I imagine there are many readers who came to the work of William Gibson long after he had made a name for himself, only to be disappointed. The hype did not match the fiction. And yet for those readers, I would guess the stories linger longer than they expected. Some fundamental understanding, some raw human relationship to technology and culture was present in Gibson’s novels in ways they may not have consciously realized. Bringing that understanding to the surface is Gibson’s 2012 collection of non-fiction Distrust That Particular Flavor.
A myriad, Distrust That Particular Flavor delivers a wide-wide variety of writing. Not only essays, the book likewise collects speeches, magazine articles, newspaper copy, interviews, autobiography, book introductions, travel pieces—all from such disparate sources as Wired, The Observer, Forbes, Rolling Stone, New York Times Magazine, The Whole Earth Catalog, and many others. Covering a span of approximately sixteen years, the twenty-six pieces of non-fiction are all short yet profound in some fashion; the quiet intelligence and insight into human existence underlying Gibson’s novels is here openly revealed for what readers have suspected all along.