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The Way Things Are Going,
This review is from: Distrust That Particular Flavor (Hardcover)
Distrust That Particular Flavor (2012) is a collection of nonfiction articles and speeches. It has an introduction and twenty-five short works.
- "Introduction: African Thumb Piano" discloses how the author taught himself to write fiction. Once he began to sell stories, he was asked to write nonfiction and make speeches. He still feels like an impostor when producing nonfiction.
- "Rocket Radio" (2989) explains his struggles with technology and the internet.
- "Since 1948" (2002) describes his early years.
- "Any 'Mount of World" (2000) tells of collaboration and the product that results.
- "The Baddest Dude on Earth" (2002) is about the films of Takeshi Kitano.
- "Talk for Book Expo, New York" (1998) exposes the faulty visions of the Future.
- "Dead Man Sings" (1998) concerns ready access to the recorded past.
- "Up the Line" (2003) discusses the physiological basis of movies.
- "Disneyland and the Death Penalty" (1993) examines the despotic regime in Singapore.
- "Mr. Buk's Window" (2001) divulges his feelings after 1/11.
- "Shiny Balls of Mud: Hilaru Dorodango and Tokyu Hands" (2002) covers two unique aspects of Japan.
- "An Invitation" (2007) is a preface to a book by Jorge Luis Borges.
- "Metrophagy" The Art and Science of Digesting Great Cities" 2001) addresses a new literary form.
- Modern Boys and Mobile Girls" 2001) recounts the major changes in Japan.
- "My Obsession" (1999) confesses his long addiction to eBay.
- "My Own Private Tokyo" (2001) is another view of futuristic Japan.
- "The Road to Oceania" (2003) regards George Orwell's legacy.
- "Skip Spence's Jeans" (2003) speaks of a casual meeting in San Jose.
- "Terminal City" (2007) deals with a box of photos.
- "Introduction: "The Body"" (2005) discloses the author's impressions of Stelarc.
- "The Net is a Waste of Time" (1996) points out that very few have the leisure to surf the internet.
- "Time Machine Cuba" (2006) invokes his experiences during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- "Will We Have Computer Chips in Our Heads?" (2000) discloses his reasons for thinking this to be unlikely.
- "William Gibson's Filmless Festival" (1999) illustrates his beliefs that the motion picture industry is going to have major competition from amateurs.
- "Johnny: Notes on a Process" (1995) shows the stresses of producing a major motion picture.
- "Googling the Cyborg" (2008) reveals his beliefs that technology is extending mankind's horizons.
These works are nonfiction with an oddly fictive twist. Most seem to have a vagueness that permeates the author's fiction. Most are also set in far away places. Naturally, these places later appear in his fiction.
As the author explains his views of science fiction, it is obvious that he uses the "if this goes on..." method of plotting. He describes the present in future terms. The technology is changed, but the social trends continue. Yet social change occurs, so SF cannot really predict future societies using this technique.
Japan is a common topic in these works. The author feels that Japan has been living in the future for a century and a half. They have become used to sudden changes.
Recommended for Gibson fans and for anyone else who enjoys pieces of history and autobiography. Read and enjoy!