Mini-review: Agency, by William Gibson


A brief review of Gibson's latest. (Mild spoilers for his previous book.)

His Neuromancer trilogy was fantastic, but I don't think his subsequent books were as good. That's until The Peripheral arrived: Gibson was back on form. Agency is the sequel, and the third part of the trilogy will be along sometime.

Agency is good, but I don't think it's as good as The Peripheral. It's set in the same overall universe, with the action split between the post-Jackpot world and a "stub": an alternate world where Hilary Clinton won the presidency and Brexit didn't happen. Gibson has a good sense of place and narrates the detail of places, people, and activity. The characters are well-drawn and intriguingly idiosyncratic. The action flips rapidly between the two alternate worlds, with chapters rarely being more than a dozen pages long.

But the plot is lacking a bit, I think. For the book being called Agency, and much being made of characters' ability to act, a lot of the book involves people doing what they're told for unexplained reasons. You can also see various things being put in place for a climax in the third book.

That being said, it was a decent read. I ploughed through it rapidly.


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    @NeilNjae this sounds really interesting... I have often meant to read Neuromancer but have never done so. And these latest two sound well worth reading
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    I've tried several times to read Neuromancer, but have never been able to get past the first chapter. I just find the characters all so pretentiously cool in their counter-culturedness that I couldn't stand to read another word!

    Maybe this series would be a better way for me to try Gibson?

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