William Gibson‘s seventh since the absolutely essential Neuromancer, Pattern Recognition is his first contemporary novel. His trademark disorienting hardboiled cyberpunk style is still in full effect, and perhaps because of his genre-bending ways–or perhaps because the world has caught up with him–Pattern Recognition still feels like sci-fi. There’s the usual streetwise Gibson heroine, utterly confident in her powers of divining bleeding edge culture (so much so that sniffing out the Next Big Thing is her job), and of course she’s on the trail of a major international mystery (this time in form of transporting snippets of footage released anonymously on the Internet)–but despite all that, the book is also about September 11. “Rides on a strong current of melancholy,” GQ blurbed, and that’s exactly right. Everybody’s ranting and raving about Safran Foer and his half-a-million advance, but Gibson shows how you can successfully blend science fiction and thriller tropes with serious takes on globalization, terrorism, marketing, and security into one best-selling whole. Very strong work.
Happy 125th birthday, Fritz Lang!
To celebrate the launch of my Phish mystery The Ashakiran Tape, we projected the Magnaball webcast on our neighbors’ walls here in Dakar. That’s the African Renaissance Monument and the lighthouse of Mamelles behind Page’s head in the last shot.
The Ashakiran Tape (Head Cases Vol 1) is now available.
“Read the fucking book!” – Trey Anastasio
From the author of the historical thriller Kino, a “fast, complex, exhilarating roadster ride through history and time” (Frederick Barthelme) comes a gripping psychedelic mystery steeped in sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll.
When legendary improvisational rock band Phish returns to the stage after a five-year breakup, longtime fan and hardboiled hippie sleuth Quentin Pfeiffer has to be there — even though he is older, wiser, and the father of an adorable baby daughter now.
But not everything is sunshine and rainbows in the freewheeling circus surrounding the band’s summer tour: after the millionaire skipper of a drug-drenched luxury yacht goes missing, Q and his crew are drawn into a dangerous intrigue of dreadlocked dames, shady tape collectors, and spun-out wookies chasing after the long-lost recording of a mysterious late-night jam.
Inspired by Raymond Chandler and set during a series of concerts at Long Island’s Jones Beach amphitheater, The Ashakiran Tape takes readers deep into the spiraling ecstasy of Phish’s epic shows and the seductive underworld of the obsessive fans following them.
Praise for Kino:
“Kino is an intoxicating Euro-brew, written with enormous skill and dedication.” – Frederick Barthelme
“A debut of great intellectual force.” – Teddy Wayne
“A delirious melange of conspiracy, magic, sex, history, bad behavior, and cinema, Kino is a stellar entertainment, and Jurgen Fauth is a writer of rare, sinister imagination.” – Owen King
L'opéra-mouffe (Agnès Varda, 1958) Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012) pic.twitter.com/IYJgQKnV3a— Alex Heller-Nicholas (@suspirialex) January 4, 2015