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.

William Gibson Forums
Interview with Gibson on Pattern Recognition
New York Times Review
SF Gate
Washington Post
Village Voice