With scalpel-sharp diction and splash of ideas, what often goes overlooked in William Gibson’s oeuvre is that the author may also be a master of theme. Given so much credit for minimalist writing and sensawunda science fiction, some readers become enamored by this dynamic surface and fail to gain a sense of what lies beneath, namely understated commentary on society, politics, and technology. 2010’s Spook Country, second in the so-called Blue Ant trilogy, is no exception—and may very well be the most overlooked of the overlooked.
The three strands of Spook Country’s story braid consist of Hollis Henry, former rock-n-roller turned journalist; Tito, a Chinese-Cuban living in NYC who, with his family, helps facilitate various crimes involving the latest technology, and Brown, a covert operative ostensibly associated with the US government who has been given the assignment of tailing Tito. The three unaware, a mysterious shipping container in Vancouver of unknown contents forms the point at which all their various and peculiar stories converge.