Day 27: The Mongolian Death Worm

spook-country.jpg

Dear all, today, just really quickly, some announcements regarding two new books. Yes, it has finally happened: William Gibson will release his new book on August 7, 2007! As you can see above it will be called Spook Country. The exciting thing: according to Gibson it is again “set in the same universe as Pattern Recognition.” Gibson has been posting excerpts from it on his blog throughout the last two years, which look very interesting and which you can access by visiting the archives of (which will also explain the title of this post–Gibson jokingly proposed this as a potential title at some point): http://williamgibsonbooks.com/blog/blog.asp

Here a quick description of the title Gibson posted:

“Spook: as spectre, ghost, revenant, remnant of death, the madness lingering after the corpse is sloughed off. Slang for intelligence agent; agent of uncertainty, agent of fear, agent of fright.
 
Country: in the mind or in reality. The World. The United States of America, New Improved Edition. What lies before you. What lies behind. Where your bed is made.
 
Spook Country: the place where we have all landed, few by choice, and where we are learning to live. The country inside and outside of the skull. The soul, haunted by the past, of what was, of what might have been. The realization that not all forking paths are equal — some go down in value.
 
The ground of being, pervaded with spectres. The ground of actuality, similarly teeming.
 
In traversing spook country, we ourselves have been transformed, and we will not fully understand how until we are no longer what we were.”

Can’t tell you how excited I am!

In that same vein, I would like to draw your attention to the as of March 1, 2007 completed Science in the Capital series by Kim Stanley Robinson. I received my copy on March 1 and OH, was it a beautiful day! The series is quite interesting, especially when compared to Gibson’s two latest works. If you do the bourgeois-novel thing and actually identify with the main characters and take the Robinson’s trilogy seriously it is absolute shite. But read as a work of irony regarding subjectivity in relation to global capitalism, it is simply fantastic. You really have to want to force your way through these approximately 1200 pages, though. It is definitely no Mars Trilogy, but that is precisely what makes it so interesting to me.

Oh, and as another piece of info for those of you loving Pattern Recognition as much as I do (while still realizing that “enjoyment” is not a critical attitude): the novel is just being filmed. The film will apparently be released in 2008 and I am already scared to see the ways in which they have butchered the novel.

And, also for PR lovers: remember Cayce’s Buzz Rickson jacket? The one clearly identified as the perfect example of a simulacrum? The one Cayce wears as a protest to commodity culture (which, as indicated by Gibson turns out to be not only a self-defeating, but a productive act)? The actual company exists, but Gibson made up that particular simulacrum that erases the relation to what was first called an MA-1 jacket. Guess what happened to Gibson’s ironic take on consumer capitalism? Oh yes, this is what our late hero Baudrillard meant by the “precession of simulacra:” you can now buy your own Buzz Rickson’s MA-1 for the low introductory price of only $455!!! And, hell yes, that one went straight into my dissertation.  Visit this link and enjoy (note the name of the web-address–this site is a whole frickin’ teaching unit on Jameson and Baudrillard!): http://historypreservation.com/hpassociates/detailpop.php?uniqnum=59

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