The Peripheral

Like all of William Gibson’s novels, The Peripheral is a novel of the future that’s entirely about the present. The plot moves, and fast: Flynne Fisher is a hapless witness to a grotesque murder. The resulting power struggle involves an obscure cartel, a lottery fix, four mysteriously murdered assassins, and a curious kind of time travel in which information—but not atoms—flows between a near future and one further away. But the real magic is in Gibson’s careful and prescient evaluation of technology and culture: drones, haptics, 3D printing, ocular implants, virtual reality, climate change, nanotechnology, celebrity—all entwined and cleverly presented and fantastically believable. I find myself largely convinced that the world he describes is the one we’re already about to be in. Hauntingly good.