The prolific and prophetic speculative fiction writer William Gibson’s latest, Distrust That Particular Flavor, is a collection of non-fiction articles mostly written on assignment for magazines or as over roughly the past two decades. Pagan Kennedy’s review of Distrust That Particular Flavor in the New York Times Book Review said “Gibson’s writing enters the bloodstream like a drug, producing a mild hallucinogenic effect that lasts for hours”. I find that an apt description, and while his non-fiction doesn’t have as strong an effect as his amazing fiction writing, Distrust That Particular Flavor offers a glimpse into the author’s creative process and the source material that has driven Gibson’s iconic work (Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Pattern Recognition), and the briefest of peeks into the authors personal life. It is also great fun to read. Gibson fans will read the book with the authors catalog in mind, and guided by Gibson’s own commentary at the end of each article can see his focus shift over time from truly speculative far-future cyberpunk noir he became famous for during the birth and subsequent boom time of the internet to his more realistic later work that is set, as the science fiction critic John Clute wrote, “in a world lacking coherent 'nows' to continue from."
Distrust That Particular Flavor