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The Resource Zero history, William Gibson

Zero history, William Gibson

Label
Zero history
Title
Zero history
Statement of responsibility
William Gibson
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Former rock singer Hollis Henry and ex-addict Milgrim, an accomplished linguist, are at the front line of a sinister proprietor's attempts to get a slice of the military budget. When a Department of Defense contract for combat-wear turns out to be the gateway drug for arms dealers, they gradually realize their employer has some very dangerous competitors--including Garreth, a ruthless ex-military officer with lots of friends. Set largely in London after our post-Crash times
Member of
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • After a gig investigating “locative art” for the “overly wealthy and dangerously curious” Hubertus Bigend, founder of the trend-forecasting firm Blue Ant (Spook Country, 2007), Hollis Henry finds herself once again under Bigend’s employ. This time she is hired to discover the identity of the designer of a secret brand of clothing called Gabriel Hounds, whom Bigend hopes to enlist in his bid to get into the design, contracting, and manufacture of U.S. military clothing (and its inevitable spin-off into the mainstream consumer market). Military contracting, according to Bigend, is essentially recession proof. Meanwhile, the translator and cryptologist Milgrim (also returning from Spook Country), a former Ativan addict (now in recovery on Bigend’s dime) with “zero history” (being off the grid, he has no credit or address history), is asked to assist Hollis in her investigation. What begins as a seemingly innocent apparel-related project takes on more sinister overtones when the two are followed from London to Paris by a competitor with shady dealings in the arms trade and a personal ax to grind with Milgrim. Gibson, who made a name with Neuromancer (1984) and other speculative takes on new technologies, returns to his familiar concerns with hacker culture, surveillance, paranoia, and viral marketing, with occasional digressions into the semiotics of fashion and celebrity and references to cosplay, base jumping, and the Festo AirPenguin (look it up). -- Segedin, Ben (Reviewed 06-01-2010) (Booklist, vol 106, number 19, p6)
  • Opposing forces contend violently over what are in the end ephemeral trivialities, the minutiae of modern fashion, in Gibson's quirky tale of 21st-century brand positioning. The attention of eccentric financial genius Hubertus Bigend, seen previously in Pattern Recognition and Spook Country, has landed on military fashion, a field he believes is immune to the vagaries of the market. When an unusual pair of mil-chic trousers raises the possibility that the anonymous designer is copying Bigend's new obsession, Bigend dispatches his team of talented amateurs to investigate the source of the suspiciously au courant trousers. Bigend's competition turns out to be none other than Michael Preston Gracie, an ex-military officer whose unwarranted self-confidence is rivaled only by his ruthlessness. Gibson's style has become even more distilled, more austere, since his science fiction days. Inanimate objects and, in particular, the brands of those objects, are more fully illuminated than the characters using those brands. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed July 12, 2010) (Publishers Weekly, vol 257, issue 27, p)
  • One of Gibson's strongest offerings since the pioneering cyberpunk tales that first made his reputation, this near-future tale follows the continuing agendas of deliberately mysterious businessman Hubertus Bigend, who previously appeared in Pattern Recognition and Spook Country . But readers don't need familiarity with the earlier works to appreciate this tale in which former rock star Hollis Henry must track down a secret brand of denim for Bigend while preserving her own and her friends' integrity and safety. Hollis is a sympathetic heroine, competent, conflicted, and with a complex network of friendship and relationship histories that both complicate her life and make her a striking mature contrast to the alienated loners of Gibson's early classics. It's Milgrim, however, a man recently released from Bigend-sponsored rehab, who steals the show with his lack of preconceptions, journey to self-discovery, and connection to others. Only in the steampunk-esque hotel Cabinet and the Gabriel Hounds denim brand does Gibson indulge in a baroque charm that can endanger suspension of disbelief—no one starts a buzz-building secret to get away from fashion—but there is more than enough grit to balance it out. VERDICT A good crossover book for fans of fashion, cutting-edge technologies, and spy thrillers as well as followers of science fiction. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/10.]— Meredith Schwartz, New York --Meredith Schwartz (Reviewed September 15, 2010) (Library Journal, vol 135, issue 15, p59)
  • Gibson's third thriller-ish novel set in the present day (Spook Country, 2007, etc.)—like its predecessors, post-modern, post-structural, almost post-speculative. A comfortable narrative familiarity deriving from the recurring characters (most of them appeared in one or both of the previous books) and motifs—Russian gangsters, pattern recognition, motorcycle couriers, the virtual certainty that somebody, somewhere, is listening—eases us into the action, which occurs, metaphorically at least, in London and Paris, aspects of GibsonWorld with slightly different accents. Shadowy mogul Hubertus Bigend provides the motivation for everything that ensues, through his constant need to live on the edge; if no edge is available, he'll manufacture one. He rehires Hollis Henry, a former vocalist for a famous rock band now down on her luck, to investigate a line of superbly made clothing, Gabriel Hounds, a brand whose method of achieving exclusivity involves rendering itself virtually nonexistent: It has no outlets, no factory, no offices, no sales force. Bigend also hopes to procure a recession-proof contract to design military apparel. Previously he dispatched drug-addicted translator Milgrim to an expensive Swiss clinic to be straightened out, merely to see if it was possible. To test Milgrim's newfound mental architecture, Bigend now sends him to investigate a new line of military-style clothing, unaware that he's stirring up a well-connected and touchy arms dealer about whom U.S. intelligence also is curious. Hollis's ex-boyfriend, daredevil Garreth, who jumped off the tallest building in the world only to get run over by a Lotus, enters the mix. Gibson's plotting or characters rarely compel—the (mostly offstage) spooks and thugs—and the off-kilter romances seem amateurish, even clownish. What matters are the highly textured, brilliantly evocative prose and the stunning insights Gibson offers into what we perceive as the present moment—the implication being, per the title, that's all we have left. Unsettling and memorable, weird flaws and all.(Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2010)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
355862
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1948-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gibson, William
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Blue Ant trilogy
Series volume
0003
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Fashion design
  • Defense contracts
  • London (England)
Label
Zero history, William Gibson
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
783479
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
404 pages
Isbn
9780399156823
Lccn
2010016974
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Specific material designation
regular print
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780399156823
  • (OCoLC)505419399
Label
Zero history, William Gibson
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
783479
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
404 pages
Isbn
9780399156823
Lccn
2010016974
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Specific material designation
regular print
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780399156823
  • (OCoLC)505419399

Library Locations

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      30.2982508 -97.7675915
    • Old Quarry BranchBorrow it
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      30.3529975 -97.7551561
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