He took a duck in the face at 250 knots. -
Welcome new followers! I’m happy you found your way here. Thanks to piraterob for getting us on the radar of @greatdismal himself.
In case you hadn’t figured it out, this is a blog about the real concepts behind the novels of William Gibson. I mostly write about the Bigend Trilogy, but plan to branch out all in good time. I hope you find all this stuff as fascinating as I do.
Relevant to the followers of this tumblr. Go forth and follow.
These super-mirrored Mykita + Maison Martin Margiela sunglasses are a look I’ve been wanting since I read Neuromancer over 20 years ago, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Too bad they cost the proverbial limbs.
She shook her head. He realized that the glasses were surgically inset, sealing her sockets. The silver lenses seemed to grow from smooth pale skin above her cheekbones, framed by dark hair cut in a rough shag. The fingers curled around the fletcher were slender, white, tipped with polished burgundy. The nails looked artificial. “I think you screwed up, Case. I showed up and you just fit me right into your reality picture.”
* * *
"We must, as you say in Ingiliz, take this one very easy.” [Terzibashjian] seemed to stare pointedly at Molly, but at last he removed the silver glasses. His eyes were a dark brown that matched the shade of his very short military-cut hair. He smiled. “It is better, this way, yes? Else we make the tunel infinity, mirror into mirror…. You particularly,” he said to her, “must take care. In Turkey there is disapproval of women who sport such modifications.”
Molly bit one of the pastries in half. “It’s my show, Jack,” she said, her mouth full. She chewed, swallowed, and licked her lips. “I know about you. Stool for the military, right?” Her hand slid lazily into the front of her jacket and came out with the fletcher. Case hadn’t known she had it.
"Very easy, please," Terzibashjian said, his white china thimble frozen centimeters from his lips.
She extended the gun. “Maybe you get the explosives, lots of them, or maybe you get a cancer. One dart, shitface. You won’t feel it for months.”
"Please. You call this in Ingiliz making me very tight….”
"I call it a bad morning. Now tell us about your man and get your ass out of here." She put the gun away.
Amazon.com - The Peripheral: William Gibson -
Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.
The Peripheral is currently scheduled for October of this year.
io9 has a video of Gibson reading from this novel from April 2013.
Russia Now Commands A Dolphin Army -
Jason G. Goldman on io9:
Perhaps you’ve heard that Ukraine had a small battalion of dolphin soldiers, trained to sniff out mines and patrol the border. Since the dolphins were housed at an aquarium in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, they now answer to the Russian Navy.
The Russian news agency RIA Novosti is reporting that the dolphin training program, which was originally founded in the 1960s, was actually meant to be disbanded next month. But the Russians have decided to infuse new funds into the program and keep it going.
One source told the news agency that the dolphins are currently outfitted with old, outdated equipment, but that the facility’s engineers are working on new instruments to “boost the operational efficiency of the dolphins underwater.” The Ukrainian Army lacked the technical expertise to “convert the detection of objects by the dolphins’ underwater sonar to a signal on an operator’s monitor,” but the Russian Army seems to have the know-how.
From “Johnny Mnemonic”:
He was more than a dolphin, but from another dolphin’s point of view he might have seemed like something less. I watched him swirling sluggishly in his galvanized tank. Water slopped over the side, wetting my shoes. He was surplus from the last war. A cyborg.
He rose out of the water, showing us the crusted plates along his sides, a kind of visual pun, his grace nearly lost under articulated armor, clumsy and prehistoric. Twin deformities on either side of his skull had been engineered to house sensor units. Silver lesions gleamed on exposed sections of his gray-white hide.
Molly whistled. Jones thrashed his tail, and more water cascaded down the side of the tank.
"What is this place?" I peered at vague shapes in the dark, rusting chain link and things under tarps. Above the tank hung a clumsy wooden framework, crossed and recrossed by rows of dusty Christmas lights.
"Funland. Zoo and carnival rides. ‘Talk with the War Whale.’ All that. Some whale Jones is…"
Jones reared again and fixed me with a sad and ancient eye.
Jones heaved half his armored bulk over the edge of his tank, and I thought the metal would give way. Molly stabbed him overhand with the syrette, driving the needle between two plates. Propellant hissed. Patterns of light exploded, sparking across the frame and then fading to black.
We left him drifting, rolling languorously in the dark water. Maybe he was dreaming of his war in the Pacific, of the cyber mines he’d swept, nosing gently into their circuitry with the Squid he’d used to pick Ralfi’s pathetic password from the chip buried in my head.
"I can see them slipping up when he was demobbed, letting him out of the navy with that gear intact, but how does a cybernetic dolphin get wired to smack?"
"The war," she said. "They all were. Navy did it. How else you get ‘em working for you?"
Own William Gibson's bomber jacket! -
Bless. io9 has learned about William Gibson’s Buzz Ricksons collaboration. In fairness this seems to have been occasioned by a new Buzz coat hitting the market. But this has been going on for quite some time.
William Gibson blog, December 31, 2005:
Recently we have been discussing an entire Pattern Recognition line, which would consist of all of their classic reproductions, but in black. People have been requesting other jackets that the USAF never issued, like a black version of the coyote-snorkel N3-B USAF parka. Ninety percent of their product sells within fifty miles of their Tokyo workrooms, they tell me, and they really aren’t very interested in foreign sales. They are just, well, nuts. Divinely and magnificently nuts.
Long Awaited Lab-Grown Burger Is Unveiled In London
After three months, $330,000 and a high-profile media blitz, the world’s first hamburger grown in a lab made its worldwide debut Monday.
The unveiling of “cultured beef,” as the burger is branded, was a production worthy of the Food Network era, complete with chatty host, live-streamed video, hand-picked taste testers, a top London chef and an eager audience (made up mostly of journalists). Rarely has a single food gotten such star treatment.
But this was no ordinary food launch, of course. The burger, which began as just a few stem cells extracted from a cow’s shoulder, represents a technology potentially so disruptive that it has attracted the support of Google co-founder Sergei Brin.
"Sometimes a new technology comes along and it has the capability to transform how we view the world," Brin says in a promotional video released Monday, the same day he was unmasked as the anonymous donor who ponied up money to grow the burger.
Read the rest on NPR’s The Salt blog.
Would you try a lab-grown hamburger if you could?
Molly and Armitage ate in silence, while Case sawed shakily at his steak, reducing it to uneaten bite-sized fragments, which he pushed around in the rich sauce, finally abandoning the whole thing.
"Jesus," Molly said, her own plate empty, "gimme that. You know what this costs?" She took his plate. ‘They gotta raise a whole animal for years and then they kill it. This isn’t vat stuff." She forked a mouthful up and chewed.
Social Dead Zone: "Better than a frozen head": The Social Uncanny -
The Social Uncanny describes the narcissistic void of social technology that reflects us back to ourselves, familiar yet strange. It is the rush we feel at the sight of ourselves in recursion throughout the eternal reflected worlds of social media. Like mirrors facing each other in perfect parallel, each online profile generates a new subset, a new reflection, more distorted than the last, until our faces are shapeless blurs spiralling off into the Nth dimension.
The Social Uncanny is also our disgust at the sight of those multiplying nested images which we are now unable to control or cull. We delete one profile only to find another that has slipped the noose, gone missing in the wild before returning to public life with wildly inappropriate personal information broadcast to the world at the times we never want it to. The return of the repressed: everything you say or do online archived forever, even the ultra embarrassing stuff from your early digital life, stored somewhere where you’ll never get to it even if you wanted to hide it from someone. Backups, caches and archives working silently in the background to ensure you can never hunt down and kill the original (a term now meaningless), never completely eliminate your shame.
The Social Uncanny infests a new Twitter app, LivesOn. This app, which is really a bot automagically “powered by algorithims”, analyses your online habits and learns your tweeting “voice”. Assign it certain rights and when you die it keeps tweeting for you – as you – forever.
"Had me this buddy in the Russian camp, Siberia, his thumb was frostbit. Medics came by and they cut it off. Month later he’s tossin; all night. Elroy, I said, what’s eatin’ you? Goddam thumb’s itchin’, he says. So I told him, scratch it. McCoy, he says, it’s the other goddam thumb." When the construct laughed, it came through as something else, not laughter, but a stab of cold down Case’s spine. "Do me a favor, boy."
"What’s that, Dix?"
"This scam of yours, when it’s over, you erase this goddam thing."
RT @shadowbottle @authenticwmgibs @greatdismal Is this based off a Gibson Ipsum generator? [I certainly hope so]— William Gibson (@GreatDismal) November 2, 2012
@greatdismal dork embarrasses himself in front of author, but his tweed Norfolk jacket’s fractal check pattern induces a temporary amnesia.— Authentic Wm. Gibson (@AuthenticWmGibs) November 2, 2012
From Zero History:
"How about a Twitter account?"
"Sign up for one," she said. "As Gay Dolphin Two, all caps, no spaces. Numeral two. From the laptop in the lobby. As soon as you finish your drink. Make your updates private. I’ll ask to follow you. I’ll be Gay Dolphin One. Allow me to follow you, refuse anybody else. It’ll mostly be porn bots anyway."
"Porn bots? What is it?"
"It’s how I talk to my kids. You’ll register. That will be how we keep in touch. Let’s try to keep you out of trouble."
Hubertus Bigend, Pattern Recognition and Zero History, William Gibson
The smooth and ironic brow of Hubertus Bigend, a nominal Belgian who looks like Tom Cruise on a diet of virgins’ blood and truffled chocolates. … He looks as though he’s … been infused with live extract of hot beef. He’s florid, glossy, bright−eyed, very likely bushy−tailed as well…His dark forelock falls across his eyes; he tosses his head to throw it back, entirely too coltish for anyone’s good. (Suggested by Chris from Tumblr)
Hello and welcome to the Gibsonian Institute’s newest followers. I’m assuming you got here by way of my piece at Tor.com; thanks, and it’s nice to have you aboard.
As you can probably see, activity here is a bit sluggish of late. (Okay, a lot sluggish.) I plan on getting into a more regular posting pattern in the next month or so (“weekly” at least should be attainable, surely?), so hang in there, and I hope you enjoy this collection of stuff.