Zero History: Book summary and reviews of Zero History by William Gibson

Zero History

A Novel

by William Gibson

Zero History by William Gibson X
Zero History by William Gibson
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  • Published Sep 2010
    416 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Hollis Henry worked for the global marketing magnate Hubertus Bigend once before. She never meant to repeat the experience. But she's broke, and Bigend never feels it's beneath him to use whatever power comes his way - in this case, the power of money to bring Hollis onto his team again. Not that she knows what the "team" is up to, not at first.

Milgrim is even more thoroughly owned by Bigend. He's worth owning for his useful gift of seeming to disappear in almost any setting, and his Russian is perfectly idiomatic - so much so that he spoke Russian with his therapist, in the secret Swiss clinic where Bigend paid for him to be cured of the addiction that would have killed him.

Garreth has a passion for extreme sports. Most recently he jumped off the highest building in the world, opening his chute at the last moment, and he has a new thighbone made of rattan baked into bone, entirely experimental, to show for it. Garreth isn't owned by Bigend at all. Garreth has friends from whom he can call in the kinds of favors that a man like Bigend will find he needs, when things go unexpectedly sideways, in a world a man like Bigend is accustomed to controlling.

As when a Department of Defense contract for combat-wear turns out to be the gateway drug for arms dealers so shadowy that even Bigend, whose subtlety and power in the private sector would be hard to overstate, finds himself outmaneuvered and adrift in a seriously dangerous world.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Gibson...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)" - Booklist

"Gibson's style has become even more distilled, more austere, since his science fiction days." - Publishers Weekly

"Unsettling and memorable, weird flaws and all." - Kirkus

This information about Zero History was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

William Gibson Author Biography

William Gibson was born in South Carolina in 1948. He coined the term "cyberspace" in the early 1980s and was one of the founding authors of the cyberpunk movement in science-fiction writing with his ground-breaking first novel Neuromancer, which in 1984 predicted the birth of the internet. The film "Johnny Mneumonic" was based on his short story, and he also wrote the screenplay. He's since written several more critically-acclaimed novels – most recently Zero History, and The Peripheral (2014) – and more than 20 short stories.

Gibson also contributes an occasional op-ed and long-form piece to the New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone and other outlets.

He moved to Canada in the late 1960s and lives today in Vancouver, B.C with his wife.

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