feels already dated. To be fair, it was published in 2010, and has been sitting on my shelf for months. A Gibson book published in 2010 must have been written in 2009, no? Therefore I should not be too critical of his use of the MacBook Air as the prop of choice, rather than the iPad… Plus the fact that the iPhone does play a prominent role, and this seems dead on. There’s an app for that.