I finished reading Pattern Recognition tonight. I have roughly the same feeling I had after reading his first three novels—something akin to "What just happened?"

Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive all followed the same pattern, to my experience. Gibson starts with a great hook, spins it out using several seemingly-unrelated plotlines and characters, weaving them together as the story progresses. Then, about three-quarters of the way through the book, it's as if he realizes that he's forgotten where he was going and why, rushes to the conclusion with the literary equivalent (albeit much more verbosely, and far more interesting to read) of "yadda yadda yadda", but still only delivers 95%, leaving the reader to fill in the rest. I freely admit to a tendency to inhale fiction—I'll suddenly notice a character, or an object, and have to back up several pages to see where it was introduced. With Gibson, though, it's consistent in how and when in the book it happens. Either his writing sucks me in, or he elides big chunks of it, or, I suspect, both.

I thought Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow's Parties were tighter, and I figured maybe Gibson had reached a different stage in his writing style. Pattern Recognition feels like a step backwards. There's only one overt plotline, but at the end I had the same feeling that I was lacking closure.

On the positive side, I learned about Curtas.


Drive-by linking: Ben Vollmayr-Lee

We have a goldfish, a red & white ryukin our daughter named Dennis. He's been having problems swimming lately, and today we found him floating on his back, not moving. When I went to fish him out (if you pardon the expression) with the net, he woke up and began swimming around again.

So I did some research, and have decided that he has a swim bladder problem. And how do you cure an ornamental goldfish with a swim bladder problem?

Frozen peas.

Drive-by linking: Web Economy BS Generator

I didn't watch the game last night; I couldn't bear to. I grew up listening to the Royals on the radio, through that period where the Yankees took the pennant from us four years running. I had a feeling it was going to happen again.

On the other hand, I did finish watching Failure is Not an Option on The History Channel. (Gotta love TiVo.) I own Gene Kranz's memoir of the same name, and the video relates to it about the same way that the film A Brief History of Time related to the book of that name, but in reverse. ABHoT the book is facts, while the film is a biography of Stephen Hawking; FiNaO is the other way around. No matter; I highly recommend watching it if it comes around again.


Drive-by linking: Dr. Rob Spence, MD.

I just started reading Pattern Recognition by William Gibson on Tuesday. It starts out by saying, in effect, "If you Google Cayce Pollard [the main character], you'll find out such-and-such." That sounded too much like deliberate viral marketing, so I tried it out, figuring to find web pages put up by the author and/or publisher. Instead, what I get is a page full of links to what look like discussions on the book—which I assume contain spoilers, so I haven't looked at any of them.

So much for dead-tree media. :-)

I can't seem to get the hang of blogging. Anyone who's met me in person can tell you that I'm more than capable of rambling on and on about nothing in particular for hours on end. Apparently, I'm not terribly inclined to do so with my fingers.