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The Peripheral by William Gibson is a thrilling new novel about two intertwined futures, from the bestselling author of Neuromancer
'Wild, richly satisfying . . . big-screen, popcorn-chewing thrills. What a glorious ride' Guardian
In the near future in a broken down rural America, Flynne Fisher scrapes a living as a gamer for rich players. One night, working a game set in a futuristic but puzzlingly empty London, she sees a death that's unnervingly vivid. Soon after she gets word that it isn't a game after all - the future she saw is all too real, she's the only witness to a murder and someone from that unreal tomorrow now wants her dead.
The story of a young woman caught between two worlds, The Peripheral interweaves two futures - pre-apocalypse USA and post-apocalypse London - to tell a story which gets right to heart of the way we live now.
'A tightly plotted, tautly paced novel that unfolds with the dream logic of a fairy tale' The Times Literary Supplement
'Frightening plausible. Not just a unique and brilliantly talented SF novelist but a social and psychological visionary. A wonderful addition to a brilliant oeuvre' The Times
'Superb . . . frantic with imagination' Ned Beauman, Observer
'Fast-moving, accessible, instantly gripping, so laden with cliffhangers you become afraid he'll run out of cliffs' SFX
According to the Guardian, in terms of influence Gibson is 'probably the most important novelist of the past two decades'. The Peripheral, which marks a return to the futurism of Neuromancer, will be adored by Gibson readers and will also appeal to fans of Ender's Game, Looper and Source Code.
Seminal cyberpunk author Gibson, who has spent the last several years writing the more-or-less present-day Zero History series of novels, returns to the future with this slow-burning thriller, ambitiously structured on either side of an economic and ecological collapse known afterward as "the jackpot." In the hardscrabble "pre-jackpot America" of our near future, gamer Flynne Fisher is covering a beta-testing shift for her ex-Marine brother when she witnesses what she thinks is a gruesome murder "some kind of nanotech chainsaw fantasy." In a depopulated London decades post-jackpot, Wilf Netherton, a disgraced publicist, is caught unawares when his latest client s sister disappears. The resulting investigation kicks Gibson's discursive narrative into high gear as Flynne, allowed across time lines by use of a "peripheral" ("an anthropomorphic drone... a telepresence avatar"), proves to be exactly the savvy, principled ally that enigmatic Det. Insp. Ainsley Lowbeer has been looking for. If the mechanics of time-travel are sometimes murky, the stakes are crystal clear when Flynne reaches out from Wilf's past to alter her own future. All of Gibson's characters are intensely real, and Flynne is a clever, compelling, stereotype-defying, unhesitating protagonist who makes this novel a standout.